Court opinions

Owner not entitled to more cash for building destroyed by fire

October 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the owner of a building leased to a Bloomington pet shop that was destroyed by a fire in 2008 is only entitled to the actual cash value of the building and not the replacement cost.
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Court adopts case-by-case approach in subrogation issue

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, after skirting around the issue in 2012, decided that Indiana should use the case-by-case approach to address subrogation claims of landlords’ insurers against negligent tenants.
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Children should remain in home despite grandmother’s felony conviction

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found I.C. 31-19-11-1(c) to be unconstitutional as applied and upheld the adoption of two boys by their maternal grandmother. The judges held that her 1997 felony conviction for neglect of a dependent should not automatically bar her from adopting the children.
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Police had probable cause to arrest man at library for child porn possession

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a man’s possession of child pornography charge was eventually dismissed, his arrest on the matter at a Bloomington library led to other charges. The Court of Appeals Tuesday affirmed the denial of Paul Allen Decker’s motion to suppress, in which he claimed any evidence stemming from that arrest must be suppressed.
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Defense counsel’s move to prosecutor’s side doesn’t require special prosecutor

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s 60-year sentence for shooting and killing his girlfriend after an argument, rejecting his claim that a special prosecutor should have been appointed in his case after his defense counsel took a job with the prosecutor’s office.
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COA dismisses appeal that gave man ‘second bite at apple’

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a case in which the trial court set aside a previous judgment in order to have a chance to get a new appeal. When doing so, the trial court noted, “hopefully the Court of Appeals wouldn’t frown upon” the judge who did that.
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7th Circuit reverses 2 special conditions with bank fraud conviction

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The government conceded that a man convicted for using fraudulently produced credit cards should not be subjected to suspicionless searches and seizures by authorities, so the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that condition of his supervised release.
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Judges affirm DOE can counterclaim for repayment of student loans

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court that the U.S. Department of Education’s counterclaim for loan repayment, filed in a man’s lawsuit seeking to not have to repay his student loans, is not barred.
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COA agrees sellers must pay $280,000 in damages for ‘downright dangerous’ home

October 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A couple who sold a house they built themselves that contained numerous structural issues is on the hook for $280,000 to the buyers of the home. The Court of Appeals found that the sellers made misrepresentations on their real estate sales disclosure form.
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Judges affirm Indiana retailer owes Levi’s $315,000 after violating policies

October 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana company that operates a website selling jeans must pay Levi Strauss North America more than $315,000 after the company violated Levi’s Internet policies for distributors.
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Judges reject property owner’s interpretation of tax sale statute

October 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the purchaser of property in a tax sale substantially complied with the statutory requirement that the owner of record is notified about the buyer’s intent to petition for a tax deed.
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COA affirms seizure of gun from apartment without search warrant

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a man’s misdemeanor handgun charge after finding the police did not need a search warrant to retrieve the gun after the man placed it inside an apartment in view of the officers.
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COA: Bank should be allowed to intervene in foreclosure matter

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of JPMorgan Chase Bank’s motion to intervene in a homeowners association’s attempt to foreclose on a home to fulfill a judgment. The COA found that the bank did not have actual notice of a pending action against the homeowner in 2007, as the association argued.
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COA: Gas station did not commit spoliation regarding mat

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision to not instruct a jury in a personal injury action regarding the spoliation of evidence. Margaret Dawson, the injured party, had ample time to inspect the mat she tripped on before the store replaced it.
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Majority reverses termination of incarcerated father’s parental rights

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the state did not prove that the parental rights of a man – who learned he was a father while incarcerated pending trial – should be terminated, two of the three judges on a Court of Appeals panel reversed.
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Judges say Circuit split requires clarification from sentencing commission

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 117-month prison sentence on drug and weapons charges, but two judges believed the case should have been heard en banc based on the importance of a sentencing issue.
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Court reverses $1,660 attorney fee award in parenting time action

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because there is nothing in the record to show the court considered the resources of the parties when it awarded a guardian $1,660 in attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Wednesday.
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Daughter’s cheating negates father’s obligation to pay for college

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the “F” a Purdue University student received after her teacher discovered the student plagiarized comments from other students amounted to disciplinary action from the school, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision that her father no longer had to pay a portion of her school expenses based on a previous court order.
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Officers’ entry into home to chase bloodied dog unreasonable, justices rule

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that drug evidence obtained by police after they entered a home without a warrant to capture an aggressive dog should not have been admitted at the defendant’s trial. The justices held the search violated Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.
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Split COA reverses denial of post-conviction relief

October 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
A defense attorney’s failure to raise the consecutive sentencing limitation prejudiced his client, the majority of a Court of Appeals panel ruled, reversing denial of post-conviction relief for a man convicted of multiple burglaries. The court remanded for resentencing to trim six years off a 28-year prison term.
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Error in admitting drug conviction was harmless, 7th Circuit rules

October 20, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a witness’s changed testimony did not open the door wide enough to allow the introduction of a defendant’s prior drug record, the prosecution’s case was still substantial without the improper evidence so the defendant’s federal conviction will stand.
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Justices uphold fired DWD employee’s ban from executive branch employment

October 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A fired Indiana Department of Workforce Development employee who argued that she shouldn’t be sanctioned and barred from future executive branch employment because of her misuse of state property lost her appeal before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday.
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Justices affirm denial of Crime Victims Relief Act liability

October 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a trial court’s decision to not impose Crime Victims Relief Act liability on a couple who sold their home knowing it had defects. And although the Indiana Court of Appeals also affirmed, Chief Justice Loretta Rush pointed out the high court has different reasons for leaving the trial court’s judgment in place.
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‘Common sense’ requires ruling in favor of inmate, judge says

October 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed judgment in favor of jail officials on an inmate’s complaint that he was denied medical access while in jail. The judges did not agree with the magistrate judge’s decision that Randy Swisher had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies by not filing a written grievance.
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Judges affirm denial of child molester's PCR petition

October 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that it did have jurisdiction to hear a prisoner’s petition for post-conviction relief that was filed 31 days after the trial court denied him relief. But the man was unsuccessful before the appellate court.
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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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