Indiana Court of Appeals

Appeals court reverses, finds judgment on pleadings for insurer

August 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Orange Circuit Court judge erred when he failed to approve an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, and the Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered the case remanded and such a ruling entered.
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State Fair properly stripped champion sheep title, but penalties merit hearing

August 23, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana State Fair Board’s decision to strip a winner of his grand champion sheep prize will stand, but the 4-H’er was entitled to a hearing on penalties, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Split COA reverses its original decision on rehearing

August 23, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Saying “plea agreements should be more artfully drafted,” a split Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an award of restitution against a Daviess County man whose plea agreement was silent on the matter of restitution.
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Mother may petition for college expenses for emancipated children

August 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Two amendments made by the Indiana General Assembly to the termination of child support and emancipation statute allow for a mother’s college support petition for two emancipated children to stand.
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Foreclosure affirmed on transferred mortgage

August 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
A couple who stopped making mortgage payments in 2007 and continued to live in their house failed to convince an appeals panel that a trial court erred in determining who holds the note and ruled the mortgage valid despite an allegedly defective acknowledgement.
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Open Door violation not worth $8K, COA rules

August 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A group of petitioners who prevailed on an Indiana Open Door Law violation will get reimbursed for attorney fees, but the amount will be reduced by nearly $5,000 after a trial court found the group was requesting money for work unrelated to the claim.
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Dissenting judge argues tenants can’t ask drunk, disorderly man outside door to leave

August 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
An argument that tenants of an apartment complex may not ask a drunk and threatening man to leave common areas convinced one judge, but the majority of an appeals panel found otherwise, warning that such a holding would “defy logic and lead to an absurd result.”
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Mom loses bid to bar DCS child interviews after clean home check

August 21, 2013
Dave Stafford
A mother who challenged a court order granting the Department of Child Services’ petitions to interview her minor children lost her appeal Wednesday, despite her argument that a DCS inspection of her home and her screening found no evidence of drug abuse that had been alleged in a complaint.
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Threats of violence sufficient to order involuntary commitment

August 21, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although an Indianapolis man never harmed another individual, his persistent threats of violence were sufficient to support his involuntary commitment to a mental health facility.
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Appeals panel affirms molester’s dissemination sentence, refines scope of ‘performance’

August 21, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man who molested children in his home lost his appeal on the argument that showing children pornographic images on a cellphone and exposing himself to them was not a public performance.
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Tinted-window stop yielding pot arrest by precedent-setting cop upheld

August 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer Keith Minch is on a roll in the appellate courts.
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COA affirms probation violation for nonsupport, modifies amount due

August 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly revoked probation of a man sentenced for non-support of a dependent child, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the lower court to revise the arrearage.
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Foreclosure stands against ‘Redemptionist’ claims, appeals panel rules

August 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
A pro se litigant who fought a mortgage foreclosure by attempting to pay a bank with drafts from his purported account at the United States Treasury has no basis to reverse summary judgment in favor of the lender, the Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Change in state statute gets public intoxication conviction overturned

August 15, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the evidence showed the man was intoxicated in public, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned his conviction because he was not a threat to public safety.
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Conviction, 30-year sentence affirmed in armed robbery

August 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man who, with other masked gunmen, robbed an Indianapolis Asian market lost his appeal Thursday.
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For want of $2, negligence claim is untimely

August 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
A filing fee that was $2 less than required for a negligence claim in Clark County but was corrected and paid in full after the statute of limitations ran out may not proceed, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Divided appellate court reinstates charges stemming from illegal stop

August 15, 2013
An Indianapolis man who faced multiple charges when he fled from and battled with police after a stop the state concedes was illegal still may be prosecuted on evidence gained after he fled, two of three Court of Appeals judges ruled Tuesday.
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Appeals panel affirms sole custody for mother moving to China

August 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
A father lost his appeal Thursday of a trial court ruling granting sole custody to the mother of the divorced couple’s child, who will move with her to China for three years.
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No new trial for defendant who discovered pitfalls of proceeding pro se

August 15, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s request for a do-over after representing himself at trial and being found guilty was denied by the Indiana Court of Appeals with the admonishment “proceeding pro se is riddled with pitfalls.”
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Malpractice defense accused of ‘egregious mischaracterization’ of record

August 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
Defense attorneys who asked for a rehearing from the Indiana Court of Appeals panel that earlier affirmed a trial court medical malpractice jury verdict failed to sway judges who took the opportunity to call out their “egregious mischaracterization” of the record.
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Community-caretaking duties permits warrantless search

August 14, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A warrantless search that led to discovery of marijuana and a handgun did not violate the Fourth Amendment because the police found the items as part of their “community-caretaking” duties.
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Charge dismissed in error negates felony DUI enhancement

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
The state’s errant dismissal of a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge in 2009 may not be corrected in order to enhance to a felony a defendant’s second such charge within five years, a divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Man still drunk despite change in public intoxication statute, COA rules

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
A 2012 change in Indiana’s public intoxication statute adding a required charging element of at least harassing, annoying or alarming another person doesn’t negate a conviction for a man who the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled did at least that much.
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Pending petition for child support becomes applicable after Legislature amends statute

August 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court will have to reconsider its ruling in a child support dispute in light of a state law that was changed while an appeal of the case was pending.
 
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Observation and training provided 'reasonable suspicion' to conduct traffic stop

August 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A man’s voluntary confession that he was a habitual traffic violator is admissible even though he had not broken any laws when the sheriff’s deputy pulled him over.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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