Indiana Court of Appeals

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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Reversal: Expungement petitioner entitled to hearing when prosecutor objects

December 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in denying a man’s expungement petition on a Class B felony conviction of aiding robbery because the statute requires a hearing when a prosecutor objects, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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COA strikes sentence about laughing jurors in footnote

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
That jurors laughed at times during a handwriting expert’s testimony in a case contesting probate of a will has been removed from the official court opinion. The Court of Appeals made the move in a rehearing opinion issued Wednesday.
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Beer distributor foams at Indiana’s alcohol law

December 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Monarch Beverage launches another effort to upend limits on liquor wholesalers.
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Fraud claims against insurers wrongly dismissed

December 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
Plaintiffs who purchased cash-value life insurance policies for their employees and deducted those contributions on income taxes that were later disallowed were wrongly denied their day in court against the insurers.
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‘Inference of discriminatory motive’ in striking juror not reversible error

December 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals noted one of a prosecutor’s reasons for striking a prospective juror in a criminal case “raises an inference of discriminatory motive,” but this was insufficient to reverse a man’s felony resisting law enforcement conviction.
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Reversal: Host owed duty to guest who died after drinking, fight

December 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
The host of a birthday party for her live-in boyfriend had a duty to render aid to a guest she saw unconscious after he’d been drinking and involved in a fight, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The man later died.
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Majority: Sex offender registration not ex post facto law

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the requirement that man convicted of a sex crime in Washington must also register as a sex offender in Indiana, finding the requirement is not an ex post facto punishment under the Indiana Constitution. But one judge disagreed, and would reverse his registration requirement.
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Speeding ticket tossed because of invalid Carmel ordinance

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
“Carmel’s wholesale adoption of chapters of Indiana Code resulted in its ordinance being nothing more than a ‘duplicate’ of already existing State law,” Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May wrote.
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Daughter’s emancipation leads to reduction in child support

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court should have reduced a father’s child support obligation to his three children because his daughter’s emancipation constitutes a substantial and continuing change, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The trial court denied the father’s motion because the amount of child support offered differed by less than 20 percent of the amount dictated by the Indiana Child Support Guidelines.
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Court divided over drug sentence

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s convictions for making and delivering methamphetamine, but the judges did not agree that the 32-year sentence imposed by the trial court was appropriate.
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Lawyer loses fee appeal against defunct Stewart & Irwin

December 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
A lawyer who claimed his former law firm and its shareholders wrongly withheld fees he was contractually owed lost his appeal of a judgment in the firm's favor Thursday.
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Woman sentenced to 215 years for crash deaths loses PCR appeal

December 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman who drove the wrong way on State Road 67 near Martinsville and collided with a minivan killing a man and six children in 2000 lost her post-conviction relief appeal Thursday.
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Court: It’s risky to take justice into your own hands

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Affirming an award of treble damages and remanding for appellate attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals warned in a criminal conversion case Thursday that self-help remedies are perilous and potentially expensive, and it’s best to not take justice into your own hands.
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Circuit court without jurisdiction to grant father’s child support relief

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Madison Circuit Court 5 did not have jurisdiction to rule on a man’s motion for relief from a child support decision entered by Madison Circuit Court 2, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday.
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Company owner personally liable for unpaid phone book ads

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Reversing a Hamilton County trial court, an appellate panel found a company owner individually liable and remanded for a determination of damages, interest and attorney fees.
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Company not entitled to relief from mortgage foreclosure judgment

December 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana trial court incorrectly ruled a company was entitled to relief under Indiana Trial Rule 60(B)(6) after deciding a mortgage foreclosure action was void based on who owned interests in the mortgage.
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Indiana Tax Court moves to e-filing in January

December 9, 2015
IL Staff
Beginning Jan. 4, all three of Indiana’s appellate courts will accept electronic filing. Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush signed an order Wednesday announcing the Tax Court’s addition to the e-filing project.
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Fort Wayne businessman’s statements not defamatory per se

December 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The former chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne who filed lawsuits after he was required to retire at the age of 65 could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that statements in a private letter about him constituted defamation per se.
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COA upholds vehicle search despite noncompliance with protocol

December 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Even though two Indianapolis police officers did not follow the department’s general order on towing and impounding vehicles after a traffic stop, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s drug convictions.
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DNA evidence properly excluded in rape trial

December 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court was correct in not allowing evidence in a rape trial that DNA of an unknown male was collected from the victim two days after the incident, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Woman breached settlement in trail construction dispute

December 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court that a Yorktown resident breached the terms of a settlement she reached with the town over easements to construct storm sewers and a residential trail when she declined to donate the easement for the trail unless other conditions were met.
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Erroneous jury instruction leads to DWI conviction reversal

December 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A jury instruction given at a man’s drunken-driving trial resulted in fundamental error because it contained a constitutionally impermissible evidentiary presumption, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. As such, the court reversed the man’s conviction.
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COA: property conveyed with a restrictive covenant

December 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday had to determine whether the conveyance of a school for park and recreational use was done so by a restrictive covenant or a fee simple with condition subsequent.
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COA affirms dismissal of will contest

December 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a man’s will contest action involving his siblings, but for a different reason than the trial court.
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  1. 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

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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