Court opinions

Attempted ‘hybrid’ defense delay didn’t violate speedy trial rule

December 18, 2012
Dave Stafford
A criminal defendant who filed motions on his own behalf and who also had consented to appointment of a special public defender was not denied a speedy trial when a delay of more than 70 days occurred, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Justices order modification of sentence of convicted child caseworker to comply with plea agreement

December 17, 2012
Dave Stafford
A former child protective services caseworker convicted of sex crimes in Hamilton and Elkhart counties should have his sentence modified to comport with his plea agreement, the Indiana Supreme Court ordered.
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Woman who invited abusive spouse did not violate no-contact protective order

December 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the Indiana General Assembly was deliberate when it did not criminalize the violation of a protective order by the protected person.
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Split court upholds $3.9 million workplace injury judgment

December 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
Whether a general liability carrier could intervene in a workplace injury lawsuit that awarded a plaintiff $3.9 million is a question that divided the Indiana Court of Appeals, which affirmed the lower court ruling.
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Divided appeals court affirms denial of incapacity maintenance

December 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
A woman with longstanding disabilities denied incapacity maintenance in her divorce judgment convinced one appellate judge that the trial court abused its discretion, but the majority affirmed the lower court’s decision.
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Justices issue 4 opinions tackling prejudgment interest

December 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In four opinions dealing with the award of prejudgment interest under the Tort Prejudgment Interest Statute, the Indiana Supreme Court found Wednesday, among other things, that the TPIS applies to an action by an insured against an insurer to recover benefits under the insured’s underinsured motorist policy.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling for officers on excessive force claims

December 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found no reason to disturb a judgment in favor of several officers involved in a standoff and shooting death of a Fort Wayne man in 2005. Rudy Escobedo’s estate challenged the jury verdict and summary judgment for the defendants on excessive force claims.
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Builder allowed to foreclose on lien

December 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Lake Superior judge erred in denying a construction company’s request to foreclose on a mechanic’s lien after the client withheld a final payment, claiming faulty work.
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Judges reverse teen’s conspiracy to commit murder conviction

December 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed Paul Henry Gingerich’s conviction of Class A felony conspiracy to commit murder, finding the Kosciusko juvenile court abused its discretion in denying the then-12-year-old’s request for a continuance of a waiver hearing.
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Company’s offer to replace driveway an enforceable agreement

December 10, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a small claims judgment in favor of a concrete company regarding whether the company had to follow through on replacing a driveway for a customer who was unhappy with the work a year later.
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Failure to report abuse charges to proceed against athletic director

December 10, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of LaPorte Community School Corp.’s athletic director Edward Gilliland’s attempt to dismiss two counts of misdemeanor failure to report child abuse filed against him. The charges stem from the conduct of LaPorte High School’s junior volleyball coach Robert Ashcraft.
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COA rules it doesn’t have jurisdiction over online comment appeal

December 10, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued a 20-page order Dec. 7 outlining why Judges Edward Najam and Elaine Brown dismissed The Indianapolis Star’s latest appeal against having to release the name of an online commenter to the plaintiff in a lawsuit.
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COA overturns conviction, ruling statements about age not relevant for treatment

December 7, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A Marion County man had his conviction overturned after the Indiana Court of Appeals found a social worker’s statements about his age were hearsay because they were not made specifically for a medical purpose.
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COA: Admitted evidence of 20-year-old crimes requires reversal

December 7, 2012
Dave Stafford
A civil judgment in favor of a woman who claimed her ex-husband battered her and forged her name on a quitclaim deed was vacated Friday. A Court of Appeals panel ruled that evidence of the ex-husband’s criminal convictions from the 1980s were prima facie error.
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Majority affirms trial court in failed lease suit

December 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling in favor of a leasing company on a suit brought by the homeowners after the lessees failed to pay their rent.
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COA splits over reversing possession conviction

December 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Court of Appeals upheld a man’s possession of marijuana conviction that stemmed from a 911 call. Dissenting Judge James Kirsch doesn’t believe that the providing of a name by a 911 caller removes this case from the category of an anonymous caller, thus the call doesn’t give police enough evidence to stop the car the defendant was in.
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Insurer doesn’t have to cover cleanup of California sites

December 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Relying on California law and a case from 2006, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that an insurer of former film-processing sites has no obligation to indemnify Thomson Inc. for the remediations of three California locations.
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COA rules against longtime shooting range owner

December 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Marshall Circuit judge erred in granting partial summary judgment in favor of a shooting range owner on his neighbors’ claims of nuisance, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday. The appellate judges found a statute cited by the trial court did not apply to the owner.
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7th Circuit upholds $3M restitution order for copper theft

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s argument that the court should go against its precedent that restitution is not a criminal penalty and that a recent U.S. Supreme Court holding means the jury should determine the amount of restitution he should pay for his role in copper theft.
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Judges affirm 911 recording properly admitted as evidence

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on the issue for the first time, the Court of Appeals held a 911 recording that involves statements by a caller that were relayed from a victim are admissible where the victim had personal knowledge of the underlying incident but the caller did not.
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COA not persuaded by defendant’s claims on appeal

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Bret Lee Sisson’s felony convictions of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, finding no abuse of discretion or fundamental error during his trial.
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Refusal to give jury instruction not harmless error

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court’s error in refusing to give a defendant’s tendered self-defense and resistance of unlawful force instructions during his trial was not harmless and requires the man’s conviction of Class D felony resisting law enforcement be overturned, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Mother’s consent to adoption not required

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by the Wabash Circuit Court to deny a father and his wife’s petition to allow his wife to adopt his minor child, finding the biological mother’s consent is not required.
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Court split over valid ID requirement for name change

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday that the trial court erred when it required a valid driver’s license or state identification card as a prerequisite to grant a petition for a name change under Indiana Code 34-28-2, but split over whether an elderly man can change his name because he’s never had a valid state-issued ID.
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Conour still without counsel

December 4, 2012
Dave Stafford
Ex-attorney William Conour still has not secured legal counsel in his federal wire fraud case, he told Chief Judge Richard Young during a status hearing conducted by phone Tuesday.
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