Legal News

COA orders new trial for woman who shot and killed pastor

February 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a guilty but mentally ill verdict against an Indianapolis woman who killed the pastor at her church because she believed he was part of a cartel that was pitted against her. The judges held Lori Ann Barcroft’s due process rights were violated when the judge entered that verdict.
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Attorney general sues county auditor accused of theft

February 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is suing former Owen County Auditor Angie M. Lawson to recover more than $380,000 in embezzled taxpayer funds. Lawson also faces criminal charges stemming from the same theft of public funds.
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Tanker trailer manufacturer not entitled to sales tax refund on rehabbed tankers

February 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Delphi company that makes cryogenic tanker trailers as well as repairs and rehabilitates used ones could not convince the Indiana Tax Court that it should be entitled to a refund on the utilities it used to rehab used tankers.
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House Republicans block minimum-wage ballot question

February 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
Hoosier voters won’t have the opportunity to participate in a non-binding referendum on raising the minimum wage as most states have done.
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Federal judge stalls Obama's executive action on immigration

February 17, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge in South Texas has temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, giving a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit that aims to permanently stop the orders.
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Enhancement affirmed after man exaggerated mental deficits to delay trial

February 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although a defendant has a mental disorder, he tried to exaggerate his mental deficits in order to delay or prevent a criminal trial on a bank robbery charge. The federal court saw through his act and enhanced his sentence for obstruction of justice, which the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Friday in a case of first impression.
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Counterclaims against bank dismissed for failure to state actionable claim

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the decision to dismiss a woman’s counterclaims against her mortgage holder after it sought to foreclose on her home. None of her claims, which stemmed from the denial of modifying her mortgage under a new program, stated an actionable claim.
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Indiana same-sex couple files suit to get both names listed on birth certificate

February 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A married lesbian couple filed a complaint in federal court charging Indiana is violating their constitutional rights by not listing both their names on their child’s birth certificate.
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COA affirms admission of re-recorded videos in rape trial

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of raping his wife after drugging her – and recording several sexual encounters – could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the wife’s recordings of the videos she found on her husband’s cellphone should not have been admitted at his trial.
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Defendant waived right to confront victim by not attending Skype deposition

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s rights under the Indiana Constitution were not violated when the state admitted his victim’s deposition acquired through Skype because the man chose not to be present during the deposition, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA declines to rule on motion to compel due to lack of cogent argument

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A couple awarded more than $7,600 following a car accident did not provide cogent argument or legal authority to support their claim a trial court erred in denying their motion to compel, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Order to pay for rescued animals’ treatment OK under general restitution statute

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a Perry County woman relinquished her three neglected horses to a local rescue organization, she cannot be ordered to pay restitution based on the animal cruelty statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. But the general restitution statute supports the trial court order Julie Bickford pay nearly $700 in restitution.
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COA affirms denial of plaintiff’s request for deposition fee reimbursement

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A doctor named as a defendant in a malpractice lawsuit was not required to pay more than $2,000 toward the deposition fees of the plaintiff’s expert, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA upholds intimidation conviction of man participating in fake robbery

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A staged robbery between two friends to cover up stolen funds from an employer took an unexpected turn when a good Samaritan tried to catch the supposed robber. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s intimidation conviction for pulling a knife on the good Samaritan during a chase.
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Failure to file board record dooms claim for judicial review

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A company that did not file the board record or request an extension of time to file the record within 30 days as required by the applicable judicial review statute should not have been allowed to proceed with its request for judicial review, the Indiana Court of Appeals held. The judges reversed the denial of the town of Pittsboro’s request to dismiss Ark Park LLC’s claims.
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Denial of witness testimony was harmless error, COA rules

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court abused its discretion when it did not allow a person to testify on behalf of the defendant based on a separation of witnesses violation, the error was harmless, ruled the Court of Appeals in affirming a man’s felony convictions of vicarious sexual gratification and possession of child pornography.
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COA clarifies decision in reversed CHINS case

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted the Department of Child Services’ request for rehearing of an August 2014 decision in which the court reversed a child in need of services finding for a child whose father was in the Navy for the first few years of the child’s life. The judges clarified their reasoning but affirmed their decision in all respects.
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Justices: Previous ruling did not alter fundamental error doctrine

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court wants to clear up potential confusion involving the state’s fundamental error doctrine.
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Judge denies defense motions for Indy house blast suspect

February 12, 2015
 Associated Press
The defense of a suspect in a 2012 Indianapolis house explosion that killed two people and damaged dozens of homes has been dealt a setback after a judge denied two of its motions.
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Indianapolis lawyer wins $79M telecom verdict

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis lawyer won a $79 million federal jury verdict for Missouri landowners who had not been compensated for fiber optic Internet cables a telecommunications company carried on power lines that crossed their property.
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Couple needed expert testimony to show proximate cause in defective air bag suit

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A couple suing Ford Motor Company, alleging their 2003 Mercury Mountaineer was defective because the air bags did not deploy in an accident, lost their case because they failed to designate expert testimony to support their claim.
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Panel issues 3 opinions on interplay between T.R. 15(C) and 17(F)

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
While the three judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals panel agreed summary judgment was proper for an Indianapolis attorney being sued for defamation and other claims because the statute of limitations had expired, each judge interpreted the interplay between Trial Rules 15(C) and 17(F) differently.
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Man fails to prove Supreme Court would rule against established caselaw

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of an insurance adjuster’s motion to dismiss it from an injured man’s lawsuit alleging negligence in how it handled his case. The judges pointed out that the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that an insurance adjuster owes no legal duty to the insured and the plaintiff didn’t show that the Indiana Supreme Court would disagree with that decision.
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COA: Postnuptial agreement is enforceable

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
It is not a requirement that one party in a marriage must initiate divorce proceedings in order for the parties to later enter into a valid and enforceable reconciliation agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Awarded guardianship fees overturned due to potential misconduct

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a trial court did not look at whether fees requested by a man’s former guardians were necessary, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the order they receive more than $15,000 from his estate.
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