Indiana Court of Appeals

Judges split over ruling in failed adoption case

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday reversed summary judgment in favor of the facilitator of an adoption on a negligence claim brought by the adoptive parents after the baby’s biological father sought and was awarded custody.
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COA voids custody order in favor of father

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the grant of custody in favor of an Indiana father because the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act to make a custody determination.
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Judges to hear misconduct case against former IURC chairman Monday

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday will hear arguments on whether four misconduct charges should have been dismissed against former Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission chairman David Lott Hardy.
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Judges dismiss man’s appeal of protection order extension

March 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a Porter County man’s appeal of a judge’s decision to reset a hearing on a temporary protection order for six months after the victim had an anxiety attack while testifying. The judges held Douglas Allison had to seek a discretionary interlocutory appeal in the matter.
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Judges reverse speeding infraction due to lack of proof

March 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A driver pulled over in Clark County for speeding was able to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday that the infraction should be reversed because the state couldn’t prove its case.
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Court: Man never raised defense to attempted robbery

March 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday pointed out that a defendant needs to assert the defense of abandonment in some manner at trial. The judges rejected a man’s claim that the defense does not require a formal pleading or notice of the defense.
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Court of Appeals changes from minority to majority approach in construction contract dispute

March 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A fire during a renovation project that devastated a southern Indiana courthouse ignited a dispute between the county and the contractor that persuaded the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse course and adopt a new approach to interpreting construction contracts.
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Vehicle forfeiture order affirmed despite state’s yearlong delay

March 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
A convicted cocaine dealer failed to convince a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals that summary judgment forfeiture of his yellow 2004 Hummer was a violation of trial rules, even though the state’s motion for summary judgment was in response to a court show cause order due to case inactivity for more than a year.
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COA voids rehabilitation maintenance ordered after divorce

March 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
An ex-wife was not entitled to rehabilitation maintenance from her former husband that was approved after the dissolution of their marriage, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Appeals court vacates lesser drug conviction as double jeopardy

March 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Paoli man convicted of multiple drug offenses had a lesser conviction vacated Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The court let stand other convictions for which he was sentenced to an aggregate 16 years in prison.
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Public intoxication conviction tossed for lack of proof of endangerment

March 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of public intoxication after a police officer found him near the site where his car had come to a stop between the road and a drainage ditch was improperly convicted, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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Purdue loses appeal bid to shield discrimination, harassment report

March 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
An appellate panel had harsh words for Purdue University’s conduct in shielding a report investigating a former chancellor’s complaint of gender discrimination and harassment against former university president France Cordova.
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Agency collecting credit card debt not a creditor, COA rules

March 21, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A debtor’s counterclaim that a collection agency violated the Indiana Uniform Consumer Credit Code by not obtaining a license was rejected by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds that although the agency was trying to recover a debt, it was not a creditor.
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Judges reverse felony enhancement for handgun possession

March 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a prior felony conviction the state relied on to enhance a man’s handgun possession charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor as part of a plea agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of the man’s motion to dismiss the enhancement.
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Complaint for unpaid car loan filed outside of statute of limitations

March 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a company seeking to recover unpaid installments on a car loan filed its complaint outside of the four-year statute of limitations, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the small claims judgment in favor of the car buyer.
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Father’s appeal dismissed as untimely

March 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Madison County father challenging the denial of his petition for change of custody did not timely file his appeal, so the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed it.
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Judges reduce rapist’s sentence to 165 years

March 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson

The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday slashed 105 years from a convicted rapist’s sentence, concluding the original 270-year sentence was far outside the norm for a single episode of conduct against a single victim.

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Judges uphold revocation of counselor’s license

March 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision to revoke a mental health counselor’s license after she developed a personal attachment to a patient and ignored the patient’s request to leave her alone.
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Judge believes caselaw has ‘unintended consequences’ for residents, law enforcement

March 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a divided opinion in which the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s resisting law enforcement finding and probation revocation, Judge Paul Mathias worried that relying on certain caselaw would have “unintended consequences” for Hoosiers and police officers.
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Mother loses appeal of CHINS finding

March 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson

The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a mother’s argument that child in need of services findings should be vacated because the judge in the matter should not have been able to make a negative inference from her invocation of her Fifth Amendment right not to testify.

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Robb honored by Indiana Commission for Women

March 17, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Margret Robb was among those honored recently with a Torchbearer Award from the Indiana Commission for Women.
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Insurance policy does not fall under Pre-Need Act

March 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior Court correctly ruled that a company that sells an insurance policy with the option to assign it to a trust to use the funds for funeral services is not subject to the Pre-Need Act, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court properly denied dentist’s petition for judicial review

March 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the denial of a dentist’s petition for judicial review of a decision by the State Board of Dentistry which found he violated Indiana Code after a patient’s wisdom teeth surgery.
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Judges reverse summary judgment in collision case

March 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
It should be up to a judge or jury to determine whether a driver’s distance in relation to the vehicle in front of him had any impact on a collision between the driver and another vehicle on Interstate 65.
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COA: Admittance of juvenile’s statement harmless error

March 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Thursday over whether a 12-year-old boy accused of child molesting and his mother were afforded the opportunity to have a meaningful consultation before speaking to police. The judges did agree that the boy’s adjudication should be affirmed.
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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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