Court opinions

Drunken driving conviction affirmed; tipster’s observations reasonable cause

September 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction for Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated Thursday, though one panelist wrote the court went deeper into the analysis of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment claim than it needed to do.
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Dispatcher fired after firecracker incident loses unemployment appeal

September 12, 2013
An appeals court panel Thursday affirmed denial of unemployment benefits for a Starke County sheriff’s dispatcher who took time off work after a firecracker exploded behind her at work and she was diagnosed with hearing loss, vertigo and tinnitus.
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Parental liability as co-signers on kids’ school loans subject to divorce decree

September 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
Student loan liabilities of parents who co-signed for their two children should have been a consideration in dividing property in a divorce proceeding, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Insurer’s exclusion stands after bar fight

September 11, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A woman’s own description of a barroom brawl that left her with a broken arm was used against her in allowing an insurance company to deny coverage.
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Worker’s Compensation Act is only remedy for injured employee

September 11, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A construction worker injured on a job site will have to find remedy through the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act after the Indiana Court of Appeals denied his attempt to sue a subcontractor.
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7th Circuit declines to second guess co-defendant credibility in firearm sentence

September 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Contradictory testimony given in two plea agreements presented the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, with the “classic choice” of whom to believe.
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Appeals court finds IU med student properly dismissed

September 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A third-year student at Indiana University School of Medicine kicked out after the university concluded he cheated on an exam lost his appeal of the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of the university.
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Exclusion of money talk not a reversible error

September 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court’s error in excluding explicit statements about money is not reversible and does not provide the grounds to overturn a drug conviction.
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Heavily redacted report cannot hide behind business-judgment rule

September 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a report produced by a special litigation committee contains privileged information, the plaintiffs must be allowed full access to the unredacted version in order to determine if the investigation was extensive and conduced in good faith.
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Firing of officer who stunned nursing home patient was supported by evidence

September 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A police chief and city review board were within their rights to terminate the employment of an officer who repeatedly used a Taser on a 64-year-old nursing home patient. An appellate panel Monday reversed a trial court order that had thrown out the officer’s firing.
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Newspaper loses appeal over access to death records

August 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A newspaper was not improperly denied access to death records, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Affirmed sentence in home invasion, sex assault clarifies aggravator standards

August 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man’s 40-year executed sentence for leading a home invasion and forcing the woman who lived there to perform oral sex at gunpoint wasn’t improper, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Brown County logging damages award stands

August 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
A landowner’s award of $55,572.50 in damages caused by a logging contractor at a property in Brown County was properly calculated, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Appeals panel reinstates claims of capacity, undue influence in trust dispute

August 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
A family feud involving half-siblings contesting the trust bequeathed by their mother was improperly disposed of through summary judgment, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Man tried twice for same offense, but relief denial affirmed

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
A divided Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a man convicted of rape on retrial was unconstitutionally prosecuted twice for the same offense, but the court upheld denial of post-conviction relief.
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Supreme Court takes closer reading of precedent in affirming post-conviction relief

August 28, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A man’s 2002 guilty plea to a habitual traffic violator offense will be set aside after the Indiana Supreme Court held his 1989 conviction in Fayette County constituted a material error.
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Justices affirm new trial in estate awarded $41,400 in hotel killing

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court order for a new trial in a case involving a  $41,400 award made to the estate of a man who was killed at a Speedway hotel by a former employee.
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Split COA reverses its original decision on rehearing

August 23, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Saying “plea agreements should be more artfully drafted,” a split Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an award of restitution against a Daviess County man whose plea agreement was silent on the matter of restitution.
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Mother may petition for college expenses for emancipated children

August 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Two amendments made by the Indiana General Assembly to the termination of child support and emancipation statute allow for a mother’s college support petition for two emancipated children to stand.
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Foreclosure affirmed on transferred mortgage

August 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
A couple who stopped making mortgage payments in 2007 and continued to live in their house failed to convince an appeals panel that a trial court erred in determining who holds the note and ruled the mortgage valid despite an allegedly defective acknowledgement.
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Open Door violation not worth $8K, COA rules

August 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A group of petitioners who prevailed on an Indiana Open Door Law violation will get reimbursed for attorney fees, but the amount will be reduced by nearly $5,000 after a trial court found the group was requesting money for work unrelated to the claim.
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Dissenting judge argues tenants can’t ask drunk, disorderly man outside door to leave

August 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
An argument that tenants of an apartment complex may not ask a drunk and threatening man to leave common areas convinced one judge, but the majority of an appeals panel found otherwise, warning that such a holding would “defy logic and lead to an absurd result.”
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Threats of violence sufficient to order involuntary commitment

August 21, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although an Indianapolis man never harmed another individual, his persistent threats of violence were sufficient to support his involuntary commitment to a mental health facility.
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Appeals panel affirms molester’s dissemination sentence, refines scope of ‘performance’

August 21, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man who molested children in his home lost his appeal on the argument that showing children pornographic images on a cellphone and exposing himself to them was not a public performance.
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Tinted-window stop yielding pot arrest by precedent-setting cop upheld

August 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer Keith Minch is on a roll in the appellate courts.
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  1. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  2. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  3. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

  4. For some strange reason this story, like many on this ezine that question the powerful, seems to have been released in two formats. Prior format here: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263 That observed, I must note that it is quite refreshing that denizens of the great unwashed (like me) can be allowed to openly question powerful elitists at ICE MILLER who are on the public dole like Selby. Kudos to those at this ezine who understand that they cannot be mere lapdogs to the powerful and corrupt, lest freedom bleed out. If you wonder why the Senator resisted Selby, consider reading the comments here for a theory: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263

  5. Why is it a crisis that people want to protect their rights themselves? The courts have a huge bias against people appearing on their own behalf and these judges and lawyers will face their maker one day and answer for their actions.

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