Court opinions

7th Circuit vacates sanction in contempt judgment

May 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found that an order, while unclear, did require a company to become the operator of leases involving oil and gas fields in Texas. But the judges held the District Court judge didn’t fully explain why he was imposing the sanction he did, so the 7th Circuit vacated the sanction.
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COA affirms use of equitable subrogation

April 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision to award title over a disputed piece of property, but reversed regarding the order the defendant pay the plaintiff’s attorney fees.
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Judges affirm denial of motion to withdraw plea

April 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court did not err when it denied a defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea after his attorney failed to discover that the state could charge him with being a habitual offender in only one of the two separate causes that were filed against him, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Man not prejudiced when prosecutor read illiterate witness' statement before jury

April 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Although it would have been better for the trial court to excuse the jury before reading an illiterate witness’s prior statement to him to refresh his memory, any error attributable to its use is harmless, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Judges uphold inpatient treatment for juvenile

April 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because the record shows that a juvenile’s placement at an inpatient treatment facility is consistent with the goals for the teen’s rehabilitation, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the juvenile court’s placement order.
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COA rules in favor of chamber in breach of contract dispute

April 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In its decision ordering summary judgment be entered in favor of the Brownsburg Chamber of Commerce in a lawsuit involving damages to a former employee, the Indiana Court of Appeals adopted the proposition that damages for breach of notice provisions are limited to compensation for the notice period.
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U.S. justices to rule on retroactivity of case involving guilty pleas by immigrants

April 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Supreme Court of the United States will hear a case that stems from its 2010 decision Padilla v. Kentucky, in which the justices held that criminal defense attorneys are obligated under the Sixth Amendment to advise noncitizen defendants about immigration consequences of pleading guilty. The justices will now rule on whether its decision is retroactive.<
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Courts not responsible to find person named in subpoena

April 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
It is not up to the court to find someone named in a subpoena if the person requesting it doesn’t know where to send the subpoena, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. That argument was being made by an incarcerated father appealing a determination that his child is in need of services.
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5th Amendment right against self-incrimination not violated

April 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that because a defendant’s attorney asked a detective whether the defendant admitted to molesting his girlfriend’s daughter, the defense opened the door to the prosecution to ask about the scope of the interview. The defendant claimed his Fifth Amendment rights were violated when the detective said the defendant asked to “stop speaking” during the interview.
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COA rules on Kroger fuel sign dispute

April 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment for a developer on its claims of criminal mischief, criminal trespass and criminal conversion against grocer Kroger after the store modified a shopping plaza’s sign once it added a fueling station. There isn’t evidence that Kroger had criminal intent when it modified the sign pylon.
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Importance of contracts in construction

April 25, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A construction management company was found not liable by the Indiana Supreme Court for a subcontractor's injury.
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2 cases prompt new real estate law

April 25, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Indiana court opinions influence new foreclosure statute and amendment.
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Appellate court reverses ALJ in unemployment claim

April 24, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a company was not obligated to continue employing a driver who lost consciousness behind the wheel, but because he holds no fault for that incident, he is eligible for unemployment benefits.
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Insurer failed to prove driver violated policy clause

April 24, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Because a drug test failed to show conclusively when a driver last used marijuana before a fatal crash, an insurer cannot deny payment based on an exclusionary clause in the policy, the Court of Appeals determined.
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COA reverses trial court in estate case

April 24, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the trial court improperly granted summary judgment to parties whose attorney did not notify opposing counsel that a motion had been filed.
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Appellate panel affirms trial court in dispute over unpaid land rental

April 23, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied a man damages for conversion, the Indiana Court of Appeals found.
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Question about residency leads to reversal in insurance case

April 23, 2012
IL Staff
Because a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether a teenager lived with his mother or father, an appellate panel has remanded the matter for trial.
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COA reverses conviction based on continuing crime doctrine

April 23, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed one conviction against a man charged with multiple offenses for stabbing his wife.
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Judges affirm denial of post-conviction relief

April 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the denial of a man’s request for post-conviction relief because he couldn’t prove that his trial or appellate counsel were ineffective.
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Department of Workforce Development scammed out of $2 million

April 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development announced Wednesday afternoon that it allegedly has been cheated out of $2.4 million in unemployment insurance benefits. Fifteen people have been indicted for allegedly scheming to use fake companies to claim benefits.
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COA upholds denial of fugitive's request to file an appeal

April 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A woman convicted of murdering her husband in the 1970s who escaped from prison and remained a fugitive for 35 years isn’t entitled to file a petition for belated appeal because her willful act of fleeing prevented her attorney from pursuing the appeal.
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Judges reverse grant of unemployment benefits

April 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has held that if an employee’s explanation for the behavior that led to his termination is another terminable offense, that provides just cause for termination. As a result, the judges reversed the decision to grant a fired man unemployment benefits.
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COA split on ability to review case

April 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The majority on a personal injury case has dismissed it for appellate review, finding the Indiana Court of Appeals doesn’t have jurisdiction. The majority believed the case was not timely appealed.
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7th Circuit upholds sentence for drug offenses

April 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Dealing with the issue for the first time, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a certificate of appealability is needed for the part of a case that challenges the denial of collateral relief.
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Judge leaves attorneys on tax refund appeal

April 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Tax Court Judge Martha Wentworth has denied the State Department of Revenue’s attempt to disqualify the two attorneys representing a company in a refund dispute.
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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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