Court opinions

Termination of parental rights waiting period requires no services

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Parents of children removed from the home for 15 of the prior 22 months before a hearing on termination of parental rights may not argue that a lack of services during that time tolls the waiting period, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA reverses lease judgment for tenant, finds for landlord

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A medical office that leased space from a landlord lost a judgment in its favor in a dispute over owed rent. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and ordered judgment in favor of the property owner.
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Lawyer who tried to trade representation for sex suspended

March 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
A former Marion County public defender accused of offering to trade legal service for sex with a prostitute has been suspended from the practice of law.
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Incredible dubiosity argument does not sway Indiana Supreme Court

March 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Inconsistencies from witnesses on the details of a crime did not convince the Indiana Supreme Court to overturn a jury’s verdict that found a South Bend man guilty of two murders.
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Justices find no public school transportation mandate

March 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dispute over a suburban Indianapolis school system’s fees for bus service ended Tuesday with the state Supreme Court ruling that public schools are not constitutionally required to provide transportation for students.
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Justices reverse trespass conviction of man near break-in scene

March 24, 2015
Dave Stafford

The Indiana Supreme Court reversed the trespassing conviction of a man arrested by Indianapolis police who saw him running in a field near the scene of a reported break-in.

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Mistaken interpretation of law by officer created reasonable suspicion

March 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed its earlier reversal of a trial court ruling after the Supreme Court of the United States found that reasonable mistakes of law do not violate the Fourth Amendment.
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Divided court returns forfeited Buick to owner

March 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman working at a Wal-Mart return center who helped herself to four iPhones on the way out the door wrongly had her car seized as a result of the conviction, a majority of the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. Justices reversed lower court civil forfeiture orders.
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Simon wins $150M after long legal battle with 16 insurers

March 24, 2015
IBJ Staff
Simon Property Group has been awarded a major victory in a nearly five-year legal battle against 16 insurers following a flood that severely damaged one of Simon's shopping malls in May 2010.
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Life insurance bankruptcy exemptions apply to nondependent spouses, children

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Friday settled a certified question on whether nondependent spouses and children enjoy the exemption granted to life insurance policy beneficiaries who are “the spouse, children, or any relative dependent upon” the debtor. They do, the court concluded.
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COA judge: Parole board 'should do better'

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who killed no one but who’s been in prison for almost 40 years for a felony murder conviction was entitled to a more thorough parole board review than one based on a 13-year-old psychological evaluation, a Court of Appeals judge wrote Friday.
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Steak n Shake parent wins court victory amid proxy challenge

March 20, 2015
IBJ Staff
Biglari Holdings Inc. has won a major legal victory as a separate fight with a dissident shareholder turns personal. A lawsuit brought by shareholders of the Steak n Shake parent accusing CEO Sardar Biglari and directors of breaching their fiduciary duties has been dismissed by a federal judge in Indiana.
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Reversal: Ex-AM General exec must go to court for compensation

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
The ex-president, CEO and chairman of South Bend Humvee maker AM General will have to go to court to seek cash compensation that the company instead paid in the form of a promissory note, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Justices reverse Marine veteran's involuntary commitment

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Marine veteran was wrongly committed for mental health treatment, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Justices reversed a trial court involuntary commitment order affirmed in a memorandum Court of Appeals opinion and swept away precedent in similar cases.
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COA affirms finding liquor stores violated rules on home delivery of wine

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission’s final order fining a northern Indiana liquor store company for using common carriers to transport wine to customers, which is a violation of its liquor permit.
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COA: Husband’s motion to set aside divorce decree time-barred

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the type of fraud a man alleged his ex-wife committed is considered “ordinary,” it was subject to the one-year time limit of Indiana Trial Rule 60(B)(3), the Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges affirmed the refusal of the trial court to set aside a 2008 dissolution decree.
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Evidence properly admitted in OWI trial

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Evidence discovered after law enforcement approached an intoxicated man’s minivan parked in a driveway was properly admitted at his trial over the defendant’s objections, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed, finding no violations of the U.S. or state constitutions.
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State failed to prove inmate knew he made false statements

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state could not establish that a Marion County Jail inmate knew statements he made to a witness over the phone in another inmate’s case were false, the state didn’t prove Johnny Gomillia committed attempted obstruction of justice.
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Joint defense agreement does not prevent trust from suing attorney

March 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
On interlocutory appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that a joint defense agreement entered into by an attorney and the trust he helped to set up and for which he served as trustee did not bar the trust’s later lawsuit against him for claims arising from their business relationship.
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Justices affirm brother committed 3 separate breaches of contract

March 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals on Tuesday that a man who purchased three properties outside of the joint business with his brother breached a noncompetition agreement with respect to all three properties.
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Justices dismiss Ball State from mother’s action seeking college expenses from ex-husband

March 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Ball State University should not have been added as a supplemental defendant in a woman’s petition to modify child support and seek postsecondary expenses from her ex-husband for her daughter, the Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday.
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COA affirms stalking conviction of man who followed teen in stores

March 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A southern Indiana man who followed the same teenage girl through two stores on separate occasions, staying as close as five feet to her at all times, could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his felony conviction for stalking needed to be overturned.
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Tax Court lacks jurisdiction to hear casino’s claim

March 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court on Monday dismissed a northern Indiana casino’s appeal of the LaPorte County treasurer’s failure to refund paid innkeeper’s tax, finding the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
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Judge incorrectly considered acquitted charges in denying expungement petition

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Facts from an incident that do not result in a felony conviction cannot be taken into consideration by a judge when determining a person is disqualified from filing for mandatory expungement of a different felony conviction resulting from the same incident, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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Mother’s due process rights deprived in termination hearing

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In finding both constitutional and statutory guarantees were transgressed, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by a lower court to convert an omnibus hearing on a termination of parental rights matter into a final hearing while mother was not present, which led to the termination of her parental rights.
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