Indiana Court of Appeals

COA divided over general contractor’s duty to provide safe workplace

May 23, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals voted 2-1 Monday to affirm summary judgment in favor of the general contractor of a Lafayette Gander Mountain project where a subcontractor’s employee was injured. The majority concluded the general contractor did not have a non-delegable contractual duty toward the injured worker.
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COA deals blow to AG’s foreclosure lawyer consumer suit

May 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
An effectively disbarred Florida attorney whose company hired Indiana lawyers to represent people in foreclosures must face a consumer lawsuit brought by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, but her company is largely exempted, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Molest conviction affirmed; habitual offender waiver remanded

May 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a counsel's mistake did not constitute judicial admission in a man's trial when he was found guilty of molesting his stepdaughter. But the appeals court remanded his guilty plea for being a habitual offender, finding he did not waive his right to trial on the issue at court, his attorney did.
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Indiana court to hear woman's appeal of feticide conviction

May 23, 2016
 Associated Press
Attorneys for an Indiana woman found guilty of killing the premature infant she delivered after ingesting abortion-inducing drugs will ask an appeals court Monday to throw out the convictions that led to her 20-year prison sentence.
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'Abusive litigant' loses appeal for damages

May 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals denied a prolific litigant's attempt to get more than $30,000 in damages after he claimed a printer he purchased online for less than $75 did not work and then sued for thousands of dollars in damages.
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Felon firearm possession charge affirmed on appeal

May 20, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man convicted of possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that the search that led to discovery of the gun wasn't supported by reasonable suspicion.
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Man loses home damage appeal that blamed neighbor’s watering

May 20, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man whose Monroe County home was lost to mold contamination lost his appeal of a jury verdict in favor of his neighbor. The homeowner had claimed his neighbor's excessive watering of her lawn caused water damage to the basement of his home.
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COA: Lack of warning signs reinstates suit in fatal crash

May 20, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the Hancock County Board of Commissioners was not liable for the way an intersection was designed but found there was an issue of material fact as to whether the county should have installed warning signs there. A man was killed at the intersection in 2009 in a crash with another vehicle, triggering a lawsuit.
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Newborn blood sample case appealed to Indiana’s high court

May 20, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana couple seeking the destruction of millions of newborn blood samples stored in a state warehouse is appealing their case to the Indiana Supreme Court. The couple's attorney filed a petition Thursday asking the state high court to take up the case.
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COA: Worker's comp board may overrule medical examiner

May 19, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a Worker's Compensation Board decision that a man did not sustain a cervical injury as a result of a workplace accident. The board was not required to follow treatment recommendations of an independent medical examiner who saw the man after his employer notified him of its intent to terminate temporary total disability benefits.
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COA: Mother’s rights not violated by reasonable efforts order

May 19, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled an order that reasonable efforts to reunify a mother and her daughter were not necessary did not violate her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Rehabilitation Act and affirmed judgment of the trial court.
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COA upholds contempt charges in video conference

May 19, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's contempt of court charges after it found just because a man was on video didn't mean he couldn't commit contempt, and the evidence was enough to uphold the charges.
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Ex-credit union chief loses defamation per se appeal

May 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for an employer after the president of a company was fired over an executive's hotline call. The president claimed defamation per se and considered the hotline company liable, but the COA ruled comments made during the call were not defamatory.
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COA reinstates ex-boyfriend's complaint for damages

May 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a man's complaints for compensation against his girlfriend for work he did on two houses, including a house they both lived in, should not have been dismissed. The case was remanded to the trial court.
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COA: Search under probation did not violate Fourth Amendment

May 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a warrantless search of property did not violate a man's Fourth Amendment and Indiana Constitutional rights and upheld the denial of his motion to suppress evidence after he was convicted of two methamphetamine counts.
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COA upholds conviction, trims sentence in heroin case

May 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's conviction but reduced his sentence for dealing heroin even though he didn't actually participate in the transaction in one of the counts.
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COA: Evidence obtained during welfare check is admissible

May 17, 2016
Scott Roberts

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled evidence from a search where police officers went into a house without a warrant to check on the children was valid evidence at trial and affirmed denial of a woman’s motion to suppress.

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Appraiser has no duty of care to real estate seller

May 16, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled an appraiser has no duty of care to a seller after he appraised a house for much less than the proposed purchase price. The COA upheld summary judgment for the appraiser in a case where the seller alleged negligence, fraud and slander of title.
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Justices deadlock 2-2 on transfer in two cases

May 16, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court deadlocked on one case after oral arguments and denied transfer to another after a 2-2 vote in the court's list of transfer dispositions for the week ending May 13. The split vote in the absence of a fifth justice reinstates rulings of the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA: Lack of release advisement was harmless error

May 13, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a trial court’s failure to advise a man of his possible release dates was harmless error and affirmed his sentence for two felonies.
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Judges say order for DCS interviews with children should not have happened

May 12, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Department of Child Services for Crawford County should not have been granted the opportunity to interview two children, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, because the order doing so violates their mother’s right to raise her family without undue interference by the state.
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Recorded conversation, conviction are admissible evidence, COA holds

May 12, 2016
Scott Roberts
An audiotape of phone conversations between a suspect and the victim’s mother while he was in jail and a testimony from the victim’s mother that she was convicted of assisting a criminal were admissible evidence in a child abuse case, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA upholds denial of post-conviction relief petition

May 12, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of a man’s post-conviction relief petition after it found any ineffectiveness of counsel the man received did not affect the outcome of his case in his decision to plead guilty to Class A felony neglect of a dependent.
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COA: Stop violated 4th Amendment

May 12, 2016
Scott Roberts
A police officer was not within his community caretaker function when he pulled over a woman who left a gas station after she escaped from getting stuck under car, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The public safety issue did not outweigh her right to privacy.
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COA: Child’s name can be changed

May 11, 2016
Scott Roberts
A father can change the last name of a child to his despite the protests of the mother, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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