Court opinions

Judge: Governor doesn't have to testify in IBM case

April 26, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer has ruled that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels doesn’t have to testify about his involvement in the cancelled multi-million dollar IBM contract to modernize the state’s welfare system.
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COA affirms transfer penalty for nursing home resident

April 26, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a finding by the Family and Social Services Administration that an elderly woman was not entitled to Medicaid nursing home benefits in the eight months after she gave $35,500 to her nephew and his wife.
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Judges address 'public utility' questions

April 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In a case of first impression in this state, the Indiana Court of Appeals has determined that BP Products North America Inc.'s petroleum refinery plant in northern Indiana isn’t a public utility as defined by state statute when it acts as a sort of conduit and provides natural gas and other services such as steam and wastewater to other private companies nearby.
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COA rules botched burial does not entitle relatives to award

April 25, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that relatives of a woman whose burial went awry are not entitled to damages.
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Judges uphold identity thief's sentence

April 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a decision Friday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals repeated its holding that a District judge can satisfy the review standards under 18 U.S.C. Section 3553(a) without having to list every possible sentencing factor or detail of every argument raised for the federal appellate court to find that the sentence was proper.
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Lawsuit to take bar exam goes to 7th Circuit

April 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The man who believes he should be able to sit for the bar exam even though he didn’t go to law school has asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the dismissal of his lawsuit.
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Justices find email is constitutionally protected speech

April 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in granting summary judgment to a fire chief and township in a firefighter’s suit following his termination by the chief for sending a personal, political email that the chief believed contained false statements of fact. The firefighter’s email was actually constitutionally protected speech, the Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday.
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Social Security income shouldn't be considered in restitution orders

April 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Dealing with an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that Social Security income must be excluded when considering a defendant’s ability to pay restitution.
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NCAA championship ticket distribution not a lottery

April 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s ticket-distribution plan for championship games doesn’t constitute a “lottery” under Indiana law, the Indiana Supreme Court decided Thursday. The issue was before the justices as certified questions from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Kissing a sleeping victim doesn't constitute sexual battery

April 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A victim being asleep isn’t equivalent to a mental disability or deficiency for purposes of the sexual battery statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Justices dismiss appeal

April 20, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal in an insurance case involving attorney-client privilege because the parties have reached a mediated settlement.
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Judge argues state must prove actual endangerment

April 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split Monday regarding a man’s conviction of misdemeanor operating while intoxicated, with Judge Terry Crone arguing the statute requires the state to prove actual endangerment of the driver or others, not just the possibility of it.
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Justices accept ordinance case

April 18, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether an Indiana town’s ordinance that would give the town the exclusive right to control, regulate, and sell water is actually invalid.
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Court splits on standard used to modify custody

April 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Even though the trial court departed from established statutory procedures by using the “best interests” standard to modify physical custody, the majority of Indiana Court of Appeals judges affirmed the lower court’s decision.
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COA: Attorney entitled to lien on former client's file

April 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An attorney doesn’t have to produce documentation of the amount of money a former client owes in order to have a valid retaining lien, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Judges affirm retroactive application of amendments to blood draw statute

April 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Applying 2010 statutory amendments governing chemical tests for evidence of intoxication to a case of a man charged in 2009 with driving while intoxicated didn’t violate the prohibitions against ex post facto criminal sanctions, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Judges disagree on whether landowners are 'aggrieved'

April 12, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Jurists on the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed on an issue of first impression about what an “aggrieved” party is when it comes to filing a mandate or injunction against a water conservancy district under state statute.
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Court addresses forgery statute on electronic credit card purchases

April 12, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Using someone else’s credit card and electronically signing that person’s name is considered “uttering” a written instrument under Indiana’s forgery statute, the state’s appellate court has ruled.
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State responsible for costs in relocating Medicaid patients

April 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Family and Social Services must reimburse an Arcadia, Ind., long-term care facility for the costs the facility paid in caring for Medicaid patients after FSSA ended its provider agreement based on the conditions at the facility, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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COA: personal injury action should be allowed to proceed

April 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals examined how the 120-day time limit under Indiana Trial Rule 15(C) on amending a complaint to substitute a party interacts with the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, and held that the 120-day time limit can’t be allowed to operate prematurely to bar a claim when the statute of limitations is still running.
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Judges divided on calculation of damages after negligence

April 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was split in deciding whether an estate received the correct amount of damages from the Indiana Patients’ Compensation Fund. One judge believed the trial court used an incorrect approach for calculating damages because the deceased man had at least a 50 percent chance of survival before the medical negligence.
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Court tackles 'sexual activity' meaning in statute

April 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed Thursday the term “sexual activity” – an issue in which there is scant law – and ordered a man be acquitted. The man was convicted under federal statute for attempting to entice a girl he believed to be less than 18 years old to engage in any sexual activity while they chatted online.
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Coroner's office loses 2nd reverse-discrimination appeal

April 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a reverse-discrimination case against Marion County should be able to proceed in federal court in Indianapolis because evidence shows the former county coroner’s decision to terminate a forensic pathology company’s contract may have been based on race.
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COA reverses judgment in title insurance issue

April 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has declined to extend to an insurance agent the duty of an insurer as declared by the state’s highest court. In doing so, the judges reversed the denial of a title insurance company’s motion for summary judgment.
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Circuit Court orders new trial on Rule 404(b) grounds

April 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has found an Indiana federal court should not have allowed evidence of a defendant’s prior drug convictions under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). As a result of the violation, the judges reversed the man’s drug conviction and ordered a new trial.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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