Court opinions

Defendant received ineffective trial counsel assistance in murder case

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a Delaware County man’s post-conviction relief petition finding his trial attorney was ineffective in not ensuring the jury was properly instructed on the elements of murder, voluntary manslaughter and the state’s burden of proof regarding sudden heat.
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7th Circuit orders proposed plan of reorganization open to competitive bidding

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Southern District Bankruptcy judge Thursday, finding the judge incorrectly ruled that competition was unnecessary in a plan of reorganization involving a shopping center.
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Judges interpret Probate Code statute in favor of bank

February 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a bank did not receive proper notice in order to file a claim against an estate, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of the estate of Samuel Tolley on the bank’s two claims.
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Car’s color alone doesn’t support traffic stop

February 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and federal courts, the judges were asked to consider whether a discrepancy between the observed color of a car and the color listed on its registration alone gives rise to reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
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7th Circuit affirms District Court in long-running nursing home litigation

February 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
More than a decade’s worth of litigation was tied up in a 21-page opinion from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, which affirmed decisions in favor of a landowner against the owners of a nursing home lessee.
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Supreme Court affirms what is said in mediation, stays in mediation

February 12, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A husband will not be able to offer as evidence comments made during a mediated settlement conference with his ex-wife, the Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed.
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Court error denying police deposition in drug case harmless, COA rules

February 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Marion Superior Court should have allowed a defendant to play parts of a police officer’s deposition for impeachment purposes, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that failing to admit his inconsistent statement was harmless error.
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In affirming DUI on appeal, judges include predictive warning

February 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
An argument made on appeal in a drunken-driving case that the person who certified the operating condition of a breath-test machine should have been required to testify was rejected Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals, which also warned in a footnote that such a ruling could cost criminal defendants.
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Thief who aimed to teach victim ‘lesson’ gets no relief on appeal

February 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man who said he stole a video monitoring system and car wash tickets to teach the victim a lesson about leaving valuables in an unlocked car lost his appeal Friday.
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Judges uphold man’s 151-month sentence

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals believed a defendant was entitled to resentencing because the District judge could only view him through “career-offender tinted glasses” even though the career offender distinction did not ultimately apply to him.
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District judge incorrectly dismissed prisoner’s suit for length and unintelligibility

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered U.S. Judge William T. Lawrence to take another look at a federal prisoner’s Bivens lawsuit against prison staff and other unnamed defendants, finding that the lawsuit is actually written clearly and not as long as the judge believed when dismissing it.
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Woman’s sentence revised because she is not among ‘worst offenders’

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A home health care nurse whose flight from police while high on drugs and with her 89-year-old patient in the car had her sentence reduced because the Court of Appeals concluded she is not among the “worst offenders.” The high-speed chase led to a crash and the death of the patient from injuries she sustained.
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Court split over denial to commit man with dementia

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Although the majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals acknowledged it would have been better for the trial court to follow the statutory commitment procedures instead of outright denying the state’s motion to commit, it affirmed the trial court’s conclusion.
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Judges uphold convictions stemming from bank robbery

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Terry Smith made five arguments to the Indiana Court of Appeals as to why his convictions of robbery and other charges related to his robbing of an Indianapolis bank should be thrown out, but the judges weren’t persuaded to reverse his convictions.
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Prisoners can seek reductions of crack cocaine sentences

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded two judges in the Northern District of Indiana should take another look at two defendants’ requests to have their sentences for crack cocaine offenses reduced based on revised sentencing guidelines.
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Judges affirm man’s drug conviction

February 6, 2013
IL Staff
A man stopped by police while driving through Vigo County for unsafe lane movement – and later convicted of Class A felony dealing in cocaine – couldn’t convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his conviction should be overturned.
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COA: Parties must arbitrate dispute over insurance coverage

February 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court erred when it failed to enforce an arbitration provision of an insurance policy issued by Pekin Insurance Co. and ordered a couple’s lawsuit against their insurer stayed until arbitration is complete.
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COA orders trial on drug charges

February 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
On interlocutory appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s denial of an Elkhart County man’s motion to suppress evidence police seized from him and his residence while investigating possible drug dealing.
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Judges uphold sexually violent predator status

February 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a defendant failed to establish that the process used to determine his sexually violent predator status constituted a fundamental error, so the court upheld the SVP status.
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Man entitled to new trial based on trial counsel’s performance

February 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted on a drug dealing charge and found to be a serious violent felon will have a new trial because his trial attorney did not file a motion to bifurcate the dealing and SVF charges, which prejudiced him, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Ex-wife ordered to return money husband stole from nonprofit

February 4, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A woman whose ex-husband committed suicide after his scheme to steal money from his employer unraveled must pay back to the company money she received from her husband during and after their marriage, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Judges uphold sentence, but revise original opinion

February 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted a defendant and the state’s petitions for rehearing a case involving a plea agreement in order to correct a misstatement of the law.
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Fraudulent concealment tolls Wrongful Death Act’s limitations period

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Wrongful Death Act’s two-year limitations period is tolled by fraudulent concealment, and plaintiffs whose wrongful death claims have been fraudulently concealed beyond the act’s limitations period have a full two years after the concealment is or should be discovered with reasonable diligence to file their claims, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a case of first impression.
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Couple had to get permit before installing septic systems

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Rejecting a couple’s claim that a statute exempted them from having to get a permit before installing septic systems following the construction of their home in an unincorporated area of Allen County, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the health department on the matter.
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Court reverses grant of custody to grandmother

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the Porter Circuit judge’s ruling is not supported by clear and convincing evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the court vacate its award of physical custody of A.S. to her grandmother and return her to the care of her mother.
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