Indiana Court of Appeals

Term of imprisonment reduced by half after COA rules sentence does not fit the crime

October 23, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who pleaded guilty to child molesting had his sentence halved by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds that the sentence imposed by the trial court was an outlier.
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COA: Judge’s late recusal not reversible error

October 23, 2012
Dave Stafford
An Adams Circuit Court judge who learned that he had previously represented a defendant on trial in his courtroom acted appropriately when he recused himself but denied a mistrial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court affirms judgments in pollution case, remands for determination of credit due

October 23, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals found no errors in a trial court’s ruling in a dispute over insurance coverage to clean up a pollution spill at a westside Indianapolis business, but it sent the case back to the trial court for a determination of credit due an insurer.
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Court of Appeals rules that blinking turn signal not enough to support drug conviction

October 19, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding that the continuous use of a turn signal without turning does not justify a traffic stop, the Indiana Court of Appeals threw out a conviction for possession of marijuana.
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Prosecutor error insufficient to reverse murder conviction

October 19, 2012
Dave Stafford
A prosecutor improperly presented facts that were not in evidence and inflamed the passions and prejudices of jurors in a murder trial, but his improper conduct didn’t rise to the level of reversible error, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Judges order habitual offender enhancement vacated

October 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A post-conviction court erred when it denied a defendant’s request for post-conviction relief to vacate a habitual offender enhancement, finding a case decided after the man’s direct appeal applies retroactively.
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Statute granting DCS immunity applies to nearly all of family’s claims

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A case involving the Department of Child Services before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday provided the court with two issues of first impression – the interpretation of a statute relating to the agency, and the liberty interests that may reside with extended family members involved in the lawsuit.
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COA affirms $55k judgment for couple who purchased wind turbine

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that a St. Joseph Superior judge applied the correct legal standard in determining that a company breached a contract with a couple that purchased a wind turbine that failed to live up to the company’s claims.
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Judges uphold family has no right of access through neighbor’s property

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A family claiming that for more than 50 years they had an easement to access portions of their land through a neighbor’s property lost before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Pyle takes oath at robing ceremony

October 16, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s newest Court of Appeals judge also holds the distinction of being the only official appointed twice by Gov. Mitch Daniels.
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Court upholds conviction for theft of water heater

October 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a man’s argument that he didn’t know he couldn’t take a water heater from an Indianapolis apartment complex to scrap, finding that the evidence supports his theft conviction.
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Indiana justices accept 2 cases

October 15, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will weigh in on whether communications during mediation can be used as extrinsic evidence.
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Judges reaffirm 2 Weinberger patients’ psychological evaluations

October 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In reaffirming a Lake Superior Court decision that granted former doctor Mark Weinberger’s motion that two men suing him undergo psychological examinations, the Indiana Court of Appeals clarified that there is no requirement that a trial court must compel an involuntary psychiatric evaluation when faced with similar facts and circumstances as in the instant cases.
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Delayed ordinance publication doesn’t affect power to annex

October 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Landowners challenging the annexation of portions of land in Hamilton County to the city of Westfield lost their appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals. The remonstrators claimed the city’s delayed publication of annexation ordinances should have barred the annexation.
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COA affirms 5 child molesting convictions

October 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The admission of testimony by a licensed clinical psychologist at a man’s child molestation trial in Steuben County was not a fundamental error, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Court rules in favor of state in taking of property for I-69

October 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
For the second time in less than a month, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the state’s taking of property in southwestern Indiana for construction of Interstate-69.
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Court upholds imposition of court costs

October 10, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a man’s pro se motion to correct erroneous sentence was not the proper channel to challenge the imposition of court costs following his murder trial.
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COA split over whether DCS has authority to interview sibling

October 10, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge reached the opposite conclusion of her colleagues Wednesday in finding that the Department of Child Services lacks the statutory authority to conduct a forensic interview of a non-subject child residing in the same home as a child who has claimed abuse by a resident family member.
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Criminal recklessness code covers firing gun into car

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A car is a “place people are likely to gather,” the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, unanimously affirming a Class C felony criminal recklessness conviction and eight-year sentence for a man who fired a gun into car in which a former gang ally was a passenger in Goshen.
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COA finds church member’s lack of brotherly love not sufficient to uphold conviction

October 9, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A criminal conviction that resulted from church member’s demand for quiet during a worship service has been overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the conviction.
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Divided appeals court tosses Boonville annexation

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court decision that upheld an annexation by the city of Boonville, finding that the trial court erred in counting separate state-owned parcels of a highway for purposes of remonstrance.
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COA will not reweigh California environmental cleanup decisions

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that it would not reweigh California court decisions in favor of insurers who had no responsibility to cover environmental cleanup costs at former Thomson plants.
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Court of Appeals reverses and remands inmate’s request for kosher meals

October 9, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A Pendleton Correctional Facility inmate will not be able to collect monetary damages against employees of the Indiana Department of Correction, but his request for kosher meals will get a second review.  
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Divided appeals court affirms disabled firefighter’s enhanced PERF benefit

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Brownsburg firefighter is entitled to disability benefits that a trial court enhanced after an appeal from the local pension board, a divided court of appeals panel ruled Tuesday.
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Divided court affirms sentence that exceeds statutory authority

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and whose sentence exceeded statutory authority must nonetheless serve the term, a divided Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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