Court opinions

Supreme Court: Rules of Evidence allowed admission of gun

June 22, 2017
Olivia Covington
In a decision reaffirming the notion that the doctrine of res gestae is defunct and is not grounds for admission of evidence, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the admission of a gun and resulting convictions in a joint Lake County resisting law enforcement and battery trial for two defendants.
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COA remands dispute over attorney fees owed to doctor

June 22, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A cardiologist who was denied his request for attorney fees totaling $450,000 will get a second chance to make his argument after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the trial court abused its discretion in awarding nearly $423,000 less.
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Prosecutor’s involvement in judge’s re-election committee doesn’t require recusal

June 22, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Howard County prosecutor’s membership on a sitting judge’s re-election campaign committee did not require the judge to recuse himself in two separate cases, two panels of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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High court rejects new trial request in Boston murder case

June 22, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday ruled against a Boston man seeking to overturn his murder conviction because his lawyer failed to object when the trial judge closed the courtroom during jury selection.
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SCOTUS limits ability to strip citizenship

June 22, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday limited the government's ability to strip U.S. citizenship from immigrants for lying during the naturalization process.
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Man who did not knowingly waive representation to get new trial

June 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
A southern Indiana man will receive a new trial for his invasion of privacy charges after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday the trial court failed to advise him of the dangers of proceeding pro se.
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Court vacates union representation, citing unclear deciding vote

June 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
The regional director of the National Labor Relations Board erroneously counted a ballot in favor of union representation of a northern Indiana company and impacted the outcome of an election to determine whether the union would represent the company, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Man's 72-year sentence for child molestation upheld

June 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a man’s 72-year sentence for molesting his young daughter, finding the trial court did not consider identical facts at sentencing hearings on two separate charges.
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Court impermissibly entered convictions on 3 resisting law enforcement counts

June 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana trial court should not have entered convictions against a man on three counts of resisting law enforcement stemming from a single incident, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a Wednesday opinion instructing the trial court to change the man’s convictions and resentence him accordingly.
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7th Circuit: District court properly granted extra time to move for appeal

June 21, 2017
A federal judge properly allowed the state to have an extended period of time to move for direct appeal, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined Tuesday, finding a conditional writ of habeas corpus in the case provided unclear instructions on how the state was supposed to proceed.
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COA: attorney fees and litigation costs allowed in child’s wrongful death

June 20, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the award of attorney fees in a child’s wrongful death case.
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Split COA affirms northern Indiana utility rate increase

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A northern Indiana utility company can increase its rates after a divided Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission followed the appropriate statutory guidelines in approving the rate hike.
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Treble damages upheld in stepmother’s conversion of safe deposit box funds

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a determination that a northern Indiana woman illegally converted the funds in the safe deposit box her husband shared with his adult children and that the children are entitled to treble damages.
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Public outcry may be able to keep offensive trademarks at bay

June 20, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
While Monday’s decision from the Supreme Court of the United States that barred the federal government from asserting which names are offensive has been viewed as a victory for the Washington Redskins, a high school in northern Indiana may provide an example of what the eight justices were trying to accomplish.
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Court must revisit issue of prospective juror’s demeanor in Batson challenge

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Marion Superior Court must revisit the issue of whether a prospective juror’s body language made his dismissal appropriate after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Tuesday it would be inappropriate to credit the state’s assertion without findings that the dismissal was not based on race.
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High court strikes down extension of community caretaking role to non-vehicle searches

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a portion of an Indiana Court of Appeals opinion that extended the law enforcement community caretaker role beyond questions regarding seizures of a vehicle. The justices did affirm the man's cocaine conviction, however, finding his constitutional arguments failed. 

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Putnam County officer to be resentenced again for excessive use of force

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Putnam County law enforcement officer who used excessive force against compliant arrestees must return to district court for a second resentencing after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined the district court, once again, failed to adequately justify its imposition of a below-guidelines sentence.
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US high court curbs suits against companies in Plavix case

June 19, 2017
 Bloomberg News
The U.S. Supreme Court gave companies a new tool to defeat some legal claims, siding with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in a bid to limit a consumer lawsuit in California over its Plavix blood thinner.
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COA: County entities did not owe duty under foreseeability analysis

June 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
A southern Indiana county and its parks and recreation and health departments did not owe a duty to a man who contracted a deadly infection while at a county park, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday, reversing the denial of summary judgment to the governmental entities.
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Justices say law on offensive trademarks is unconstitutional

June 19, 2017
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down part of a law that bans offensive trademarks, ruling in favor of an Asian-American rock band called the Slants and giving a major boost to the Washington Redskins in their separate legal fight over the team name.
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7th Circuit orders new hearing in Marion County wrongful-detention suit

June 16, 2017
Olivia Covington
The issue of the certification of two subclasses of inmates who allege they were wrongfully detained for unconstitutional periods of time is back before a district court after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the court erred in initially denying class certification.
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Attorney disbarred for falsifying statements, evidence to disciplinary commission

June 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indianapolis attorney charged with making false statements and submitting false evidence to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission in an attempt to be reinstated to the practice of law has instead been disbarred.
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COA: Chiropractors not qualified to render opinions on ‘complex’ causation issues

June 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
A medical malpractice case against a Franklin County chiropractor must proceed to trial after the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that chiropractors, including those on medical review panels, are not qualified to render opinions on the cause of injuries when a case involves a “complex” causation issue.
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Experts say Court of Appeals ruling leaves death penalty in limbo

June 14, 2017
Dave Stafford
Legal experts from Indiana’s law schools said the decision casts uncertainty on the death penalty going forward, though they said by no means is the court’s ruling a moratorium on future executions.
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Court affirms division of marital estate in divorce

June 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
A trial court’s division of a marital estate that was challenged by both the husband and wife was affirmed Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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