Indiana Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals finds parents unfit, affirms termination of parental rights

September 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Monday a decision to terminate parental rights after both parents failed to show evidence that allowing them to maintain their rights would be in the best interest of the children.
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COA affirms denial of timber buyer’s petition for post-conviction relief

September 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Monday that a Washington County timber buyer failed to prove that he was not guilty of illegally purchasing timber and, thus, is not entitled to post-conviction relief.
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COA affirms denial of foster parents’ petition for adoption

September 23, 2016
Olivia Covington
A set of foster parents do not have the right to adopt two children without their father’s consent despite the fact that the father does not have visitation with the children, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Friday.
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COA vacates public defender, probation fees for indigent man

September 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has vacated an order for a man convicted of public intoxication and found to be indigent to pay more than $600 in public defender and probation fees.
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COA finds that defendant did not prove counsel error

September 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals will not reverse a decision to deny a man’s petition for post-conviction relief after he was convicted of three counts of felony robbery, despite his argument that the third charge of felony robbery was added against him in an untimely manner.
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Lake Michigan private, public land rights clash before COA

September 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
Long Beach, Indiana, is at the center of a landmark dispute between public access and private property rights to the Indiana shore of Lake Michigan.
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Tweeting reporters allowed in court?

September 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
Members of the media and judges are working together to develop standards for journalists who want to cover court proceedings to protect defendants and allow transparency.
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COA reverses judgment against State Farm, finds trial court erred in excluding evidence

September 20, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a judgment Tuesday against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. after finding that a trial court erred in excluding evidence that could have proven the insurance company did not play a role in an accident that led to the plaintiff suffering from severe migraine headaches.
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Woman’s criminal recklessness, battery convictions against husband affirmed

September 20, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a woman’s conviction of misdemeanor battery against her husband despite her claim that the trial court did not allow her to admit evidence relevant to her case.
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Supreme Court takes post-conviction case of convicted murderer

September 19, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide if a man convicted of murder in 1996 should be granted post-conviction relief based on the fact that his trial counsel was ineffective and his petition is not barred by laches.
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K-9 search turning up heroin in car sufficient for conviction

September 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A South Bend man’s conviction of Level 6 felony possession of a narcotic was affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday, which found the evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict.
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Mother fails to prove entitlement to coverage after untimely payment

September 16, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a Hendricks County woman’s insurer on her suit alleging breach of contract after the insurance company declined to cover her son’s auto accident, which occurred after she let her coverage lapse for nonpayment.
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COA: Defrauded Logansport business can’t sue Michigan law firms here

September 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Logansport businessman who was defrauded of more than $20,000 cannot use Indiana courts to sue the Michigan law firm whose client was later convicted of wire fraud, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Appeals court affirms decision to strip parental rights

September 15, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday a trial court decision to involuntarily strip a couple of their parental rights despite the father’s claim that the Department of Child Services had not produced enough evidence to warrant such action.
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COA reverses decision to deny woman’s expungement request

September 15, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a Jay Circuit Court decision to deny a woman’s petition for expungement of her records after she was convicted of forgery and dealing in methamphetamine.
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Property award to ex-girlfriend of longtime boyfriend affirmed

September 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court correctly awarded certain property to a woman who filed a complaint against her longtime partner for unjust enrichment after the two broke up after a 17-year relationship, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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COA affirms health services provider in contempt for not producing records

September 14, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed that Meridian Health Services was in contempt of court when it failed to provide a patient’s father with her health records after a subpoena ordered the health services provider to do so.
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COA affirms conversion judgment against mortgage lender

September 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
A mortgage company lost its appeal of a ruling that it effectively stole the Muncie property from its borrower, who is entitled to $158,392.50 in damages, including $74,000 under the Indiana Crime Victims Relief Act.
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COA: Discovery rule applies in inverse condemnation action against Duke Energy

September 13, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a Monroe Circuit Court decision to dismiss a complaint against Duke Energy after finding that the trial court erred when it ruled that the statute of limitations for the complaint had expired.
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COA orders couple to pay fees to lot owner’s association

September 13, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a couple to pay a Bartholomew County lot owner’s association $6,000 in assessment fees despite the couple’s claim that they are not members of the association.
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Court of Appeals upholds denial of request to set aside 1997 divorce decree

September 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The denial of a woman’s request to set aside her divorce decree nearly 20 years after the end of her marriage because of fraud on the part of her ex-husband has been upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA affirms felony battery conviction; no evidentiary dispute of substantial pain

September 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a felony battery conviction on Friday despite the defendant’s claim that he should have only been charged with a misdemeanor.
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On rehearing, appeals court reins in DCS on CHINS custody change

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Department of Child Services lost on rehearing its argument that a custody modification ordered in a child in need of services case survives the CHINS proceeding.
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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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  2. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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