Indiana Court of Appeals

One test enough to uphold methamphetamine conviction

April 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite a second test not being conducted to confirm the presumptive findings, a Cass County man’s drug conviction was upheld after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the state had established reliability of the test performed.
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Reversal: Bank’s refiled foreclosure 'disingenuous,' 'improper'

April 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A bank won summary judgment in a refiled mortgage foreclosure suit against a bankrupt couple after its first complaint was dismissed, but the Indiana Court of Appeals slapped down the trial court ruling Monday and dismissed the case.
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COA reverses ruling in favor of couple who kept alpacas in residential area

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday that a Lake County court erred when it denied the county’s request for an injunction to prevent a couple from keeping alpacas on their property to raise for business purposes.
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Court finds railroad’s arguments over dam don’t hold water

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a railroad company failed to prove there are no genuine issues of material fact regarding its defense to a breach of covenant claim against it concerning the maintenance of a dam, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in its favor and remanded for further proceedings.
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Questions exist as to whether fiduciary duty was breached

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
There is sufficient evidence to create genuine issues of material fact as to whether a shareholder breached its fiduciary duty owed to other shareholders and whether it committed constructive fraud by remaining silent about two businesses’ financial states, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Ambiguous probation condition leads to reversal of violation finding

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the revocation of a woman’s probation after two judges ruled the probation condition at issue is ambiguous regarding whether and when she had to report an arrest while on probation for a charge that allegedly occurred before the probation began.
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Court upholds convictions from controlled drug buys

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that his two Class B felonies for dealing in cocaine should be reversed based on prosecutorial misconduct and his limited cross-examination of the state’s confidential informant.
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COA orders man resentenced with credit time considered

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with a defendant’s argument on appeal, it still found the trial court erred when it ordered him to serve the entirety of his original sentence without any credit time for time spent on home detention.
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Similar entrapment argument brings different COA ruling

March 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Again faced with the question of whether a defendant had been entrapped by an undercover detective posing as a prostitute, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court, reaching a different conclusion than they had in a similar case a year earlier.
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Split COA reinstates State Fair stage collapse suit

March 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
The company that leased a temporary stage that collapsed in a windstorm killing seven and injuring dozens prevailed in overturning a trial court ruling in favor of the Indiana State Fair Commission. A dissenting appellate judge wrote that the majority placed form over substance in shifting liability to the state.
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COA splits over jury instruction, affirms conviction

March 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals split over whether the jury instruction was erroneous, the panel was unanimous in upholding the defendant’s conviction for theft from Walmart.
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Dispute over beach ownership heading back to trial court

March 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Property owners along Lake Michigan will have another chance to make their arguments in a dispute over which part of the beach belongs to them and which belongs to the public.
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Driving 91 mph in 55 zone supports reckless driving verdict

March 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
A driver’s argument that his speed of 91 mph on a 55-mph country road was insufficient evidence of endangerment cut no ice with the trial court, and the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed Thursday.
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Plaintiffs in bar shooting were owed protection

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When a customer pulled a gun and started shooting, the bar had a well-established duty to protect its other customers, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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State statute protects taxpayers from loan dispute

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Ruling that taxpayers should not be penalized for a bank’s lack of diligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held a financial institution cannot recoup the outstanding balance on a loan for a fire truck.
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COA reverses neglect resulting in death verdict against mom

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis mother was wrongly convicted of neglect of a dependent child resulting in death, the Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in reversing the jury’s verdict. Judges found evidence against Chelsea Taylor was insufficient to support the conviction.
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Bragging is admissible in court, COA rules

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s statement to law enforcement that he could “read” people was a boast and not a character reference, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals, so it was admissible at trial.
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Termination of parental rights waiting period requires no services

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Parents of children removed from the home for 15 of the prior 22 months before a hearing on termination of parental rights may not argue that a lack of services during that time tolls the waiting period, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA reverses lease judgment for tenant, finds for landlord

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A medical office that leased space from a landlord lost a judgment in its favor in a dispute over owed rent. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and ordered judgment in favor of the property owner.
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A lifetime of service

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Imagine reviewing your bosses’ expense claims and finding something that raises red flags. Now imagine it’s your job to go to your bosses and reject their claims.
Incidentally, your bosses are judges. And there are 15 of them. You’ve just imagined one of the routine tasks of veteran Indiana Court of Appeals administrator Steve Lancaster. If you can negotiate this task and dozens of others for the court’s judges and 18 administrative staff members, you may be the person to take Lancaster’s place.
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Mistaken interpretation of law by officer created reasonable suspicion

March 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed its earlier reversal of a trial court ruling after the Supreme Court of the United States found that reasonable mistakes of law do not violate the Fourth Amendment.
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Court declines Evansville woman’s suit over flood damage

March 24, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of an Evansville woman who sued the city over flood damage to her home that she blames on a storm sewer pipe.
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COA judge: Parole board 'should do better'

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who killed no one but who’s been in prison for almost 40 years for a felony murder conviction was entitled to a more thorough parole board review than one based on a 13-year-old psychological evaluation, a Court of Appeals judge wrote Friday.
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Reversal: Ex-AM General exec must go to court for compensation

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
The ex-president, CEO and chairman of South Bend Humvee maker AM General will have to go to court to seek cash compensation that the company instead paid in the form of a promissory note, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA affirms finding liquor stores violated rules on home delivery of wine

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission’s final order fining a northern Indiana liquor store company for using common carriers to transport wine to customers, which is a violation of its liquor permit.
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  1. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  2. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  3. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  4. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  5. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

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