Misdemeanor

COA reverses handgun conviction after state failed to meet burden of proof

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
The state failed to meet its burden of proof to show that an Indianapolis man was carrying a handgun without a license outside of his dwelling, workplace or property, the Court of Appeals found Wednesday, thus vacating the man’s misdemeanor conviction.
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Justices consider conversion of felony to misdemeanor after plea agreement

December 1, 2016
Olivia Covington
The effect of legislative changes to state sentencing laws was at center in oral arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday.
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Judges: Parents, courts need guidance on discipline

November 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s conviction for battery against his daughter on Wednesday but expressed concern over the lack of guidance courts are given when trying to determine when parental discipline goes too far.
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COA affirms denial of timber buyer’s petition for post-conviction relief

September 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Monday that a Washington County timber buyer failed to prove that he was not guilty of illegally purchasing timber and, thus, is not entitled to post-conviction relief.
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Woman’s criminal recklessness, battery convictions against husband affirmed

September 20, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a woman’s conviction of misdemeanor battery against her husband despite her claim that the trial court did not allow her to admit evidence relevant to her case.
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Spitting satisfies ‘fighting’ element of disorderly conduct statute

August 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Monday found that the term “fighting” in the disorderly conduct statute is ambiguous and only covers physical altercations, but still upheld a man’s conviction based on his spitting on his wife during an argument.
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Woman’s outburst politically ambiguous; disorderly conduct conviction stands

August 26, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a Michigan City woman’s disorderly conduct conviction after finding the focus of her speech was politically ambiguous and the state acted rationally in impairing her speech while trying to serve an arrest warrant.
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COA: Live-in girlfriend asked to leave didn’t trespass

August 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
A woman who accepted a man’s offer to live in his home and who soon became his lover should not have been convicted of trespass for refusing to leave when he tried to kick her out, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Justices reinstate conviction divided COA reversed

August 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a man’s misdemeanor failure to identify conviction that had been reversed by a divided panel of the Court of Appeals.
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Statute, plea agreement do not preclude converting felony to misdemeanor

August 2, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision to reduce a man’s Class D felony conviction following a guilty plea to theft in 2000 to a Class A misdemeanor 15 years later.
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Man charged in pit bull attack on 2 Indiana women

October 12, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana man is facing misdemeanor charges after his pit bulls mauled and seriously injured two young women.
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Woman’s comments to police considered political speech, COA rules

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a woman's misdemeanor disorderly conduct conviction, which was based on her comments to police that she was pulled over because she was black, finding the comments were political in nature.
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COA orders corrected notification sent to BMV, suggests form update

June 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial court to send a corrected notice to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that shows judgment was only entered on two of the four charges a man was convicted of related to his speeding in Brown County. The judges also suggested that the BMV update its form to avoid future confusion as shown in this case.
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Indiana Supreme Court to review police search struck down by COA

June 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will review a drug-possession conviction reversed by the Court of Appeals in February because a police search lacked reasonable suspicion.
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No abuse in giving jury instruction, but COA still reverses 1 conviction

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it gave a jury instruction during an invasion of privacy trial, the Court of Appeals ruled, but the appeals court sua sponte did reverse one of two convictions because of double jeopardy.
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COA affirms admission of gun and photographs into evidence

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted as evidence a handgun and photographs of the gun found in a car being impounded after police discovered the driver did not own the car and believed it was unsafe to operate, the Court of Appeals held.
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Majority finds man entrapped to patronize prostitute

May 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a misdemeanor conviction for patronizing a prostitute, with two judges ruling the state was unable to rebut the man’s entrapment defense by showing he had a history of trying to buy sex.
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COA reissues expungement opinion

April 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reissued its decision finding the trial court should have granted a man’s petition for expungement. The court originally handed down the opinion in Taylor v. State, 45A03-1310-CR-406, April 17.
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Woman’s conviction for threatening apartment manager upheld

April 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a woman’s intimidation conviction Thursday, finding the evidence supports the charge that she threatened the manager of the apartment complex where she lived.
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Judges find court should have granted expungement

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the word “shall” in Indiana Code 35-38-9-2(d) is mandatory language requiring expungement, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a man’s petition to expunge his 2004 misdemeanor sexual misconduct with a minor conviction.
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Elected official loses appeal in voter registration removal

March 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Roseland Town Council member couldn’t convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that a District judge was incorrect in dismissing his lawsuit filed after he was removed from the voter registration list while incarcerated.
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Raccoon hunter cleared of conviction for fetching wayward dog

January 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A raccoon hunter’s misdemeanor conviction was reversed Tuesday when appellate judges determined he wasn’t hunting or chasing wildlife when he retrieved his wandering dog from property where he didn’t have permission to hunt.
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Admission of return of service did not violate Confrontation Clause

December 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday concluded that a return of service on a protective order is not testimonial, so its admission at trial did not violate a defendant’s rights under the Confrontation Clause.
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Judges affirm criminal reckless conviction

December 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man who turned his car sharply enough to force his girlfriend out of the car and onto the road had his conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Man convicted before felony classes implemented can’t convert conviction to misdemeanor

October 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man who pleaded guilty in 1977 to felony possession of a controlled substance was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he is entitled to have his conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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