Courts

Divided panel: OWI-causing-death retrial not double jeopardy

January 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A majority of an Indiana Court of Appeals panel upheld a man’s conviction and 14-year sentence for driving while intoxicated causing death, but a dissenting judge said the unusual case history that led to the outcome constituted double jeopardy.
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Court affirms higher home assessment as compared to neighbors

January 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Thursday affirmed the 2007 assessment of a property in an upscale community on Lake Michigan, rejecting the homeowner’s argument that the assessment should be lower because surrounding homes were assessed at a lower ratio when taking into account the prices at which the homes were sold.
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Split opinion: Disclosure of insurance policy limit is reversible error

January 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
Ruling on an issue of first impression, a divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday rejected a jury’s award of $250,000 to the widow of a motorcyclist injured in a crash. The majority remanded for a new trial, holding that disclosure of uninsured motorist policy limits was irrelevant and prejudiced the jury.
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Appeals panel upholds $3.9M verdict for bicyclist hit by school bus

January 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A student riding his bicycle to school on Washington Street in Indianapolis was hit by a school bus and critically injured, and a jury’s $3.9 million judgment in his favor was proper, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Judges reverse possession of meth, paraphernalia convictions

January 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a consolidated appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Huntington County man’s convictions and sentences for possession of methamphetamine and paraphernalia, ruling the trial court abused its discretion in admitting evidence purportedly seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
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COA: Teen who shot cows did not mutilate or torture them

January 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday reversed a teenager’s adjudications for cruelty to an animal after finding the evidence was not sufficient to prove he mutilated or tortured either cow he shot.
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COA: Insurers have no duty to defend in environmental case

January 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by an Indiana court relying on Maryland law that granted summary judgment and defense costs to a business whose product led to perchlorate contamination in California and Indiana.
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Court upholds suppression of mentally ill man’s confession

January 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson

Citing an inadequate Miranda warning and the mental illness a murder suspect has, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of the defendant’s motion to suppress confessions that he murdered two women. 

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IndyBar releases judicial candidate survey results

January 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County Superior judge currently suspended pending final disciplinary action was overwhelmingly not recommended by her peers to be re-elected, according to a survey released by the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Judicial Excellence Committee.
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Improper conduct by trial court does not require reversal of contempt order

January 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday found a trial judge committed some improper conduct during a hearing on a protective order, with one judge noting the court was “precariously close to crossing the line” when intervening in the proceedings. Despite this, the appellate court affirmed the order of contempt in favor of the petitioner.
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7th Circuit affirms above-guideline sentence for gun possession

January 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The District Court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing a man who pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a felon to a sentence above guidelines, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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Man wins partial victory in appeal of insurance dispute

January 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The lawsuit filed by man who was hit by a car while crossing the street will continue with respect to the driver of the car, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The judges affirmed summary judgment in favor of the driver’s insurer.
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Justices send Boonville annexation case back to trial court

January 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Multiple parcels of land acquired by the state for an adjoining public roadway should be counted as one parcel for purposes of remonstration, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Justices take case arguing retroactivity for revised criminal code

January 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of cocaine charges as a Class A felony and ultimately sentenced to 38 years in prison will get to argue to the Indiana Supreme Court that his punishment is disproportionate to the reduced offense that will take effect in July as part of Indiana’s revised criminal code.
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Magistrate, expungement bills pass committee

January 17, 2014
IL Staff
Legislation updating Indiana’s expungement law – including language specifying where a petition for expungement must be filed – is now eligible for consideration by the full House. The expungement bill is one of several that moved out of committee Thursday.
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Courts warn of email scam using phony court cases

January 17, 2014
IL Staff
The United States Courts cautioned attorneys this week about an email scam in which the emails purporting to come from federal and state courts are infecting recipients with computer viruses.
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Beer wholesalers enlist lawmakers in fight against Monarch

January 17, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
The Statehouse is a common battlefield for factions in Indiana's alcoholic beverage industry, and this session, one group of beer wholesalers is firing shots in multiple directions.
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Opinion affirms New Albany has zoning jurisdiction over fringe area of county

January 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a dispute between the city of New Albany and Floyd County concerning which entity has zoning jurisdiction over an unincorporated area outside city limits, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the city.
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Company can’t prevail in appeal on claims of collusion

January 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the confirmation of a sale of an ethanol plant in South Bend to a joint venture, rejecting a nonbidder’s claim that the establishment of the joint venture amounted to collusion that spoiled the auction.
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Dickson: Lawmakers’ help needed to fix Marion County Small Claims courts

January 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson told a joint session of the General Assembly Wednesday that lawmakers’ help was needed to fix Marion County Township Small Claims Courts, which have been plagued by allegations of forum shopping and other criticism.
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Hamilton County considers veterans court

January 15, 2014
Andrea Muirragui Davis, Dave Stafford
A problem-solving court that could offer diversion programs for veterans charged with minor offenses is under consideration in Noblesville.
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Inaccurate drain location data causes city to lose negligence suit

January 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the city of Fort Wayne did not provide accurate locations of its drains to a utility company involved in constructing an underground monolith, its negligence suit against the utility company can’t survive summary judgment. An underground drain was damaged during the process, causing flooding in the area.
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Some attorneys aren't sold on the proposed Marion County Criminal Justice Complex

January 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
Redundancies and inefficiencies, plus concerns for security at the jail and at the Indianapolis City-County Building – where defendants with court dates come into regular contact with the public – prompted city and county officials last month to announce a Criminal Justice Complex proposal that would bring courts, jails and other related functions under one very large roof.
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Preserving the past

January 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
County clerks, archivists and court administration work to keep historical records accessible.
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Suspension may herald end of Kimberly Brown’s judicial career

January 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
Before suspended Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown was facing possible removal from the bench for dozens of disciplinary counts, she had difficulties in her prior court, according to recent filings arguing for the ultimate sanction against a judge.
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