Indiana Court of Appeals

COA affirms negligence action barred against woman’s employer

February 3, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
An employee who received workers’ compensation benefits for her injury on work property is barred by the Workers’ Compensation Act from filing a negligence lawsuit against her employer and its subsidiaries, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday.
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COA: CDL holder cannot enter diversion program for alcohol offenses

February 2, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A man who held a commercial driver’s license and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor drunken-driving offenses cannot participate in a diversion program, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. One judge on the panel had concerns that the law treats CDL holders and those without a CDL differently.
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Doctors’ affidavits cannot defeat summary judgment

February 1, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The affidavits submitted as evidence by the treating physicians being sued for medical malpractice were factually inadequate and did not raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding their care of the plaintiff, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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COA declines to extend civil ruling to PCR case

January 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an inmate’s request that In re Adoption of O.R. provides him an option for filing a belated notice of appeal.
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Dog sniff during traffic stop did not violate Constitution

January 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The time it took for the police pup to arrive and sniff around a vehicle did not unreasonably prolong the traffic stop in violation a driver’s Constitutional rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Court split on whether defendant’s actions were proximate cause of injury

January 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a man’s Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement conviction reduced to a misdemeanor because of a lack of evidence his actions were the proximate cause of the police officer’s injury during a foot chase.
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Appeals court reduces woman’s restitution order

January 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reduced a woman’s restitution owed to her ex-employer for money she stole over the course of a three-year period. The judges found no connection between additional missing funds and the defendant.
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COA dismisses credit card debt appeal

January 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a woman’s appeal of a default judgment entered against her regarding credit card debt because she did not file an Ind. Trial Rule 60(B) motion for relief.
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COA: Survivor benefit plan is a marital asset

January 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on an issue barely touched upon in a previous decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined that a survivor benefit plan of a military pension should have been included in the marital pot when calculating asset distribution in a divorce.
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COA agrees man’s Ohio convictions don’t support SVF charges

January 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Because the elements of the Ohio residential burglary statute used as the basis to charge a defendant as a serious violent felon in Indiana are not substantially similar to the Indiana statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of the defendant’s SVF charges.
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Justices agree: No mistrial because of juror’s Facebook friend

January 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case to affirm the Court of Appeals decision denying a mistrial for a man who argued a juror’s being “friends” with the victim’s relative on Facebook required the mistrial.
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Rental car insurance policy excludes UIM coverage

January 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of an insurance company’s motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by a customer injured in a car accident who had purchased optional supplemental liability protection when renting a car. The trial court incorrectly denied the company’s motion for summary judgment on the premise it did not provide uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to the customer.
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Judge wants state to discard ‘archaic’ coverture fraction

January 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the division of a husband’s pension through the use of the coverture fraction, but one judge questioned why Indiana continues to use the doctrine which has its origin in an “outdated and misogynist view” of the rights and roles of men and women.
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COA finds 1 out of 3 dental advertising regulations unconstitutional

January 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The regulation that compels dentists to disclose every dentist within the practice in advertisements is unconstitutional, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. It held two other challenged regulations regarding advertising are not unconstitutional.
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Court affirms in part lien priority ruling

January 19, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court correctly concluded that a living trust, which held a purchase-money mortgage over a property in question, had first priority in enforcing a lien against the property, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Judges split over reversal of drug conviction after inventory search

January 19, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Each member of a panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals authored an opinion regarding a man's marijuana conviction stemming from the discovery of the drug during an inventory search after he was arrested for allegedly driving on a suspended license. Two of the three judges voted to reverse his felony conviction.
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Lack of signage causes COA to toss speeding ticket

January 19, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals threw out a man’s speeding ticket issued in Lawrence County after ruling the county did not make motorists aware with signs of the 35 mph speed limit on the road.
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COA: Causation questions remain in med-mal suit

January 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A woman initially treated for an aggressive form of cancer, only to later discover she was suffering from a far-less serious form of the disease, can proceed with her lawsuit against a doctor she alleges was negligent in catching her cancer early.
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Expunged criminal records still may show up and might be required in some cases

January 13, 2016
Dave Stafford
If you’ve stayed out of trouble for the required number of years, Indiana’s expungement statute will erase your criminal record and give you a clean slate. (Individual results may vary.)
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Amended statute confuses trial court

January 12, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court misinterpreted an amended statute regarding power of attorney, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in giving a son the ability to look at his mother’s finances.
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Court erred in granting mom relief from dad’s Wyoming order

January 12, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indiana trial court erred when it granted a mother’s request for Trial Rule 60(B) relief from a Wyoming court order that reduced a father’s child support arrearage to zero.
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Man convicted in swordfight death loses PCR appeal

January 12, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of killing his great-uncle in a 2009 swordfight that also took the life of his grandmother failed Tuesday in his pro se post-conviction relief appeal.
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Appeals court hears injured worker's bid for lost earnings

January 7, 2016
 Associated Press
An attorney for a Mexican man who's seeking lost future earnings for a workplace back injury told the Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday that his client should be allowed to pursue those wages at U.S. pay rates instead of rates in his home country.
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COA affirms foreclosure of Crown Point property

December 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court was correct in granting a bank’s request to foreclose on a Crown Point, Indiana, business park, the Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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COA finds fired highway worker was at-will employee

December 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Echoing precedent, the Indiana Court of Appeals has found that an employee handbook is not an employment contract.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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