Court opinions

Chronic litigator’s suit seeking $3 trillion tossed with warning

March 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has had about enough from a litigant who has brought so many frivolous lawsuits that he may be barred from filing future complaints.
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Woman may pursue negligence claim against pharmacist

March 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals sidestepped the question of whether a previous decision is valid when determining that a woman who brought a medical malpractice claim against a hospital can pursue a negligence claim against the hospital’s pharmacist. The plaintiff did not present that negligence claim before the medical review panel.
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Justices reverse grant of motion to suppress based on pat-down search

March 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In a 4-1 decision Monday, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled it is not inherently coercive for police to give conditional permission to step out of a vehicle during a traffic stop, subject to the motorist’s consent to a pat-down search.
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Wife wins appeal of division of marital estate

February 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a wife in a divorce proceeding that the trial court erred in how it calculated and divided the marital estate. The lower court incorrectly attributed the value of Florida real estate to the wife’s share of the marital pot as well as failed to credit her for paying the parties’ tax debt.
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Search of home of man in community corrections based on reasonable suspicion

February 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court acted within its discretion in admitting evidence seized from a man’s home, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The police search was justified by reasonable suspicion that the man engaged in criminal activity and a search condition contained in his agreement with community corrections.
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Because enhancement vacatur altered sentence, COA vacates plea agreement

February 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because removing a defendant’s habitual offender enhancement altered the sentence the parties had bargained for, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the trial court to vacate the entire plea agreement.
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Treatment facility sufficiently showed man was a danger to others

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 90-day involuntary commitment in a mental health facility because the treatment facility presented sufficient evidence that the man posed a substantial risk of harming others and was therefore dangerous.
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Ex-Chandler commission member’s lawsuit continues after COA ruling

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The member of a town’s advisory plan commission who was appointed to a four-year term, then unanimously recalled, will be allowed to go forward with his lawsuit stemming from his removal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Grant of judicial review following license suspension reversed

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because an Indiana driver did not take advantage of an available statutory method for challenging the suspension of her license before filing a petition for judicial review, the Court of Appeals reversed the grant of judicial review that ruled in her favor.
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COA ruling revives non-union subcontractor’s Antitrust Act claim

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A non-union subcontractor presented evidence establishing a genuine issue of material fact that the company awarded a contract to build a new school violated Indiana’s Antitrust Act by unlawfully restraining open and free competition for the public project, the Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Lack of post-verdict motion dooms fired employee’s appeal

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit court of Appeals quickly affirmed a jury verdict against a former employee in the Lake County Auditor’s Office who claimed she was unlawfully terminated for political reasons. The ex-employee failed to file any post-verdict motions, a necessary first step for the appeals court to review the case.
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COA interprets Uniform Premarital Act for first time

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A premarital agreement entered into by a pregnant teenage girl and her future husband who was twice her age was unconscionable when the agreement was executed in 1995, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday in an issue of first impression.
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Marion County small claims court bill passes Senate

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A proposal that would leave the long-criticized Marion County township small claims courts intact with modest changes has cleared the Indiana Senate. The bill would raise the limit on disputes from the current $6,000 to $8,000.
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COA rules lack of probable cause for warrant makes evidence inadmissible

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that a probable cause affidavit allowing police to search the home of a man suspected of manufacturing methamphetamine did not establish a confidential informant’s credibility and lacked probable cause. The majority also concluded that the good-faith exception would not be applicable in David Cartwright’s case.
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Inmate entitled to hearing on damages following public records request

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County court should have considered a Department of Correction inmate’s claims for civil penalties and court costs against the DOC instead of dismissing the case after the DOC produced the public records the inmate sought, the Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA affirms cutting off mother’s communication with daughter

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The court record is replete with evidence supporting a juvenile court’s decision that a teenage girl would be better off if communication and visits with her mother were terminated, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The girl, in foster care, often had detrimental visits with her mother.
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Judges rule counsel was not deficient, drug conviction stands

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana in excess of 30 grams after finding that the claims he wanted his attorney to raise at trial would not have prevailed.
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Court of Appeals finds no standing post-adoption, suggests legislative remedy

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana appeals court empathized with a grandmother’s situation, but it ruled the law gave the court no choice but to strip her of visitation with her granddaughter, whose mother – the grandmother’s daughter – had died.
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Professor says verdict highlights need for Congress to revisit terrorism law

February 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A historic $218.5 million verdict handed down Feb. 23 against Palestinian organizations for a series of terrorist attacks that killed or injured several U.S. citizens could bring unintended consequences and should cause Congress to reexamine federal terrorism statutes, according to a prominent Indiana legal scholar.
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Lease doesn't bar dentist's slip-and-fall suit against landlord

February 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dentist who slipped and fell on a patch of ice outside his office may pursue a negligence and personal-injury lawsuit against his professional corporation’s landlord, the Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday.
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7th Circuit reverses denial of disability benefits

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
An administrative law judge’s denial of Social Security disability benefits for a man who the Veterans Administration determined was totally disabled cannot be sustained, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA finds dual conviction violated double jeopardy

February 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
On a sua sponte review, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned one conviction of a Hamilton County woman who was found guilty of charges surrounding the death of an infant in her care.
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Appeals court opens RX database to defendant’s subpoena

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman charged with possession of a controlled substance who claimed she had a prescription may seek information from the state prescription database, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a reversal.
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Tax Court affirms denial of exemptions on lake property

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Lake Wawasee homeowners association failed to persuade the Indiana Tax Court to overturn Board of Tax Review denials of exemptions for waterfront property it claimed was maintained to retain and preserve the natural characteristics of land and water.
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Absence of evidence douses tobacco charge

February 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana inmate’s punishment for allegedly trafficking in tobacco was snuffed out when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found he was convicted without evidence of guilt.
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  1. November, 2014, I was charged with OWI/Endangering a person. I was not given a Breathalyzer test and the arresting officer did not believe that alcohol was in any way involved. I was self-overmedicated with prescription medications. I was taken to local hospital for blood draw to be sent to State Tox Lab. My attorney gave me a cookie-cutter plea which amounts to an ALCOHOL-related charge. Totally unacceptable!! HOW can I get my TOX report from the state lab???

  2. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  3. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  4. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  5. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

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