Indiana Court of Appeals

Trucker’s widow entitled to prejudgment interest, COA decides

December 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
The widow of a truck driver killed in an accident is entitled to collect more than $622,000 in prejudgment interest on a $6 million verdict, but is otherwise barred from an award of attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on rehearing Thursday.
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COA affirms judgment for law firm on malpractice claim

December 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
A law firm was properly granted summary judgment on a malpractice counter-complaint a bankruptcy client filed after the firm sued for nonpayment of legal fees.
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COA re-enters molestation conviction, rejects evidence challenge

December 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in vacating one of two convictions of Class A felony child molesting at a Dearborn County man’s sentencing, the Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The panel also rejected the offender’s claim evidence should not have been admitted.
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Majority: Expungement applies to civil forfeiture action

December 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Thursday over whether a man’s civil forfeiture action that stemmed from a drug bust should have been expunged in addition to his criminal record in the matter.
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COA: Doctor had duty to nurse practitioner’s patient who died

December 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana doctor who entered into an agreement with a nurse practitioner to review her prescription practices had a duty to one of the nurse practitioner’s patients, who later died in part because of medicines prescribed to him.
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Court sua sponte reverses 5 convictions

December 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although a man convicted in a brutal attack on his grandmother lost his arguments on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals sua sponte reversed five of his six convictions stemming from the attack for double jeopardy reasons.
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COA: Termination hearing did not comply with Open Door Law

December 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a southern Indiana school board after finding its holding of a public meeting at 2:30 a.m. regarding the employment of a teacher violated the Open Door Law.
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House party hosts face heightened liability after recent COA ruling

December 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
Just in time for holiday revelry and New Year’s Eve celebrations, an Indiana appeals court ruled hosts of house parties may be held liable for the well-being of guests who drink too much.
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Indiana’s alcohol laws withstand court challenges

December 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Recent rulings from state and federal courts underscore that while Indiana’s alcohol laws may be silly, quirky and arcane, they are not so easily changed.
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Split COA finds attorney did not provide adequate counsel

December 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Two typewritten letters and handwritten notes between a now-deceased defense attorney and a former prosecutor have divided the Indiana Court of Appeals over whether a plea agreement had actually been negotiated.
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Court: Disputed model year may void van sale agreement

December 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of the seller of a van who represented to the buyer the vehicle was a year newer than recorded on the title.
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COA on rehearing clarifies where to send payment

December 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Monday rejected arguments that its prior decision regarding a student-loan debt owed to a bankrupt note-holder caused confusion as to who was owed and left the debtor open to the possibility of multiple judgments.
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Reversal: BMV must report driver’s expunged OWI conviction

December 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in prohibiting the Bureau of Motor Vehicles from reporting the operating while intoxicated conviction of a driver who had his criminal record expunged.
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6 counties next in line for trial court e-filing

December 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Six Indiana counties — Clark, Harrison, Henry, St. Joseph, Shelby and Wells — will be joining Hamilton County in implementing e-filing in the trial courts during the first half of 2016, with more to come later.
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Justices take intoxicated motorist case that divided COA

December 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether any answer short of an “unqualified, unequivocal assent” to a chemical test constitutes a refusal resulting in a driver’s license suspension, as the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded in September.
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COA reaffirms reversal of molest convictions for vouching

December 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals clarified its position on rehearing Wednesday in the reversal of child molesting convictions that the state “vigorously argues” were erroneously ruled reversible error.
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Nonprofit ambulance service not entitled to ITCA protections

December 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The volunteer emergency ambulance service provider in Sharpsville is not entitled to the protections of the Indiana Tort Claims Act, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed, because it is a private company rather than a governmental entity.
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COA affirms attorney owes ex-assistant thousands in unpaid wages

December 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart solo practitioner must pay his former legal assistant more than $85,000 after she sued him to recover unpaid wages owed to her over the course of two years, the Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday.
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Reversal: Care facility must pay legal fees after $1M negligence verdict

December 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
An assisted-living facility where a resident died after being badly burned must pay the estate’s attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in reversing a trial court.
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South Bend man wins partial reversal of sewer nuisance suit

December 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who sued South Bend claiming that noxious gas from city sewer lines had been forced into his home may proceed with part of his lawsuit against the city.
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COA upholds decision to deny Edinburgh tax deed

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err when it entered an order denying the town of Edinburgh’s request for the issuance of a tax deed and granting the landowner equitable relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Appeals court concerned about fee-shifting provisions in domestic relations cases

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision to not award a mother attorney fees despite the inclusion of a fee-shifting provision in her divorce settlement. In doing so, the appeals court pointed out how these provisions may go against public policy.
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COA: Breath test properly admitted

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of drunken-driving failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the state did not prove that the chemicals used in his breath test equipment were certified under Indiana administrative rules.
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Judge believes restitution order properly entered

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues Monday in a case in which the majority reversed the court-ordered $3,600 in restitution for a coin sale that turned out to be fraudulent. The dissenting judge also raised public policy concerns about requiring victims to appear at sentencing hearings.
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Monarch Beverage again fails in liquor distribution suit

December 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Monarch Beverage Company’s arguments that Indiana alcohol wholesale laws are discriminatory fell flat at the Indiana Court of Appeals, marking the second time this week that attempts to overturn the state’s statutes regarding booze failed.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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