Regional News

Justices take appeal over who pays DCS record fee

October 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
A litigant whose award of $1,200 against the Department of Child Services for the cost of preparing an agency record was reversed by the Court of Appeals will have his case heard by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Firm must defend deceased lawyer’s ‘inflammatory’ counterclaim

October 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
Litigation that has outlived an attorney who filed a counterclaim accusing a northwest Indiana construction company of racketeering, among other things, still could cost the late lawyer’s former firm.
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Suspect’s disheveled appearance, not GPS, led to drug discovery

October 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A suspect’s attempt to pull up his unbuckled and falling pants as he stepped from his car negated any taint on the evidence caused by local law enforcement placing a GPS on his vehicle.
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Appeals court tosses injunction tied to non-compete clause

October 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
Terms of a non-compete clause in an agreement between an IT recruiter and his former employer are unreasonable, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday in throwing out an injunction that barred the recruiter from similar employment.
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Cappas appointed Lake Superior judge

October 4, 2013
IL Staff
Longtime Highland criminal defense attorney Sam Cappas has been appointed judge in the Lake Superior Criminal Division.
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Holiday World widow does not have to sell shares, COA rules

October 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl

The widow and children of the late William Koch Jr., can keep their shares in the southern Indiana theme park, Holiday World and Splashin' Safari, after a ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that William’s brother, Dan Koch, and Koch Development Corp. offered too little money for the shares.

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Appeals court partially reinstates colonoscopy malpractice claim

October 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A northern Indiana court inappropriately granted summary judgment in favor of a doctor and medical practice defending a suit brought by a patient who claimed negligence after a colonoscopy, a divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Habitual offender amendment after jury empaneled ruled error

October 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A habitual offender enhancement for a man convicted of robbery cannot stand because the state amended the underlying charges after a jury was empaneled, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Clarifications of statute still keep burden of proof on county assessor

October 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A county assessor’s attempt to shift the burden of proof onto a landowner in a dispute over a property assessment that increased more than 5 percent failed to convince the Indiana Tax Court.
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‘Living as if a spouse’ permits woman’s domestic battery conviction

October 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A married woman convicted of domestic battery against a man with whom she was involved in an on-again, off-again romantic relationship couldn’t persuade an appeals court that it was a stretch to apply the criminal statute in her situation.
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Failure to object to anonymous jury not ineffective assistance

September 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of murdering his 39-week-pregnant estranged wife cannot claim he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney failed to object to an anonymous jury, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Small-claims change of judge time limit further divides appellate courts

September 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
How long a small-claims court litigant has to request a change of judge is a question that divided a Court of Appeals panel Monday, where a majority found that an earlier appellate panel majority got it wrong. The dissenting judge authored the prior opinion, and said it shouldn’t be disturbed even if it may have been wrongly decided.
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No evidence that missed deadline was result of ineffective attorney

September 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A Boone County man’s failed attempt to get a jury trial was not the result of ineffective counsel but because he missed the statutory deadline, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Appeals court upholds allowing represented defendant to argue pro se

September 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
A criminal defendant represented by counsel who unsuccessfully argued on his own to withdraw a guilty plea to a Class A felony charge of dealing cocaine had a burden of proving manifest injustice, which he failed to do, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Tax Court affirms assessments of Shelbyville CVS store

September 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
The assessment of a Shelbyville CVS store is lower than the county wanted, higher than the drugstore chain wanted, but just right, the Indiana Tax Court concluded.
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Stopped traffic snarls purse snatcher’s getaway scheme

September 23, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the getaway car moved only a few feet after being stopped by police, a man in the passenger seat still was properly convicted of resisting law enforcement because he instructed the driver of the car to “take off.”
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Court cites 1827 case to affirm mortgage trumps land contract

September 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
A bank that issued a mortgage to a person selling a property on a land contract has the right to foreclose on the loan, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, citing caselaw nearly 200 years old.
 
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Dismissed foreclosure involving merged lender reinstated

September 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
A mortgage foreclosure dismissed by a Lake Superior judge was reinstated Thursday by a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit: Recording of drug deal doesn’t taint conviction

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
A taped conversation between a suspected heroin dealer and a confidential informant in which a sentence was admitted into evidence was not fruit of the poison tree dooming a conviction that was supported by plenty of other evidence, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Molester’s imprisonment alone insufficient to bar contact with son

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
Serving 50 years in prison for conviction of eight counts of Class A felony child molesting, a count of Class C felony child molesting and Class C felony criminal confinement is insufficient by itself for a court to rule an incarcerated father may not have phone or mail contact with his child, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Man extradited from Wyoming on many charges not denied speedy trial

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man who twice escaped incarceration in Indiana and was extradited to face a multitude of charges after he was convicted in Wyoming failed to convince appellate judges he had been denied a speedy trial.
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Vigo court too hasty in tossing killer’s pro se PCR petition, panel rules

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of murder who represented himself in his post-conviction relief proceeding was wrongly denied a chance to plead his case, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The court reversed an order by Vigo Superior Judge Christopher Newton summarily denying the petition.
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Justices to take up partial consecutive sentence case

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
Whether state law allows a criminal defendant to receive a partial consecutive sentence may be determined by the Indiana Supreme Court, which agreed to hear a case successfully argued by a pro se litigant to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Fake ID using own name not aggravated ID theft, 7th Circuit rules

September 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana man who supplied a fake identification that used the recipient’s real name may not be subjected to the federal aggravated identity theft statute, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday in a unanimous en banc decision.
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7th Circuit reinstates mechanics’ claims of faulty trailer-support design

September 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
Complaints for damages from two mechanics that were injured by a semi trailer they were working on were partially reinstated Friday by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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  1. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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