Indiana Court of Appeals

Adjudicating on different CHINS petition allowed under Trial Rule 15(B), COA rules

March 21, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A troubled teenager found to be a child in need of services was properly adjudicated even though the juvenile court ruled the state did not meet its burden in proving the basis of its CHINS petition.
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Appeals court reverses CHINS finding

March 21, 2017
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in declaring a boy in the custody of his father to be a child in need of services on account of his meth-abusing mother, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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COA orders new attempted murder trial

March 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial in a Greene County attempted murder case after finding the trial court incorrectly applied the standard of a “knowing” mens rea, rather than a “specific intent to kill.”
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Insurance company wasn’t required to cover late claim

March 16, 2017
Olivia Covington
An insurance company was not required to defend an Indiana doctor in a medical malpractice case because the applicable insurance policy had expired before the insurer received notice of the claim.
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Teen’s felony murder conviction upheld

March 16, 2017
Olivia Covington
An man’s felony murder conviction in Elkhart County will stand after the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday there was sufficient evidence to support it and that the trial court did not err in instructing the jury.
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COA: Mother denied right to counsel in adoption proceeding

March 16, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a Johnson County adoption after finding the mother was denied due process when the adoption court found that she had waived her right to counsel.
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COA rejects ineffective counsel claim based on judge’s sentencing practices

March 15, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man who pleaded guilty to child molesting cannot prove that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, but the post-conviction court must still address the issue of whether his plea was voluntary.
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Woman may amend tortious interference claim against Allison Transmission

March 15, 2017
Olivia Covington
A woman who alleges that an Indianapolis company contributed to her employment termination may continue her defamation claim against the company and amend her tortious interference claim pursuant to Indiana trial rules, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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COA orders post-conviction court to reduce criminal confinement sentence

March 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man who pleaded guilty to criminal confinement will have his sentence reduced by eight years after the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday that his trial attorney’s erroneous counsel led the man to make the decision to reject a previous plea agreement.
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Trial court must reconsider convicted murderer’s PCR petition

March 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
A convicted murderer facing life without parole in Franklin County is getting a second chance at post-conviction relief after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Tuesday the trial court did not consider all the post-conviction claims properly before it.
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COA reinstates father’s parental rights, terminates mother's

March 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has allowed a Huntington County father to retain his parental rights to his son but terminated the mother’s parental rights after finding that she has not remedied the circumstances that led to her son’s removal from her home.
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Court must reconsider sanction for probation violations

March 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana trial court must revisit the sanction it imposed pursuant to an agreement on a Washington County woman who violated her probation. The Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday that the trial court had discretion to determine what the appropriate sanction should be.
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COA upholds child molesting convictions

March 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a Marion County man’s various convictions for child molesting Monday, finding that the testimony of a pediatrician who examined the victim did not constitute vouching testimony.
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Judges uphold dismissal of motion to set aside dissolution decree

March 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected a LaPorte County man’s appeal of the dismissal of his motion to set aside a dissolution decree, finding he did not follow the proper procedure to have his motion heard.
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COA denies rehearing in Lake Michigan public trust case

March 10, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals won’t rehear its Dec. 7 decision finding that the public trust doctrine controls the shore of Lake Michigan between the ordinary high- and low-water marks, allowing people to walk the shore.
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COA affirms summary judgment to GEICO in parking lot altercation

March 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
Summary judgment was properly granted to an insurance company that declined to cover the cost of a judgment entered against one of its clients because the client did not have an “active relationship” with the insured vehicle at the time of the incident, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Trial court had no statutory authority to impose second public defender fee

March 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Marion Superior Court abused its discretion in imposing a second supplemental public defender fee on an indigent litigant because it lacked statutory authority to impose the fee, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA orders transfer of state habeas petition to Monroe County

March 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Henry Circuit Court must transfer a man’s petition for writ of state habeas corpus to Monroe County, where the man was convicted, after the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday that Indiana Post-Conviction rules require the petition to be considered in the conviction court.
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COA orders man to transfer investment accounts to ex-wife

March 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered an Allen County man to transfer total ownership of three investment accounts to his ex-wife after finding that an original court order from 2011 required him to do so.
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Judges affirm son not entitled to dad’s deathbed gift of cars

March 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
A son whose father deeded him two vehicles on his deathbed must return those vehicles to his father’s estate after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday that the son had not overcome the presumption of undue influence.
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COA allows accountant malpractice claim to continue

March 8, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has allowed an accountant malpractice claim to continue after holding that the economic loss rule and provisions with a contract do not bar a tort complaint.
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COA reverses summary judgment in third appeal in business case

March 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
In the third appeal regarding alleged business relationships between several men, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed summary judgment for the owners of the business in question, holding that there remains a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the other men suffered damages when they were denied ownership interests.
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COA orders trial court to comply with Trial Rule 59 in custody case

March 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Putnam Superior Court must reconsider a motion to correct error on a child custody modification motion, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday, because the trial court did not provide a reason for granting the motion to correct.
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After rehearing, COA reaffirms judgment in favor of Barnes & Thornburg

March 2, 2017
Olivia Covington
After granting a rehearing to adopt a previous holding by the Indiana Supreme Court, the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday reaffirmed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Barnes & Thornburg LLP on a legal malpractice claim.
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COA: Trial court can hear complaint stemming from bankruptcy proceedings

March 2, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has instructed the Delaware Circuit Court to hear a case stemming from the sale of interests in a bankruptcy proceeding after determining that the trial court has jurisdiction over the complaint.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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