Indiana Court of Appeals

COA: Doctor’s report to DCS not protected by anti-SLAPP statute

July 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
A doctor who reported medical child abuse to the Department of Child Services was not protected by the state’s anti-SLAPP statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday in a case of first impression.
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COA orders return of gun to rightful owner

July 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man whose handgun was confiscated after police believed it was stolen will soon have the gun returned to his family. The Indiana Court of Appeals found Friday the man proved his mother was the rightful owner of the firearm.
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COA: Trial courts can waive right to be at commitment hearing

July 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
State statute allows trial courts to waive respondents’ right to be present at their mental health commitment hearings, though the use of such statute should be limited only to cases where the evidence shows respondents’ presence would be injurious to their mental health, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in a precedent-setting case.
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COA affirms GPS monitoring after violation of protective order

July 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Hendricks County man will remain on GPS monitoring after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday his estranged wife presented sufficient evidence of his violation of a protective order and that he had notice of the possibility that he could be put on a GPS tracker.
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COA affirms escapee’s convictions, consecutive sentences

July 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man who escaped in handcuffs from a police vehicle will remain in prison on escape and drug charges after the Indiana Court of Appeals determined Thursday the trial court did not err in instructing the jury or imposing his sentence.
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Appellate court finds man’s conduct constituted just 1 instance of contempt

July 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man originally sentenced to one year in prison for disrupting court proceedings will instead serve only six months after the Indiana Court of Appeals found his contempt citation stemmed from a single incident.
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COA: Group voir dire did not violate right to impartial jury

July 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indianapolis man who attempted to rob a pharmacy in a city more than an hour away was not denied his right to an impartial jury by the use of group voir dire, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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3 condemned Ohio inmates ask high court to delay executions

July 18, 2017
 Associated Press
Three condemned killers with upcoming execution dates asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday for a delay while they continue challenging Ohio’s new lethal injection method.
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COA reverses child molesting finding against 10-year-old

July 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
A 10-year-old boy adjudicated as a delinquent for acts that would be considered Level 4 felony child molesting if committed by an adult will have his adjudication dropped after the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday there was insufficient evidence to support a true finding of the conduct.
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COA affirms termination of mother’s parental rights

July 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the termination of a mother’s parental rights to her daughter after finding the mother failed to prove the trial court erred in the calculation of the time the child had been removed from her parents’ home.
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Divided COA: Pat-down search did not violate rights

July 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a man’s felony and misdemeanor drug and firearm charges after finding the officer who arrested the man did not violate his constitutional rights by stopping him or conducting a pat-down search.
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COA rejects declaratory relief petition challenging molestation convictions

July 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
A southern Indiana man cannot seek declaratory relief after he was convicted on multiple counts of child molesting because the Indiana Court of Appeals found his challenge to be an attempt to circumvent Indiana’s established appellate procedures.
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State appeals ruling that suspended death penalty

July 12, 2017
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Court of Appeals decision that suspended executions in the state violated the separation of powers and resulted in new, unintended burdens that could lead to “dysfunction” in carrying out executions, the state argues in seeking transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Fresh cases setting precedents in mental health law

July 12, 2017
Dave Stafford
Under what circumstances may someone be excluded from a hearing to determine whether they should be committed for mental health treatment? The Indiana Court of Appeals grappled with that question during oral arguments June 28, just one day after another panel ruled on another matter of first impression regarding involuntary commitment — the court itself noting scarce caselaw.
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Supreme Court seeking comments on proposed rule changes

July 10, 2017
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Appellate Technology section is soliciting feedback on proposed changes to four areas of Indiana judicial procedure.
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Mother’s consent to adoption not required, appeals court rules

July 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
A trial court properly determined that a mother’s consent was not required to the adoption of her child, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, finding that even though she had a difficult year in which she had no communication with her child, the law requires her to continue to foster her parental relationship.
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Double jeopardy cuts sentence in robbery from 60 to 36 years

July 7, 2017
Dave Stafford
A trial court improperly applied sentencing enhancements to both of a criminal defendant’s robbery and conspiracy convictions, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The panel found a double-jeopardy violation and reduced the man’s sentence from 60 to 36 years in prison.
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COA reverses dismissal of review of uninhabitable property order

July 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Hammond man’s petition for judicial review of an order to repair or remove an apartment in a building he owns will return to the trial court after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the Lake Superior Court erred in dismissing the case.
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COA: Credit union did not have property right to flow of traffic on US 31

July 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
A federal credit union with a branch located in northern Indiana did not have a cognizable property right to the flow of traffic on U.S. 31 past its property and, thus, cannot claim the Indiana Department of Transportation committed inverse condemnation by refiguring that stretch of road, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Appeals court affirms battery, neglect convictions despite errors

July 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a man’s battery and neglect convictions after finding that any error in the admission of certain testimony and evidence was harmless due because the properly admitted evidence was sufficient to prove the man’s guilt.
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Split COA reverses mother's contempt finding over parenting time sessions

July 7, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A mother’s appeal of the order finding her in contempt for not bringing her child to supervised parenting time sessions at a facility drew three opinions from a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday. The majority agreed to reverse after holding the parenting time order improperly delegated parental authority to the facility.
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Appellate court affirms murder conviction in Indianapolis shooting

July 6, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man’s felony murder conviction, stemming from a shooting he was involved in when he was 17 years old, will stand after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday the trial court did not err in excluding evidence or in considering testimony.
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COA reaffirms denial of summary judgment to landowners in failed real estate deal

July 6, 2017
Olivia Covington
After granting a petition for rehearing to address — and ultimately reject — an argument over the contract in a real estate case, the Indiana Court of Appeals reaffirmed Thursday the denial of summary judgment to northern Indiana landowners who misrepresented property to a potential buyer.
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Divided COA rules campaign flyer was protected speech

July 5, 2017
Olivia Covington
Summary judgment in a political defamation suit has been affirmed after a divided Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that language included on a campaign flyer is considered protected speech under the Anti-SLAAP statute.
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80-year sentence upheld for man convicted of killing IU student

June 29, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to revise the 80-year sentence handed down by a Brown County judge for the murder of an Indiana University student two years ago.
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  2. 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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  4. 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.

  5. 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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