Court opinions

Indiana Court Decisions - Feb. 23-March 7, 2012

March 14, 2012
IL Staff
Read summaries of the latest for publication opinions from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Indiana's appeals courts.
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Appellate court affirms ruling in retaliation lawsuit

March 13, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a northern Indiana judge’s decision granting summary judgment for a bank in a lawsuit filed by a former employee alleging retaliation in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
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7th Circuit reverses Southern District judge

March 13, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a decision by U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker in the Southern District of Indiana involving a former police officer’s claim that he was falsely arrested for murder following a shooting outside an Indianapolis bar.
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COA affirms trial court in land rental dispute

March 13, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a tenant who was not given adequate notice to vacate rented land.
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Judges affirm sentence for man who questions constitutionality of Indiana Code

March 13, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A man’s criminal actions that resulted in a two-year sentence were not part of a single episode of criminal conduct, and therefore, his claim that his sentence was unconstitutional is without merit.
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Justices reprimand former Marion County prosecutor

March 13, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has publicly reprimanded former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi for statements he made about a high-profile murder case, and in doing so the state’s justices have set a new standard and issued a warning for prosecutors statewide: Be careful what you say.
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Divided Supreme Court rules on attorney fees case

March 12, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed the award of attorney fees to an Indiana town, although two justices disagreed and would have reversed the trial court.
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Justices: Tax Court erred in prima facie showing requirement

March 12, 2012
Michael Hoskins

The Indiana Supreme Court has found that the Indiana Tax Court erred in requiring the state revenue department to produce more evidence of a proposed assessment of additional tax liability for a corporation.

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Divided 7th Circuit affirms 'career offender' conviction

March 9, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a District Court’s 100-month sentence for a man deemed to be a “career offender.” But the decision was not unanimous.
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Judges uphold dismissal of suit filed after fall at work

March 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of a couple’s complaint for injuries and loss of consortium for subject matter jurisdiction, finding the woman’s injuries sustained while at her work fall squarely within the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act.
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Judges find search wasn't valid under 4th Amendment

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that a woman’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures was violated and a trial judge erred in not suppressing evidence found during a home search.
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COA affirms dismissal of case 18 years after filing

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a Henry Circuit judge correctly dismissed a union’s complaint about a manufacturing plant closure more than two decades ago, finding that the union failed to prosecute the case for 18 years and that was an adequate basis for dismissal.
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COA remands parental rights case

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Finding that a trial judge and Indiana Department of Child Services didn’t follow the law before involuntarily terminating parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals has sent the case back to Elkhart Circuit Court.
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'Vouching testimony' not allowed in child sex abuse cases

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The state’s rules of evidence don’t allow for “vouching testimony” in child sex abuse cases to help determine when a youth isn’t exaggerating, and the Indiana Supreme Court won’t carve out an exception allowing for that testimony in these types of cases.
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7th Circuit affirms search warrant basis

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that enough probable cause existed to justify a search warrant that led to a man’s jury convictions on drug charges.
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Title dispute leads to appellate reversal

March 7, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a decision in favor of a title company, finding that the trial court must re-examine the case to decide if the two property owners have an action for negligent contract misrepresentation relating to a land easement dispute.
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Court orders new trial in methamphetamine case

March 7, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a woman convicted of felony methamphetamine dealing, finding that the Hendricks Superior judge should have instructed the jury on a lesser-included offense of methamphetamine possession.
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Justices: injured cop prevented by law from rejoining force

March 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer who was injured in the 1980s and received disability benefits – but later was physically able to rejoin the police department – is statutorily prohibited against returning to the force, the Indiana Supreme Court decided in answering a certified question.
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Union withdraws request for temporary restraining order

March 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The union that filed a lawsuit last month in federal court challenging Indiana’s “right-to-work” law has withdrawn its emergency motion for a temporary restraining order.
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COA: trial court erred in piercing corporate veil

March 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because there was no causal connection established between misuse of the corporate form and fraud or injustice, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision to pierce the corporate veil.
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COA: Department of Labor should review claim

March 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that a woman’s lawsuit for unpaid wages should have first been brought before the Indiana Department of Labor before she filed her action.
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COA finds man initiated communication with detective

March 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the denial of a defendant’s motion to suppress an incriminating statement to a detective because the defendant initiated the discussion and understood his Miranda rights before speaking.
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7th Circuit ponders search of cell phone

March 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which likened modern cell phones to computers, had to decide whether police could search a man’s phone for the phone’s number without a search warrant.
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Judges affirm ruling in favor of Jeep dealer

March 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a southwestern Indiana car dealer being sued by a customer for injuries in a car accident under the Indiana Products Liability Act after Chrysler LLC filed for bankruptcy.
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Parents cannot each recover under policy's underinsured motorist provisions

February 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The parents of a teenager killed in a crash during a drag race cannot recover funds in their individual capacities under their automobile insurance underinsured motorist provisions, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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