Court opinions

Involuntary commitment vacated for lack of evidence

July 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis woman was improperly ordered committed for mental illness, but there was insufficient evidence she was gravely disabled, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The decision further emphasizes the need for clear and convincing evidence of grave disability to support a commitment.
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Reversal: Court wrongly required $1.1M bond in estate spat

July 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court wrongly ordered an heir to an estate to post a bond of more than $1.1 million for a claim he submitted as he sought to block the sale of the family farm.
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Trial court had discretion in allowing hearsay statements into evidence

July 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court, which excused two young girls from testifying against their abuser at trial and instead allowed their prior statements to be admitted into evidence, did not abuse its discretion, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Reversal: Trial court erred in vacating agreed paternity order

July 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Hendricks County trial court erred by disregarding a mother and father’s agreed paternity order, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, sending the matter back to the trial court. The court affirmed a judgment against father to pay mother’s attorney fees.
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City not liable for injury caused by pothole

July 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals split over the extent of governmental immunity after a woman who broke her leg crossing the street sued the city of Beech Grove for negligence.
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Tax Court: IndyGo appeal of $800,000 budget cut may proceed

July 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
IndyGo received the green light to proceed with a Tax Court appeal of about $800,000 in budget cuts the state ordered for the public transportation service in 2012.
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Fort Wayne hospital loses Medicaid payment appeal

July 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne was not wrongly denied $27 million in Medicaid payments it sought from the state when it failed to properly and timely document the claims, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday.
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GPS search after fatal crash unconstitutional, COA holds

July 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
The warrantless search of a driver's global positioning system after a crash in which a passenger died was unconstitutional, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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COA affirms habitual offender enhancement

July 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
A habitual offender failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that an amended statute, which took effect July 1, 2014, should have been applied to enhance his dealing cocaine conviction.
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Indiana Supreme Court weighs case on custody, mental illness

July 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court is weighing an emotionally charged case in which a man lost custody of his daughter after spurning child-welfare officials’ suggestions that he leave his mentally ill wife based on their fears that she might harm the girl.
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Despite rebuke, Court of Appeals tosses default judgment

July 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant who consistently failed to appear for scheduled hearings in small claims court gained a reprieve, but with an admonishment, from the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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In 3-2 decision, justices reinstate molestation conviction

July 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A 3-2 decision of the Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday reinstated a Class A felony child molestation conviction that the Court of Appeals reversed because the defendant was denied opportunities to admit evidence.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling for Emmis in unpaid-dividend suit

July 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A ruling in favor of Emmis Communications in a federal lawsuit brought by owners of preferred shares in the company was affirmed Thursday by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit rejects second challenge at ACA contraception mandate

July 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has again rejected a college’s argument against having to give notification that it does not want to provide coverage for contraceptives as required under the Affordable Care Act.
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Notebook found in car falls under Fourth Amendment exception

July 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A notebook taken from a vehicle during an investigation of an identity-theft scheme was admissible at trial even though police did not have a search warrant, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Appeals court reverses denial of Fortville annexation

July 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The town of Fortville’s effort to annex more than 600 acres was wrongly blocked by a trial court, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, sending the matter back for further proceedings.
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7th Circuit slams lawyer, sets new law on fees

July 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis attorney who appealed a class-action lawsuit seeking a share of his clients’ compensation on top of a statutory award of fees was called out by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which denied his appeal and affirmed the judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Privilege defense splits Court of Appeals

June 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A split Indiana Court of Appeals found the privilege granted to store owners and employees in making claims to police does have limits.
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Use tax on out-of-state vehicle purchases upheld

June 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A tree service properly paid Indiana use tax on its commercial vehicle purchases made outside the state, and imposition of those taxes did not violate the Commerce Clause, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Tuesday.
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Indy skyline photo copyright appeal not fully developed

June 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A lawyer and photographer’s appeal in a copyright lawsuit over unlicensed use of his photo of the Indianapolis skyline was improper, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday, dismissing the appeal.
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Court ruling spurs backers' hopes for redistricting changes

June 30, 2015
 Associated Press
Groups trying to curb the partisan sculpting of U.S. House of Representative districts are hoping their Supreme Court of the United States victory will prompt more states to create independent commissions to redraw congressional lines.
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Homeowners meet criteria for adverse possession of disputed property

June 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A church that challenged those who, it believed, trespassed failed to convince the Indiana Supreme Court that a disputed strip of land was actually part of its property.
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Split COA panel affirms day care couple’s manslaughter convictions

June 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A couple convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a child died in their home-based Fishers day care failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that they should get new trials.
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Appeals panel affirms partial summary judgment in foreclosure suit

June 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court Appeals affirmed partial summary judgment granted in a mortgage foreclosure suit, rebuffing a creditor's interlocutory appeal seeking summary judgment to foreclose the mortgage.
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Former JA chief loses defamation appeal against attorney

June 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
The former president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Indiana lost a defamation appeal against an Indianapolis attorney Tuesday. The Indiana Supreme Court ruled the complaint was time-barred.
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