Indiana Court of Appeals

COA affirms dismissal of case due to res judicata

December 2, 2016
Olivia Covington
Res judicata prevents a title insurance company from taking a “second bite” at the apple, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, in a case in which the company appealed dismissal of its second attempt to challenge an action by the Indiana Department of Insurance.
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Lawyer’s use of word ‘Negro’ prejudiced client, but doesn't get PCR

December 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
A defense attorney who has since been disbarred prejudiced his absent client when he referred to him as a “Negro” before potential jurors, a judge wrote, but the offending word wasn’t enough for the Court of Appeals to grant post-conviction relief.
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Court affirms injunction preventing violations of non-compete clauses

November 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
After several employees from one civil engineering firm began soliciting employees from a competitor, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that a trial court correctly issued a preliminary injunction to force the employees to comply with non-compete and non-solicitation clauses they had signed.
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COA upholds summary judgment in workers’ comp case

November 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
Although he was hired to work on a specific project for a southern Indiana construction company, a worker who was injured on a construction job must seek damages through Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation Act because he was considered an “employee” of the company.
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Judges: Parents, courts need guidance on discipline

November 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s conviction for battery against his daughter on Wednesday but expressed concern over the lack of guidance courts are given when trying to determine when parental discipline goes too far.
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Pence counsel seeks email secrecy

November 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
Attorneys argue to the Court of Appeals whether the state's Access to Public Records Act should exempt governor from disclosure.
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Man must continue to pay child support for son he claimed was his, court holds

November 23, 2016
Olivia Covington
A divided Court of Appeals panel has affirmed an order requiring a non-biological father to pay child support for his wife’s child, finding that because the man supported the child throughout his life, he is legally estopped from challenging the child support order.
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Errors lead to reversal of veteran’s involuntary commitment

November 23, 2016
Olivia Covington
A trial court’s order mandating the involuntary commitment of a veteran has been vacated after the Indiana Court of Appeals found that the Department of Veterans Affairs failed to follow proper legal protocol in serving documents and did not prove that the veteran posed a risk to himself or others.
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Lack of jurisdiction keeps cemetery case in court

November 23, 2016
Olivia Covington
A woman’s fight to bury her mother in a burial site that she had purchased but that was mistakenly resold will continue after the Indiana Court of Appeals found that a small claims court did not have jurisdiction to grant her injunctive relief.
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VA worker’s protective order against Marine reversed

November 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs who obtained a protective order against a patient after he left four notes on her car didn’t prove that the Marine had stalked her and threatened her safety, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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‘Moorish national’ loses appeal of house-squatting conviction

November 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who identifies as a "Moorish National" sovereign citizen immune from state and federal law had no luck persuading the Indiana Court of Appeals to overturn his convictions arising from his occupancy of an Indianapolis house that was being prepared for sale after foreclosure.
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Pence attorney argues public-records law shouldn’t apply to emails

November 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
An attorney for Gov. Mike Pence argued Monday that Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act should not apply to a governor’s emails, prompting the plaintiff seeking those records to call the position chilling and reminiscent of the administration of President Richard Nixon.
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Indiana man cites religious freedom law for not paying taxes

November 21, 2016
 Associated Press
Attorneys for an Indianapolis man have argued before a state appellate court that Indiana's religious freedom law protects him from paying taxes.
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COA: Officers don’t have to relay specifics of their ‘reasonable suspicions’

November 18, 2016
Olivia Covington
Deciding that police officers do not have to relay the specific details of their reasons for being suspicious of a person before an officer stops and detains that person, the Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected a man’s argument that evidence of his possession of a handgun was improperly admitted.
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Judges decline to consider mother’s actions in med-mal case

November 18, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected a doctor’s argument that a patient’s mother served as an intervening cause to the loss of the patient’s kidney and instead upheld the rule that a parent’s alleged contributory negligence may not be imputed to a child’s medical malpractice claim.
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Tow company that seized, sold cars loses injunction appeal

November 17, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis towing company whose owner worked with bankruptcy lawyers to take possession of cars when a buyer defaulted and then resell dozens of them lost its appeal of an injunction blocking the practice and ordering the cars be returned to the lienholder.
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Felony conviction affirmed based on ‘into’ definition

November 17, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A bullet that pierces a home’s siding is considered to be “into” the dwelling, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Thursday in upholding a South Bend man’s criminal recklessness conviction.
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COA: Incest age defense can’t win post-conviction relief

November 17, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of incest for a consensual sexual relationship with his biological aunt couldn’t persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that he was entitled to post-conviction relief. The man claimed ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to argue in his defense that the man’s aunt was older than 31.
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Judges must balance timeliness rules with discretion

November 16, 2016
Olivia Covington
Recent decisions from the Indiana Court of Appeals have demonstrated the divide between statutory requirements and judicial discretion when it comes to motions filed after deadline.
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Hill wins AG race as voters retain 4 appellate judges

November 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis T. Hill Jr. sailed to a resounding victory in the Indiana attorney general race Nov. 8, and voters retained four Court of Appeals judges by wide margins.
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COA dismisses request to make trial court order final

November 15, 2016
The Indiana Court of Appeals has dismissed a mother’s request to characterize an order ending her parent-child relationship as a final order, writing that she still had to option of appealing the trial court’s decision through interlocutory appeal.
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COA upholds murder conviction after rejecting involuntary manslaughter appeal

November 15, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a man’s murder conviction after rejecting his claim that the jury should have been instructed on an involuntary manslaughter charge because he did not intend to kill his victim when he was beating her.
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COA says golf cart use is par for the course during the game

November 15, 2016
Olivia Covington
A man’s negligence claim against a golf teammate who struck the back of his golf cart cannot succeed because driving a golf cart is normal behavior for participants in the sport.
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Rejecting challenge of search, COA affirms cocaine conviction

November 14, 2016
Olivia Covington
Deciding that the “community caretaker role” exception to the Fourth Amendment can be extended beyond questions regarding seizures of a vehicle, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s cocaine conviction Monday after finding that evidence of the cocaine was not admitted in violation of his constitutional rights.
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COA restores mother’s parental rights after incarceration

November 10, 2016
Olivia Covington
A mother’s parental rights to her two children will be restored after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday that the state Department of Child Services failed to prove that removing the children from their mother was in their best interests.
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