Court opinions

Appeals court affirms judgment for Valpo frat in student fight

April 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A fraternity fight between two Valparaiso University students who had clashed before is not grounds to hold the local or national fraternities responsible for one of the student’s injuries.
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Possession of precursors ruled lesser-included offense of greater crime

April 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who fled his car and left a “Nazi method” methamphetamine lab behind for police to find was able to get part of his conviction overturned because officers did not find any of the actual illegal drug.
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Disbarment order details lawyer’s profane, intimidating rants

April 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
Suspended Fort Wayne attorney R. Mark Keaton for years left profanity-laced voicemails and emails that threatened and harassed his daughter’s college roommate with whom he had developed an intimate relationship a decade ago. He was disbarred Tuesday.
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Bankruptcy judge’s swearing-in ceremony Wednesday

April 21, 2015
IL Staff
Judge Jeffrey J. Graham of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana will be formally sworn in during a public ceremony at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Birch Bayh Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Judge delays decision on NCAA concussion settlement

April 20, 2015
 Bloomberg News
A U.S. judge has declined to immediately approve the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s $75 million settlement of a lawsuit by college athletes who’ve suffered head injuries, giving a critic of the accord three weeks to file arguments opposing the revamped deal.
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Landscaper’s attorney fails to explain fee

April 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A landscaping company’s award for attorney fees has been sent back to small claims court for reconsideration after the business and the attorney failed to submit documentation supporting the fee amount.
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Judgment for Planned Parenthood stands, but not for minor’s ID provider

April 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman who gave her son’s 17-year-old girlfriend another person's ID and posed as her mother to help her obtain an abortion was not properly dismissed from a lawsuit brought by the pregnant girl’s mother, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. Summary judgment in favor of Planned Parenthood of Indiana was proper, the court held.
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Sewer company entitled to attorney fees over frivolous appeal

April 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Three people required to connect their properties to a not-for-profit sewer company – who later were held in contempt for not doing so – must pay appellate attorney fees to the sewer company because the individuals sought to re-litigate the judgments instead of challenge the contempt orders.
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7th Circuit: No plain error in not applying 'safety valve' in sentencing

April 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Whether firearms belonging to co-conspirators in a drug ring attributed to a defendant for purposes of the firearm sentence enhancement can be considered for a two-level reduction in her offense level under the so-called “safety valve” for nonviolent, first-time drug offenders is a matter of first impression for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. But the judges declined to address the issue because the woman failed to raise it at sentencing.
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Murderer’s writ for relief denied by 7th Circuit

April 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
For the fourth time, a northern Indiana man’s appeal of his death sentence for four murders has come before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. This time, the judges affirmed the denial of his writ for habeas corpus.
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COA affirms Evansville police officer’s firing for grabbing teen’s crotch

April 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A longtime Evansville police officer who was fired for rule violations after he grabbed a teen’s crotch at a school where the officer also worked as a security officer lost the appeal of his termination before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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COA: Company sought to prevent competition, not protect trade secret

April 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of a directed verdict in favor of the defendants in a lawsuit alleging they divulged confidential information and trade secrets after departing a computer systems company and began working for a competitor.
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COA agrees lawsuit may continue in Indiana under Journey’s Account Statute

April 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although a plaintiff in a lawsuit stemming from a car accident in Indiana used bad judgment when he filed the suit in federal court in Illinois, where he lives, there was no error by a Tippecanoe County court to allow the lawsuit to later proceed when filed there based on the Journey’s Account Statute, ruled the Court of Appeals.
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Theft conviction reversed based on lack of evidence

April 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man accused of stealing a rangefinder from a southern Indiana Rural King had his conviction reversed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The judges concluded there was insufficient evidence to support Jeremy Middleton’s conviction.
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COA revises sentence for molestation of stepson

April 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found sufficient evidence as well as no errors by the trial court in affirming five molestation convictions of a man involving his stepson. But, the judges believed his nearly 100-year sentence needs revised.
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Justices order more proceedings on fees owed to law firm

April 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court noted that a trial court did not take into account caselaw when it denied an Indianapolis firm’s request for quantum meruit relief.
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COA: IURC improperly approved utility’s 7-year plan

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In the appeal of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s decision to approve rate increases requested by a northern Indiana utility group under a new statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded the commission erred in approving a seven-year plan that only gave specifics about year one.
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Known loss doctrine bars claim against insurers

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The insurers of a company that purchased property it knew was contaminated are not required to defend or indemnify the company regarding the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s remediation action, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday.
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New criminal code not applicable to offenses committed prior to enactment

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana General Assembly explicitly stated that the revised criminal code does not apply to penalties, crimes or proceedings that began before the effective date of July 1, 2014, so a man is not entitled to be sentenced under the more-favorable criminal code, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Vet: Unjust civil commitment 'takes everything' away

April 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Marine Corps veteran is trying to put his life back together after he was wrongly committed when a court found him gravely disabled and dangerous. His case before the Indiana Supreme Court recently reformed the requirements necessary to deprive the liberty of someone with mental illness.
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Enhancements for different offenses are permissible

April 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A drunken driver handed a stiff sentence for repeated offenses was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals his penalty was an improper double enhancement.
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Convicted murderer who claims innocence loses PCR appeal

April 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of a 1993 murder in southern Indiana was not wrongly denied post-conviction relief on his argument that his lawyer was ineffective for failing to recommend he take a plea deal, among other things.
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One test enough to uphold methamphetamine conviction

April 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite a second test not being conducted to confirm the presumptive findings, a Cass County man’s drug conviction was upheld after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the state had established reliability of the test performed.
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Reversal: Bank’s refiled foreclosure 'disingenuous,' 'improper'

April 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A bank won summary judgment in a refiled mortgage foreclosure suit against a bankrupt couple after its first complaint was dismissed, but the Indiana Court of Appeals slapped down the trial court ruling Monday and dismissed the case.
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Tax Court affirms ruling in favor of KinderCare on educational exemption

April 1, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Board of Tax Review did not err when it determined property on which a KinderCare Learning Center sits qualified for an educational purposes exemption for the 2009 tax year, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Wednesday.
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  1. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  2. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  3. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

  4. I'm going to court the beginning of Oct. 2015 to establish visitation and request my daughters visits while she is in jail. I raised my grandchild for the first two and half years. She was born out of wedlock and the father and his adopted mother wantwd her aborted, they went as far as sueing my daughter for abortion money back 5mo. After my grandchild was born. Now because of depression and drug abuse my daughter lost custody 2 and a half years ago. Everyting went wrong in court when i went for custody my lawyer was thrown out and a replacment could only stay 45 min. The judge would not allow a postponement. So the father won. Now he is aleinating me and my daughter. No matter the amount of time spent getting help for my daughter and her doing better he runs her in the ground to the point of suicide because he wants her to be in a relationship with him. It is a sick game of using my grandchild as a pawn to make my daughter suffer for not wanting to be with him. I became the intervener in the case when my daughter first got into trouble. Because of this they gave me her visitation. Im hoping to get it again there is questions of abuse on his part and I want to make sure my grandchild is doing alright. I really dont understand how the parents have rights to walk in and do whatever they want when the refuse to stand up and raise the child at first . Why should it take two and a half years to decide you want to raise your child.The father used me so he could finish college get a job and stop paying support by getting custody. Support he was paying my daughter that I never saw.

  5. Pence said when he ordered the investigation that Indiana residents should be troubled by the allegations after the video went viral. Planned Parenthood has asked the government s top health scientists at the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.

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