Indiana Court of Appeals

COA: third-party perpetrator evidence not relevant

September 8, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A man sentenced to 40 years for murder failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals he was unable to adequately defend himself at trial because he was prohibited from pointing an accusatory finger at the victim’s brother-in-law.
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Circumstantial evidence supports murder conviction

September 8, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite not having a direct link showing Donald Burns intended to kill his 74-year-old grandmother, the Indiana Court of Appeals found the amount of circumstantial evidence was enough to support his murder conviction.
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Appeals court orders physical custody of child back to father

September 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
A mother has lost primary physical custody of her daughter after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided on Thursday to reverse and remand a decision that would have taken the daughter out of the custody of her father and instead place her in the primary custody of her mother.
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Bad-faith deal after bar assault clears insurer

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
Trial court rulings in favor of an insurer finding it had no duty to pay the victim of a punch in the jaw at a New Castle bar were affirmed Thursday. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a consent judgment between the tavern, the victim, and the man convicted of the crime was executed in bad faith.
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COA finds notice on out-of-state parties sufficient to affirm

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
Lawyers for a man injured in a crash involving a tractor-trailer sufficiently served the truck driver and the transport company, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in affirming a default judgment in favor of the injured driver.
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Builder’s statute of limitations defense prevails in COA

September 8, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of construction supplier on its breach of contract claim against a builder to which it provided a line of credit. The appellate court agreed with the defendants' claims that the lawsuit was time-barred.
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COA reverses resisting law enforcement convictions based on video evidence

September 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has overturned convictions of mistreatment of a law enforcement animal and resisting law enforcement after finding that law enforcement officers’ testimony in the case was in direct contrast to video evidence.
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COA affirms developer’s liability on defaulted property

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A real estate developer whose project had to be sold after the company defaulted on the mortgage is on the hook for nearly half the owed price based on a contract he signed as guarantor, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Man who parked car on I-94 must face OWI causing death charge

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Criminal charges against a man who prosecutors say was drunk and parked his car in an interstate lane in the early morning hours, leading to the death of truck driver, will move forward after the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of the driver’s motions to dismiss and suppress evidence.
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Man entitled to serve sentence in jail, not DOC

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a trial court to resentence a man under the statute in place when he was sentenced, even though he committed the crime before the date noted in the statute. As a result, he is entitled to serve his Level 6 felony in jail instead of the Department of Correction.
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COA reverses woman’s fine for defying no-animals order

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the $1,000 fine imposed for indirect contempt of court after a woman continued to have animals at her home after ordered by a court not to do so was punitive in nature and impermissible, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Wednesday.
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Company barred from mentioning standard in negligence case

August 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A company being sued for negligent design by a man who fell out of its utility truck bucket and became paralyzed may not mention a specific design standard at a new trial on the issue, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Breach of contract suit to get new venue

August 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court should have granted the city of Lawrenceburg’s request to move a breach of contract lawsuit against it filed by Franklin County out of Franklin County, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Woman’s outburst politically ambiguous; disorderly conduct conviction stands

August 26, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a Michigan City woman’s disorderly conduct conviction after finding the focus of her speech was politically ambiguous and the state acted rationally in impairing her speech while trying to serve an arrest warrant.
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Doctor’s profit sharing plan not recoverable by slain wife’s estate

August 25, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The estate of a woman whose husband shot and killed her and himself just hours after they married is not entitled to any funds from the husband’s profit sharing plan based on Indiana probate law, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday.
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Trust beneficiary’s complaint reinstated by COA

August 25, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The lawsuit filed by a man who claimed the trustee of the irrevocable trust in which he is the beneficiary mismanaged assets will move forward after the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed dismissal of the suit.
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COA calls for guidance on social media use during criminal trials

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
In affirming that a man was not deprived due process when the media live tweeted during his murder trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals noted that it’s time for the judicial branch to address social media use concerns.
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Court divided over stop of man in movie theater

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
By a 2-1 vote, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of an Indianapolis man’s motion to suppress a handgun found on him after officers questioned him in a lobby of a movie theater. The majority ruled the officers had no reasonable suspicion to justify the investigatory stop.
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COA affirms officer’s stop of teen involved in mall ruckus

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer had reasonable suspicion to stop and search a teen at an Indianapolis mall on Black Friday last year whom was believed to be involved in a shouting match with another group of people in a department store, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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COA upholds restraining order against man who threatened mother’s caretakers

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A Clark County man’s behavior qualified as a credible threat of violence with respect to three employees of the assisted living facility where his mother lived, so the trial court correctly issued workplace violence restraining orders on their behalf, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Promise to pay for broken nose breathes life into estoppel claim

August 23, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A young woman who suffered a broken nose trying to help law enforcement can have her estoppel claim move forward even though she did not file a timely notice under the Indiana Tort Claims Act.
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DOC, trial court errors lead to reversal of parole revocation

August 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
A longtime criminal who was convicted of violating his parole on an attempted robbery sentence was deprived a hearing on a corrected record and therefore is entitled to post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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COA advice: Leave affirmation out of jury instructions

August 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man’s convictions of battery and disorderly conduct will stand, but the Indiana Court of Appeals cautioned trial courts that including law enforcement affirmations in jury instructions should not, calling the practice “undesirable and completely avoidable.”
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Split COA reverses sex conviction on ‘Romeo and Juliet’ grounds

August 22, 2016
The majority of a Court of Appeals panel reversed the conviction of a young man who claimed he was wrongly denied an opportunity to present Indiana’s “Romeo and Juliet” law as an affirmative defense to a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor.
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City owes man legal fees for ‘meritless, possibly frivolous’ case

August 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the city’s Office of Corporation Counsel pursued a ‘wholly meritless, possibly frivolous argument’ in a public-records case, the Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The city will pay the legal fees of a man who sued to obtain records after he was denied.
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