Indiana Court of Appeals

COA tosses conviction after unlawful arrest

February 16, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Testimony of police officers who stopped a man for walking on the wrong side of the road, then arrested him for intimidation and resisting law enforcement should not have been admitted at trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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COA orders man to pay remaining balance on lease of totaled car

February 15, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed an order requiring a man to pay the remaining balance on the lease of a woman’s car after he totaled it in a collision for which he was found to be completely at fault.
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Court of Appeals reverses convictions after due process violation

February 15, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a man’s convictions of neglect of a dependent and battery after finding that his due process rights were violated when the state withdrew its plea agreement after he had pleaded guilty.
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COA: All properties in stormwater district contribute to stormwater system

February 15, 2017
Olivia Covington
All property owners within a stormwater district “contribute to” the stormwater system, regardless of whether the property drains into the system, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday in a case that forces property owners in Richmond to pay a stormwater fee.
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Man's sentence challenge rejected by appellate court

February 15, 2017
Olivia Covington
In his third appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals, a Marion County man’s sentence for rape, criminal deviate conduct and burglary have been affirmed after the appellate court found that a motion to correct sentence was not the appropriate remedy for his claim.
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COA: Dirty pictures allowed by Legislature

February 14, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Revisiting the question of whether sending sexually explicit photographs to a 16- or 17-year-old is permitted under state law, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld its earlier ruling by finding the Legislature’s inaction to amend the statute implies dirty pictures are suitable for these teens.
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COA affirms setback distance for Eastern Indiana wind farm

February 14, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a Rush County zoning ruling requiring industrial wind turbines to be at least 2,300 feet from some people’s property lines. The judges emphasized that the zoning ordinances outline minimum distances and the zoning board is able to increase those distances when warranted.
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COA affirms termination of parental rights

February 14, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the arguments of a father with a history of domestic violence and other criminal convictions who said evidence was improperly admitted to terminate parental rights to his three daughters.
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COA allows Vectren to move forward with coal-powered plants project

February 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana energy company can proceed with its plans to bring two of its coal-powered plants into compliance with federal emissions standards after the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an appeal to force the company to build natural gas plants instead.
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COA throws out jury’s $550,000 defamation, blacklisting verdict

February 14, 2017
Dave Stafford
A jury’s $550,000 defamation and blacklisting verdict in favor of a former school athletic director in northwestern Indiana was overturned Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA overturns bestiality conviction based on confession

February 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
Although a Delaware County man admitted to sexually assaulting his roommate’s dog, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the man’s bestiality conviction Thursday because the prosecution failed to establish a corpus delicti.
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COA affirms convictions of man involved in fatal police chase

February 8, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s various drug, handgun and resisting law enforcement convictions Wednesday after holding that the man was aware of the contraband in his vehicle and that his operation of the vehicle resulted in a passenger’s death.
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COA considers new allegations in medical malpractice cases

February 8, 2017
Olivia Covington
Can parties present evidence or theories at trial that were not presented to the medical review panel?
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Groth asks Supreme Court to order release of Pence emails

February 7, 2017
 Associated Press, IL Staff
An Indianapolis lawyer is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to order the release of emails sent to Vice President Mike Pence when he was governor.
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COA affirms summary judgment against Celadon in class action

February 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment against a prominent trucking company in a class-action lawsuit, holding that the terms of the company’s contract with its independent drivers require the company to deduct the cost of fuel from their compensation based only on the lowest discounted price.
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COA: Declaratory judgment, tort actions can arise from same occurrence

February 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
A declaratory judgment action can arise from the same occurrence as an underlying tort action for purposes of permissive joinder under Trial Rule 20, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday. The judges affirmed the denial of a request to sever two tort counts from a count seeking declaratory judgment.
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Reversal: ‘Odor of raw marijuana’ sufficient grounds for search

February 6, 2017
Dave Stafford
A police officer who said he detected “a strong odor of raw marijuana” coming from a car during a traffic stop had probable cause to search the driver, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in reversing a trial court.
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COA: Malpractice claim barred by statute of limitations

February 6, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected a woman’s malpractice claim after holding that the claim was barred by a two-year statute of limitations.
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COA: Police search did not violate state constitution

February 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
Indiana police did not violate the state constitution when they searched a woman’s car without a warrant after discovering that the car matched the description from an earlier drug-related tip and police dogs alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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COA: Convicted sex offender can’t seek expungement for unrelated charges

February 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man convicted of Class D felonies is not eligible for expungement of those offenses because he has also been convicted of sex crimes, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Friday.
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COA: Bank had no duty to woman injured by drunken driver

February 2, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana bank does not owe a duty of care to a woman who was injured by a drunken driver after the bank’s employees helped the driver change his tire without knowing that he had been drinking, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday.
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COA affirms default judgment against Menards in injury lawsuit

February 1, 2017
Olivia Covington
A summons and complaint in a personal injury claim were adequately served on a Menards store in Gary, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday, so the store cannot seek relief from default judgment entered against it on the basis of the service of process.
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COA upholds denial of IRA garnishment

January 31, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Elkhart Superior Court was within its discretion when it asserted a garnishment exemption on a debtor’s behalf because there are exceptions that allow a debtor to receive the benefit of an exemption without asserting it, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Tuesday.
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Victim’s posthumously admitted testimony supports murder conviction

January 31, 2017
Dave Stafford
A woman’s deposition identifying to police the man who shot her in the face was properly admitted in the suspect’s murder trial after the victim died, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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‘Dismayed’ by trial court, COA orders resentencing

January 31, 2017
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis judge who sentenced a defendant to jail without permitting him to speak on his own behalf disregarded state law and violated the defendant’s rights, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a stern ruling.
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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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