Judge Melissa S. May

Judge affirms retaining charges but finds criminal prosecution unjust

February 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge expressed concern that a woman’s criminal case may be affected by her admittance of violating several city ordinances after her dogs attacked two people.
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COA reverses and remands CHINS finding regarding stepfather

February 15, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
After the juvenile court adjudicated two minor children as children in need of services following their mother’s admission to allegations filed by the Indiana Department of Child Services, the majority of a Court of Appeals panel today reversed and remanded that finding in favor of the stepfather, who denied the allegations and asked for a fact-finding hearing. One Court of Appeals judge dissented, writing that she disagreed that the trial court violated the stepfather’s right to due process in this case.
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Judges: DNA admittance was harmless error

December 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed for the first time today the admissibility of DNA evidence when a defendant can’t be excluded from a possibly infinite number of people matching the crime-scene DNA.
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COA divided on dismissal of OWI charges

December 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split on whether a defendant’s operating while intoxicated charges should have been dismissed because the charging information didn’t let the man know what vehicle he needed to defend against operating.
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Appellate court to hear arguments in Fishers

December 9, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals hits the road Friday to visit Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers for oral arguments in an interlocutory appeal involving the denial of a motion to suppress.
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Opinion regarding insurance company considers definition of ‘ever’

November 24, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel was split in an opinion released today that considered the definition of “ever” on a home insurance application when it came to whether the homeowners insurance coverage was ever “declined, cancelled, or non-renewed.”
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All judges up for retention to stay on bench

November 3, 2010
IL Staff
The 11 judges up for retention this year – including five on the Indiana Court of Appeals – will remain on the bench.
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State bar releases results of COA retention survey

October 13, 2010
IL Staff
If the results of the Indiana State Bar Association’s 2010 Judicial Retention Poll are any indicator of next month’s election, then the five Indiana Court of Appeals judges up for a vote will be easily retained.
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5 Court of Appeals judges up for retention

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
One third of the Indiana Court of Appeals judges face a retention vote this year. Read the judges’ answers to questions posed by Indiana Lawyer.
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COA panels divided on attorney's fees under AWDA

August 18, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Nearly a month after an Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled attorney's fees aren’t recoverable under the Adult Wrongful Death Act in a matter of first impression, another panel unanimously ruled they are recoverable.
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Court declines to review commitment cases differently

July 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined Thursday to change how it reviews cases dealing with involuntary commitment.
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Court rules on first impression 'alibi' witness issue

July 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in excluding testimony of a defendant’s witnesses on the ground they were alibi witnesses, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today in an issue of first impression.
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COA reverses modification of juvenile's probation

June 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the order to send a juvenile to prison because the state didn’t present any evidence to support alleged probation violations to justify the placement modification.
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5 appeals judges up for retention

June 3, 2010
Michael HoskinsMore

Dissent: new issues can be raised in response

October 9, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Parties shouldn't be allowed to raise arguments for the first time in response to a rehearing petition before an appellate court, an Indiana Court of Appeals judge wrote in disagreeing with two of her colleagues.
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COA: findings don't support attorney fees

September 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals remanded a case today involving attorney fees - the appellate court questioned whether the Indiana High School Athletic Association was trying to dissuade appeals by athletes - because the findings of the case currently don't support the judgment.
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COA says voter I.D. law unconstitutional

September 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has tossed out the state's 4-year-old voter identification law as unconstitutional, bringing new attention to a statute that has been upheld by the nation's highest court.
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Instant offense considered 'unrelated' per statute

August 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court was correct in interpreting the state's habitual offender statute to include an instant conviction as one of the "unrelated" convictions referred to in the statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Judge to throw out first pitch at pro bono night

July 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May will throw out the first pitch tonight at a Gary baseball game at which attorneys will be honored for their pro bono work.
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COA: Dog sniff requires reasonable suspicion

July 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Analyzing the issue for the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals today determined reasonable suspicion is needed to conduct a drug-detecting dog sniff of a private residence. Even though the state didn't argue the police had reasonable suspicion, it established the officers relied on the warrant executed after the sniff in good faith.
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Judges differ in interpretation of earlier ruling

December 31, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed today as to whether a man's convictions of attempted sexual misconduct with a minor and attempted dissemination of matter harmful to minors should be reversed because his intended victim was actually a police officer conducting an online sting operation.
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Mom's promoting prostitution sentence stands

December 30, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 17-year sentence for a woman convicted of prostituting her daughter, finding her sentence was appropriate and that an even longer sentence could be justified.
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Judges differ on insurance coverage

December 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed about whether a school bus driver who also worked as an independent farmer over the summer should be covered by the school corporation's insurance following a car accident while hauling grain.
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Estate must be reimbursed for funeral expenses

September 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a trial court's approval of money received in a wrongful death suit of an Indianapolis attorney to be used to reimburse his estate for funeral and burial expenses.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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