Indiana Court of Appeals

COA: No fundamental error in admitting testimony

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s two convictions of sexual misconduct with a minor after finding that there was no fundamental error in the admittance of certain testimony at his trial.
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Judges deny stepfather’s request to adopt children

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A mother’s deliberate decision to thwart the attempts of her ex-husband to communicate with their two small children supports the trial court’s decision to deny her current husband’s attempt to adopt the children, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Tuesday.
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Truck’s ‘excessive’ smoke justified traffic stop

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a police officer had reasonable suspicion to pull over a driver after seeing his truck emit an “excessive” amount of smoke.
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COA affirms dropped charges for ex-IURC chief Hardy

April 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
Because David Lott Hardy, former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, broke no laws, a trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in dismissing felony official misconduct charges against him, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Plea bars man from credit for time served on electronic monitoring

April 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man entered into a plea agreement that he was not entitled to credit for the time he was on electronic monitoring as a condition of bond, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his 14-year sentence.
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COA heads to northern Indiana for ‘Appeals on Wheels’

April 28, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will travel to northern Indiana Wednesday to hear arguments in Lake and St. Joseph counties involving two criminal cases.
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Judges decline to revise man’s 60-year molestation sentence

April 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument to revise his sentence for molesting the daughters of his ex-girlfriend to be served concurrently instead of consecutively because of his age and he is paraplegic.
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COA reissues expungement opinion

April 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reissued its decision finding the trial court should have granted a man’s petition for expungement. The court originally handed down the opinion in Taylor v. State, 45A03-1310-CR-406, April 17.
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Woman’s conviction for threatening apartment manager upheld

April 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a woman’s intimidation conviction Thursday, finding the evidence supports the charge that she threatened the manager of the apartment complex where she lived.
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Court upholds man’s molestation convictions

April 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding no juror misconduct or any fundamental error in the admission of certain testimony during a man’s trial for molesting his daughter, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld his multiple molestation convictions. He will also have to file a petition for post-conviction relief to challenge his habitual offender adjudication.
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Judges uphold man’s conspiracy conviction

April 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although the state charged a man with the non-existent crime of “conspiracy to commit attempted armed robbery,” the record shows Matthew Wilhoite was actually convicted of conspiring to commit armed robbery. As such, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected his claim he was convicted of a crime that doesn’t exist.
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COA adopts rule allowing for partial subordination of 1st lienholder’s interest

April 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday decided the state should follow the majority rule on agreements to modify the priority of liens securing interests in a borrower’s assets.
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Judges affirm ex-wife’s cut of lottery winnings

April 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a woman’s contention that she should be entitled to more than 2.5 percent of her ex-husband’s lottery winnings based on his admission that 70 percent distribution would be “fair and equitable.”
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COA: Search of passenger not unconstitutional

April 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a woman’s claim that drugs found in her possession should not have been admitted at trial because a police search of her after a traffic stop violated the federal and state constitutions.
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Court video project exposes problems

April 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Supreme Court wanted feedback on a pilot project using an audio-video record as the official appellate transcript in three Indiana courts. Lawyers at a recent discussion on the topic appear to favor pulling the plug.
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Defender’s trial strategy trumps inmate’s pro se early-trial request

April 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
A prison inmate who asked for a public defender then said at an initial hearing he wanted to “file for fast and speedy trial too” lost his appeal that argued the court erred by not ruling on his request and his trial counsel was ineffective.
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Grandparents lose adoption appeal in first-impression case

April 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
Grandparents who filed late motions challenging a stepfather’s adoption of a 6-year-old are not entitled to relief based on their argument they didn’t receive legal notice, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a family law case raising two issues of first impression.
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Parallel parenting provision divides COA

April 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
In reversing a trial court’s modification of the custody agreement even though neither parent requested a change in custody, the Indiana Court of Appeals split over how much discretion a Parallel Parenting Time Order grants a court.
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Reversal: Neighbors may intervene in environmental cleanup case

April 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Businesses neighboring an Indianapolis industrial property that was forced to clean up hazardous chemicals were improperly shut out of litigation involving the city and state, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Utica school preservationists win reversal, get day in court

April 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Clark County residents who sued township officials over how a former school in the Ohio River community of Utica was being used will get to plead their case, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday, reversing a trial court order for the township.
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Judges uphold custody award of non-biological child to stepfather

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an award granting a man primary physical custody of his child with his ex-wife, as well as her daughter from a previous relationship.
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COA reverses award of attorney fees to couple

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court erred in awarding attorney fees to a couple that sued their insurer following a car accident. The trial court ruled that GEICO litigated the claim in bad faith.
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Judges disagree whether mother’s relocation is in good faith

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday couldn’t agree whether a northern Indiana mother’s decision to relocate with her two children was made in good faith. The majority upheld her request to relocate.
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Court reverses woman’s driving while suspended conviction

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a woman’s conviction for driving while suspended was based in part on trial court speculation that she had driven farther than was necessary to put herself out of harm’s way, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the conviction.
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Judges find court should have granted expungement

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the word “shall” in Indiana Code 35-38-9-2(d) is mandatory language requiring expungement, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a man’s petition to expunge his 2004 misdemeanor sexual misconduct with a minor conviction.
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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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