Judge Melissa S. May

COA affirms convictions of auto theft, resisting law enforcement

November 4, 2016
Olivia Covington
A man convicted of stealing a car and fleeing police will not have his convictions reversed after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Friday that there was enough evidence to infer he was guilty of the charges against him.
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ALJ correct in finding nurses, phlebotomists are employees

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an administrative law judge’s decision that certain workers were employees of a consulting business, and so the company was liable for additional unemployment taxes.
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Speeding ticket tossed because of invalid Carmel ordinance

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
“Carmel’s wholesale adoption of chapters of Indiana Code resulted in its ordinance being nothing more than a ‘duplicate’ of already existing State law,” Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May wrote.
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COA split over inmate’s ability to sue for unpaid wages

December 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Wednesday over whether an inmate who worked for a private company that contracted with the Department of Correction to employ offenders was allowed under Indiana statute to make a claim for unpaid wages.
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COA: property conveyed with a restrictive covenant

December 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday had to determine whether the conveyance of a school for park and recreational use was done so by a restrictive covenant or a fee simple with condition subsequent.
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Search of man, car that led to drug arrest constitutional, COA rules

July 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday that the search of the man who supplied cocaine to buyers as well as the search of his car did not violate state and federal constitutions.
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Inmate loses negligence suit on appeal

July 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the Adams County sheriff, finding an inmate was unable to make a prima facie case for negligence. The inmate sued after contracting a methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus – or MRSA – infection after visiting the hospital.
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COA finds no error in Class A felony attempted robbery conviction

July 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
After determining it had jurisdiction over a defendant’s appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction of Class A felony attempted robbery instead of a lesser-included offense.
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Ankle bracelet excuse fails in court

September 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A sex offender cannot use an ankle monitor as an excuse for failing to update his address on the sex offender registry, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA affirms drug dealing, possession convictions

July 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of multiple felony drug charges and sentenced to 50 years in prison with 15 years suspended was not deprived his Fourth Amendment rights, the Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Appeals court upholds rape conviction

July 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of rape based on DNA evidence and his admission that he had sex with the victim failed to prove to the Indiana Court of Appeals that he was denied a fair trial due to the admission of hearsay testimony and a sustained objection to an attempt to refresh the victim’s memory.
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Court reverses ruling in Plymouth church insurer's suit against contractors

July 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated an insurer’s case against contractors who built a Plymouth church gymnasium addition in 2008 in which the basketball court floor was ruined when a frozen sprinkler burst eight months later.
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Pro Bono Commission chair sees dramatic drop in funding during term

May 23, 2012
Dave Stafford
Colleagues say Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May's selflessness and volunteer spirit made her ideally suited for the position.
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Split COA reverses trial court in personal injury case

December 30, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Two Indiana Court of Appeals judges reversed a trial court’s denial of a woman’s motion for prejudgment interest in a case stemming from a car crash.
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In first impression ruling, COA reverses trial court on illegal search

December 16, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a police officer went one step too far when he opened a pill bottle he found in a man’s pocket.
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State bar honors 2 judges at annual meeting

October 21, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association honored two Court of Appeals judges at its annual meeting Oct. 20 in French Lick.
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Court: CHINS fact-finding hearing required by due process

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagrees with the state Department of Child Services that fact-finding and dispositional hearings in a child in need of services case are interchangeable. The appellate panel has ruled a Marion County father’s due process rights were denied because he didn’t receive the opportunity for a fact-finding hearing.
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Appeals court reverses judge on visitation ruling

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The state’s intermediate appellate court has reversed a southern Indiana judge’s ruling that a boyfriend should retain visitation rights over an ex-girlfriend’s child. It ruled that the finding is contrary to law because lawmakers didn’t allow for that type of circumstance to warrant visitation.
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Defense attorneys lose appeal for compensation

August 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Two private defense lawyers in Marion County failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that they should be retroactively appointed by the Marion County Public Defender Agency and compensated for their legal work on a case that has an intricate maze of attorney representation over the course of five years.
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COA applies sports injury conduct rule

August 4, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Less than three months after the Indiana Supreme Court issued a decision about sports injury cases, the state’s intermediate appellate court is now applying the new rule regarding how liability should be determined.
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COA judge issues 8-page criticism of trial court missteps

June 3, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a juvenile court’s order of restitution, stating the court failed to investigate the young man’s ability to pay, and that the damage amount could not be determined to be reasonable. Judge Melissa S. May wrote an eight-page separate opinion stating that the trial court’s many errors hampered the COA’s ability to perform its review of the case.
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Appellate court addresses parental privilege in 2 opinions

May 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In two cases involving the parental privilege defense, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a teacher who “flicked” a special education student’s tongue and against a father hit his daughter numerous times with a belt.
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Pinched nerve causes chief justice to miss arguments, Evansville event

May 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard is dealing with a painful pinched nerve in his neck but is working on managing the pain and has not been hospitalized as a result of the condition, said Supreme Court Public Information Officer Kathryn Dolan.
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Social Security income shouldn't be considered in restitution orders

April 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Dealing with an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that Social Security income must be excluded when considering a defendant’s ability to pay restitution.
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Judges split on whether 2 insurers must pay for damage

March 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from the majority’s holding that two insurers were financially responsible for the damages caused by a fractured storm pipe and subsequent flooding of a school. The judge believed that only one of the responsible party’s insurers had to pay for the property damage.
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  1. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  2. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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