Indiana Court of Appeals

Divided COA tosses $2M DUI crash verdict over old convictions

October 13, 2016
Dave Stafford
The majority of an Indiana Court of Appeals panel held Thursday that a drunken driver’s decades-old convictions for alcohol-related offenses were irrelevant and prejudicial in a civil suit following a personal-injury crash. A dissenting judge, though, wrote the admissibility of such evidence should go to its weight rather than its age.
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COA: Hotel did not conspire to commit theft from guests' room

October 12, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that an Evansville hotel cannot be considered negligent after its employees allowed a man into a guest room without the guests’ permission, resulting in the theft of the guests’ personal property.
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COA maintains that belatedly filed records result in dismissal

October 11, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed an Allen Superior Court decision after finding that the trial court erred when it did not dismiss a case despite the fact that the record was not filed in a timely manner.
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COA orders better findings of fact in parental rights case

October 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected Thursday a trial court order terminating a St. Joseph County woman’s parental rights to her daughter and instead ordered the trial court to present more specific findings of fact to support the termination.
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ISBA poll shows strong support for COA judges’ retention

October 5, 2016
IL Staff
A recently completed poll of Indiana State Bar Association members shows strong support for the four Indiana Court of Appeals judges seeking retention in the Nov. 8 general election.
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COA upholds denial of motion to strike expert medical testimony in malpractice suit

October 4, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday a trial court’s decision to deny a motion to strike expert witness testimony after finding that a man could present certain evidence to prove medical malpractice against his now-deceased wife’s former physician.
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Man who attacked officers not insane during incident

September 30, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that he was insane when he charged at, bit and spit at officers while he was in jail, but that his behavior was a result of his drug withdrawal.
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Posey County man’s convictions for rape, confinement of woman affirmed

September 30, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The past drug use of the woman who was held against her will for nearly two months and repeatedly raped was not relevant to the criminal trial of the man who abducted her, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Hot dog vendor who stabbed man in head loses appeal

September 30, 2016
Dave StaffordMore

Charge under wrong part of statute reverses conviction

September 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction of attempted obstruction of justice was reversed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals because the state charged him under the wrong part of the statute.
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COA rejects ex-teacher’s appeal for lighter sentence for seduction of student

September 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
A former Indiana teacher and coach convicted of child seduction with a student cannot have his sentence reduced after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that his character and the nature of his offense do not warrant a lighter sentence.
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COA finds electrician can sue companies after mesothelioma diagnosis

September 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that an electrician can sue the companies where he previously worked as an independent contractor for negligence and liability after he was exposed to asbestos.
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COA says attempted murder is not an exception to voluntary intoxication statute

September 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday that a man cannot have his attempted murder charge overturned because he was drunk at the time of the incident, writing that voluntary intoxication does not negate the specific intent to kill requirement of an attempted murder charge.
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COA finds no evidence of severe mental illness to prohibit pro se proceedings

September 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
A woman’s convictions for possession of controlled substances and operating a vehicle while intoxicated will stand after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday that she did not suffer from a severe mental illness that should have precluded her from proceeding pro se.
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COA rules that negligent hiring claim against Pizza Hut can proceed

September 27, 2016
Olivia Covington
A negligent hiring claim against Pizza Hut can continue to move through Jefferson Circuit Court after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Tuesday that the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of the pizza chain.
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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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  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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