Court opinions

Divided justices: Statute provides immunity to firearms sellers

April 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
Holding that state statute immunizes firearms sellers from damages claims brought after a third party misuses a gun purchased from their stores, a divided Indiana Supreme Court has dismissed a series of damages claims against an Indianapolis gun store. The justices did allow a claim for equitable relief to continue.
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Justices affirm denial of PCR to man whose attorney called him a ‘Negro’

April 24, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief to a man who said his attorney prejudiced him by referring to him as a “Negro” during the selection of jurors, but noted that the Court of Appeals misstated the legal standard of prejudice it applied when making its decision.
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Justices: Colorado policy on court fees unconstitutional

April 20, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Wednesday that Colorado's practice of not automatically refunding court fees and other costs to people convicted of crimes but later exonerated violates the Constitution.
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Appellate court interprets amended habitual offender statute

April 19, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, after finding the language of the habitual offender statute doesn’t support either the defendant’s or the state’s interpretation, reversed the denial of the defendant’s objection to his habitual counts and ordered the trial court to review the matter.
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COA affirms confidentiality of deposition in litigation between Greek brothers

April 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
Discovery materials protected in Indiana courts under a protective order cannot be used in litigation between two brothers in Greece, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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COA reduces woman’s OWI conviction, orders new hearing on fees

April 19, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not properly determine whether a woman had the ability to pay fees owed after being convicted of a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge, so the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the case back to the trial court. The judges also ordered her conviction reduced based on the evidence presented at trial.
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COA: Signatures do not have to take a specific form

April 19, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who drove too fast and was given an electronic speeding ticket failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that all signatures are not the same.
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7th Circuit: Title VII includes sexual orientation

April 19, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals made history when it ruled in early April that Title VII does prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. But whether that opinion becomes the inspiration for other circuits to make similar findings has yet to be seen.
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Questions exist as to whether Clarksville home violates neighborhood covenants

April 18, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
Summary judgment was prematurely granted to a Clarksville homeowner sued by his neighbors for allegedly violating the neighborhood’s restrictive covenants, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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COA: Parties stipulation shows easement is necessary

April 18, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
In a dispute between neighbors, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a private property owner had to allow part of his land to be used to give access to a tract of land owned by a business.
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US Supreme Court rejects bid by detained asylum seekers

April 17, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected an appeal from detained immigrant mothers and their children who claim they will be persecuted if they are returned to their Latin American homelands.
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New Castle Schools negligence case headed to trial

April 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed summary judgment in case stemming from an altercation in a New Castle career program, finding that genuine issues of material fact remain as to whether the school was negligent.
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Appellate court affirms teenager’s delinquency adjudication

April 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Marion Superior Court properly adjudicated an Indianapolis teenager as a delinquent on theft and trespassing charges, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Thursday, holding the court’s true findings were supported by sufficient evidence.
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COA reverses child support modification despite untimely appeal

April 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
Despite a father’s untimely filing of an appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided to reverse a child custody modification order, finding there was an “extraordinarily compelling reason” to consider the father’s case on its merits.
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Appellate court affirms dismissal of protective order against mother

April 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of a grandmother’s petition for a protective order on behalf of her grandson and the subsequent ex parte order, holding the grandmother lacked legal standing to file the petition on his behalf.
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COA affirms dismissal of armed burglary charge

April 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Huntington County woman who stole a gun as part of a plan to trade the gun for drugs will not be charged with armed burglary because the gun was not used to “arm” the woman during her crime, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Public Lawsuit Statute not applicable in Tipton Co. case

April 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Public Lawsuit Statute that requires litigants to post bond when bringing a public lawsuit did not apply in a Tipton County case in which a couple was seeking to protect their own private interests, rather than public interests, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday.
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Tax Court affirms assessments of lakefront property

April 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Tax Court has affirmed two property assessments for a lakefront property in northern Indiana, finding that the property owner failed to meet her burden of proof to discredit the county’s assessments.
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Lawsuit against Columbus over crosswalk headed toward trial

April 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
Although the city of Columbus has immunity from the policy decisions that may have contributed to a 13-year-old’s injuries when he was struck by a vehicle in a city crosswalk, genuine issues of material fact remain that preclude the city from being awarded summary judgment in a lawsuit, a divided Indiana Court of Appeals has held.
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COA reverses stay of man’s driving suspension

April 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
A northern Indiana man whose driving privileges were suspended for a variety of driving-related offenses, including operating while intoxicated, cannot have those suspensions stayed after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that such a stay is contrary to state law.
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Appellate court dismisses juvenile’s appeal of DOC commitment

April 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has dismissed a teenager’s appeal of his commitment to the Indiana Department of Correction, finding that because the teenager has already been released, his appeal is moot.
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7th Circuit rules in favor of police officer in 4th Amendment lawsuit

April 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the denial of summary judgment to a Highland police officer, finding his decision to keep a man in handcuffs while he was investigated as part of a road rage incident did not violate the Fourth Amendment.
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Man entitled to credit for time spent awaiting Indiana trial

April 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has partially affirmed the denial of a man’s request for credit for time he spent incarcerated in Florida and New Hampshire, noting that after he was sentenced in Indiana, the Indiana and foreign sentences were meant to be served concurrently.
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Supreme Court strikes down contentious med-mal ruling

April 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
After six years of controversy over the limits, or lack thereof, on what evidence and arguments may be presented to a trial court during a medical malpractice proceeding, the Indiana Supreme Court has denounced a highly disputed medical malpractice case while simultaneously adopting a recent Court of Appeals opinion.
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Appellate court affirms CHINS order

April 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a Vanderburgh County children in need of services order after finding the children’s custodian did not make any argument as to why his stipulation to the facts of the CHINS petition should be withdrawn for cause.
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