Court opinions

Appeals court affirms rejection of HOA ‘abusive junk fee’

October 5, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Morgan County man who took no action to defend a judgment in his favor nevertheless prevailed in the Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday. The judges upheld a trial court ruling that rejected a homeowners association charge it called an “abusive junk fee.”
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Death row inmate’s habeas petition denied

October 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in South Bend has denied a death row inmate’s request for habeas corpus, rejecting the man’s claims that he is mentally retarded and, therefore, cannot be sentenced to death.
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7th Circuit rules against fired animal shelter worker

October 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment for the city of Jeffersonville after finding that a terminated employee’s lawsuit claiming her firing violated the Americans with Disabilities Act can’t proceed because the woman doesn’t qualify as “disabled” under the ADA.
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Defendant’s argument should be made to rules committee

October 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In affirming the denial of a man’s motion to suppress statements he made to an officer at a gas station, the Indiana Court of Appeals pointed out that his arguments pertaining to Indiana Evidence Rule 617 would be better presented to the Evidence Rules Review Committee.
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Judges find no misconduct by hospital

October 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a woman’s motion to correct error and relief from judgment following a verdict in favor of Clarian Health Partners on her medical malpractice complaint. The court found that Clarian’s counsel did not commit misconduct by not supplementing the deposition testimony of one of its doctors – a nonparty to the case – prior to trial.
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Fraternity pledge loses appeal involving alleged hazing incident

October 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Court of Appeals judges found that an incident involving “showering” at a Wabash College fraternity in 2007 – which led to injuries to a freshman pledge – were not considered hazing under Indiana law. Judge Nancy Vaidik, who dissented, found the majority’s view of pledging and hazing “far too restrictive.”
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Trial court should not have admitted statement to detective

October 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the Vanderburgh Circuit Court abused its discretion in admitting at trial statements a defendant made to a police detective.
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COA rejects arguments Batson should extend to juror age

October 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in overruling a defendant’s Batson objection to the removal of two African-Americans from the jury during his trial for drug charges, the Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Justices reinstate COA opinion after hearing arguments

October 2, 2012
IL Staff
After hearing arguments last week in a discrimination case, the Indiana Supreme Court decided Monday not to assume jurisdiction over the appeal.
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Justices to hear negligent design case

October 1, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took three cases last week, including a lawsuit filed by a man rendered a quadriplegic after he fell out of a company truck while working for Richmond Power.
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Clay County man entitled to discharge because of ruling delays

October 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that Scott F. West is entitled to discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C) because he was held to answer on marijuana charges for more than a year without a trial date while his motion to suppress awaited a ruling.
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Trial court correctly revoked man’s probation in 5 cases

September 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Washington Circuit judge did not abuse his discretion in revoking a man’s probation in multiple cases and ordering that he serve all of his previously suspended sentences, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA orders jury trial on animal cruelty charges

September 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville man convicted of six counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty due to the condition of horses on his property did not knowingly waive his right to a jury trial and, therefore, is entitled to a jury trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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7th Circuit affirms in part man’s convictions for producing fake documents

September 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
There is enough evidence to support two of the three convictions of an East Chicago man stemming from his making and selling various counterfeit documents, but photocopies in his possession cannot support his conviction of unlawful possession of five or more false identification documents.
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Admission of the videotaped confession constitutes fundamental error

September 25, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The true finding that a juvenile committed an act that would constitute the offense of attempted burglary, a class B felony, was reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds the trial court made a fundamental error in admitting into evidence the juvenile’s videotaped confession.
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Court affirms protective order without evidentiary hearing

September 25, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Shelby County man’s protective order against a neighbor is valid even though the trial court didn’t hold an evidentiary hearing or honor the neighbor’s request for a continuance, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Court affirms mobile meth lab conviction, sentence arising from car search

September 25, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction and 24-year sentence on charges related to a mobile meth lab found in his vehicle was affirmed Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Teen bit by police dog during arrest may sue, appeals court rules

September 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man who more than five years ago sustained injuries from police dog bites during his arrest may proceed with a tort claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court of Appeals points to ‘alarming trend’ in defendant’s appeal

September 24, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant who attempted to have his conviction reversed by citing the fundamental error doctrine instead received a sharp rebuke from the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Appeals court reverses vacation of habitual traffic violator status

September 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred when it set aside a man’s 2002 guilty plea on a charge of operating a vehicle while a habitual traffic violator, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Question over spirit in which statements were made is enough for jury to deliberate

September 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A defamation suit against an employee will proceed following the Indiana Court of Appeals' finding that there is doubt as to what conclusion a jury could reach in determining whether statements were made in good faith and without malice.
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Ankle bracelet excuse fails in court

September 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A sex offender cannot use an ankle monitor as an excuse for failing to update his address on the sex offender registry, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court of Appeals affirms extension of protective order

September 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Asserting it cannot reweigh evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a father’s arguments that the evidence did not support the extension of a protective order against him.
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Monroe County man’s suit against ex-wife and city still alive in trial court

September 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday that portions of a man’s lawsuit alleging false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and other claims against his ex-wife and the city of Bloomington may continue. The trial court had dismissed all claims against the parties, which includes Monroe County.
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Chief justice approves master jury list

September 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson has signed off on the 2013 master list for jury pool assembly. The Judicial Technology & Automation and Jury committees merged data from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and Department of Revenue to create the list. Any obvious duplicate information, errors or nonqualified persons were removed.
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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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