Court opinions

Continuous crime doctrine requires reversal of 2 domestic battery convictions

July 8, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Because the evidence showed a man’s acts of domestic violence against his now ex-wife constituted a single transaction for purposes of the continuing crime doctrine, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed two of the man’s three convictions.
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Lawyer loses appeals over Indy skyline photo

July 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis lawyer who defendants call a copyright troll lost his appeals against three people who successfully defended against his suits over use of one of his photos.
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Robber’s use of debit card is forgery, COA affirms

July 1, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that he couldn’t be convicted of forgery under Indiana law because using his robbery victims’ ATM cards did not qualify as “uttering a written instrument.”
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COA reverses lifetime sex offender registration, upholds ban from school property

July 1, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a man challenging his lifetime registration as a sex offender that the law as applied to him violates the Indiana Constitution’s prohibition against ex post facto laws. But he lost a similar challenge to the unlawful-entry statute that prohibits him from entering school property.
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Stricken Indiana abortion law ‘unprecedented,’ opponents say

July 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s strict anti-abortion legislation that Gov. Mike Pence signed this year was “unprecedented” in scope and in its rejection of long-established federal law, said opponents who succeeded in blocking the law from taking effect.
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COA majority rules dog sniff did not prolong stop

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a woman’s motion to suppress evidence found at a traffic stop in a 2-1 decision after the court ruled the stop was not extended by an officer’s check of the car with his dog.
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Evidence found during arrest for public intox is admissible, COA rules

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s misdemeanor cocaine possession conviction after it held the search an officer conducted after finding the man asleep in his car did not violate his Fourth Amendment rights and thus the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting the cocaine found during the search.
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Majority: 2 shoplifting charges not RICO violations

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a split decision the state went too far when it convicted a man who committed two acts of shoplifting under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and reversed his conviction for corrupt business influence.
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COA: Failure to give breath test sample was refusal to take test

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a woman refused a chemical breath test, noting the officer giving the test followed all the proper procedures and was within his rights to determine she refused the test after she failed to give a valid sample three times.
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COA: Minors’ malpractice suit can continue

June 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by minor children can continue after it found the suit was not untimely filed. The children were in the correct age range to trigger an exception in the Medical Malpractice Act.
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COA: Death during robbery is felony murder

June 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found evidence was sufficient to uphold a robber’s conviction of felony murder after one of his accomplices was killed in a fight with a robbery victim.
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7th Circuit affirms judgment for employee on ADA claim

June 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed judgment for an employee who claimed the city of Anderson did not accommodate his disability when it fired him for not having a commercial driver’s license he could no longer get because of his diabetes.
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COA: Testimony would have restricted jury’s ability to decide

June 28, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of voluntary manslaughter after it found the trial court did not err in restricting the testimony of an expert witness for the defense.
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COA: CVRA damages are distinct from punitive damages

June 28, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a damages award pursuant to the Crime Victim Relief Act after the court found in its second hearing of a case that CVRA damages are distinct from common law punitive damages.
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Supreme Court extends Charlie White’s suspension

June 28, 2016
Dave Stafford
Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White may never be allowed to practice law again, the Indiana Supreme Court suggested Tuesday in extending his suspension another two years without automatic reinstatement.
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COA: Tenant does not have obligation to indemnify landlord

June 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a tenant did not have to indemnify a landlord against a woman’s personal injury claims after she filed suit against both of them.
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COA reverses grant of woman’s unemployment benefits

June 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed unemployment benefits awarded to a woman after it found she did have notice her job was in jeopardy despite various notes thanking her for her help in office matters she received from her employer.
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Vendor, Department of Revenue win partial victories on sales tax case

June 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Department of Revenue and a company that sold food through vending machines and its cafeteria both were victorious in Indiana Tax Court Thursday on the issue of whether all of the company’s vending machine sales and cafeteria sales are subject to sales tax and negligence penalties.
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Pence praises US Supreme Court immigration ruling

June 24, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence praised a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down President Barack Obama's executive order on immigration.
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7th Circuit reversal: Conour fraud victims, not creditor, take priority

June 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
Fraud victims of disgraced former lawyer William Conour have the upper hand over his former law firm creditor who was awarded a judgment of almost $775,000, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, reversing the District Court and signaling too much may have been awarded.
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COA: Seller not liable for undisclosed septic system

June 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed judgment against a man who claimed fraud because he was not told the property he bought was connected to a septic system.
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Murder defendant’s trial attorney ineffective, COA rules

June 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the denial of a man’s post-conviction relief petition, finding his trial counsel was ineffective and his petition was not barred by laches.
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High court limits drunken-driving test laws

June 23, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday placed new limits on state laws that make it a crime for motorists suspected of drunken driving to refuse alcohol tests.
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High court limits use of repeat offender law

June 23, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court is making it tougher for federal prosecutors to seek longer prison terms for people convicted of repeated violent crimes.
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7th Circuit: Women’s services ad can be posted in buses

June 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found a women’s health organization can advertise on city buses because its ad does not violate any of the transit company’s ad policies, overturning a Northern District of Indiana decision.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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