Indiana Court of Appeals

Supreme Court tells judges how to deal with prolific, abusive litigants

September 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court released a per curiam decision Tuesday dismissing the appeal of a man described as a “prolific, abusive litigant” based on the 123 cases he has filed in state court throughout Indiana. In its opinion, the justices also provide guidance to trial courts on how to deal with abusive and vexatious litigation practices.
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Court properly denied grandmother visitation rights

September 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court properly ruled on a case as a petition for grandparent visitation, not as a modification of already established visitation, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday. The judges affirmed the denial of a paternal grandmother’s request for visitation.
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Court erred in ordering insurer to pay costs of cleanup

September 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court misinterpreted a previous ruling involving an insurance coverage dispute for environmental cleanup costs, and as such, erred when it ordered the insurer to pay costs that were incurred as a result of a settlement, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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COA split on upholding battery conviction

September 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Tuesday over whether to affirm a man’s conviction of Class C felony battery by means of a deadly weapon following an attack on his son-in-law. The dissenting judge believed the defendant should have been able to include the victim’s prior inconsistent statements at trial.
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Foreclosure notice by newspaper not good enough for COA

September 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A bank’s failure to give proper notification of a foreclosure has kept a lienholder’s judgment alive and created uncertainty as to who holds the title to a property.
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Judges affirm 95-year sentence for molesting boy

September 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court erred in admitting most of the pornographic images possessed by the defendant at his child molestation trial, the admission was a harmless error. As such, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed William Remy’s 95-year sentence for five charges related to repeated molestation of a boy.
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COA: Out-of-state attorneys demonstrated good cause for pro hac vice admission

September 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake County judge misinterpreted a local rule when he determined that five attorneys seeking pro hac vice admission in a contract dispute did not overcome a presumption that attorneys not licensed in Indiana are not permitted to practice before the court. The Court of Appeals ordered the admission of the attorneys.
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COA reverses foreclosure because bank can’t prove it holds the note

September 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the foreclosure of an Elkhart man’s home, holding the bank that sought the foreclosure did not establish it was entitled to enforce the promissory note as its holder.
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Woman’s suit against hospital for disparaging comments revived by COA

September 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred when it dismissed a woman’s intentional infliction of emotional distress claim filed against Community Hospital after she says staff made derogatory comments regarding her situation after she was brought in unconscious and under the influence of a date rape drug.
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Court: Father’s failure to timely register implies consent to adoption

September 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the adoption of a child by the maternal grandfather after finding the purported father irrevocably implied consent after failing to timely register with the Indiana Putative Father Registry.
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COA: Letter satisfied notice requirements after city damages pipeline

September 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the denial of the city of Plymouth’s motion to dismiss an administrative action against it stemming from damages it caused to an underground natural gas pipeline. The appeals court found the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission satisfied the statutory and administrative requirements concerning notice of the violation and recommended penalties.
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COA orders trial over whether trucking company must pay for highway damage

September 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The crash report prepared after a fatal trucking accident on Interstate 70 that resulted in damage to the highway should not have been included as evidence in the state’s lawsuit seeking recovery of the money it spent repairing the highway, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. As a result, the judges reversed summary judgment in favor of the state and ordered the matter proceed to trial.
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Former sheriff’s deputies lose suit challenging promotion process

September 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the phrase “shall endeavor” should be read to mean one shall try, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers' arguments that they should have been promoted to captain. The two claimed because they were former sheriff’s deputies, the consolidation of the sheriff’s and city police departments in 2006 required their promotions to maintain proportional representation.
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Tenant who trashed house loses appeal, owes attorney fees

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
A former babysitter entrusted to live in a family’s home while they were away for a year and care for their pet dog in exchange for paying $300 monthly rent instead trashed the place. The ex-tenant appealed an $85,889 judgment against her but now has more bills to pay.
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Attorney wins summary judgment appeal

September 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indianapolis attorney ensnared in a dispute between a land developer and a creditor was successful at convincing the Indiana Court of Appeals he is identical to the other defendants and should be granted summary judgment.
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Despite erroneous findings, termination of parental rights affirmed

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court entered erroneous findings in terminating the parental rights of a mother and father concerning two minor children, but the mistakes weren’t significant enough to reverse in a case where the state presented enough evidence to warrant the decision.
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Meth dealing conviction affirmed, restitution required

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
Convictions for dealing methamphetamine and two counts of neglect of a dependent were affirmed on appeal Tuesday, as was an order that the offender pay restitution to the state for the costs of cleaning up the meth lab.
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Child support and tax deduction rulings reversed

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Lake County father prevailed in appealing a trial court order regarding his child support obligations that deviated from those recommended under Indiana’s official guidelines.
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On rehearing, panel clarifies ruling regarding Death Property Act

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
A promissory note between a mother and son did not transfer to the mother’s estate on her death, the Indiana Court of Appeals clarified in rehearing an estate dispute that reversed a trial court ruling.
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Issues of material fact allow Environmental Legal Actions claim to proceed

September 19, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals is allowing a claim under Indiana’s Environmental Legal Actions statute to move forward, ruling there are many questions for the lower court to examine about the former landlord’s role in the contamination of the soil.
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Judgment favoring policeman’s meth-exposure claim reversed

September 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
A police officer who claimed disability resulting from his work dismantling methamphetamine labs had a favorable trial court ruling reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday.
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Judges disagree over enhanced sentence for child molesting conviction

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Thursday over whether a Johnson County man convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old girl deserved to have his sentence enhanced above the 30-year advisory sentence.
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COA: Attorney’s calendar mistake doesn’t support relief from judgment

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with a woman’s argument that because she was twice granted extension of time to respond to a summary judgment motion involving her credit card debt, the trial court’s discretion to consider a belated response was preserved.
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COA denies State Farm’s request for new trial on $14.5M defamation verdict

September 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The $14.5 million defamation verdict awarded against State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. in favor of a contractor who accused the insurer of defaming him remains in place after the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the company’s claim that fraud requires a new trial.
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State’s inaction does not allow man to appeal sentence

September 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that he should be given an opportunity to appeal his sentence, an option he waived by entering into a plea agreement, even though the trial court erroneously indicated he had a right to appeal and the state did not object to that advisement.
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  1. 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."

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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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