Court opinions

Court upholds imposition of court costs

October 10, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a man’s pro se motion to correct erroneous sentence was not the proper channel to challenge the imposition of court costs following his murder trial.
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COA split over whether DCS has authority to interview sibling

October 10, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge reached the opposite conclusion of her colleagues Wednesday in finding that the Department of Child Services lacks the statutory authority to conduct a forensic interview of a non-subject child residing in the same home as a child who has claimed abuse by a resident family member.
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Criminal recklessness code covers firing gun into car

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A car is a “place people are likely to gather,” the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, unanimously affirming a Class C felony criminal recklessness conviction and eight-year sentence for a man who fired a gun into car in which a former gang ally was a passenger in Goshen.
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COA finds church member’s lack of brotherly love not sufficient to uphold conviction

October 9, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A criminal conviction that resulted from church member’s demand for quiet during a worship service has been overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the conviction.
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Divided appeals court tosses Boonville annexation

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court decision that upheld an annexation by the city of Boonville, finding that the trial court erred in counting separate state-owned parcels of a highway for purposes of remonstrance.
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COA will not reweigh California environmental cleanup decisions

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that it would not reweigh California court decisions in favor of insurers who had no responsibility to cover environmental cleanup costs at former Thomson plants.
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Court of Appeals reverses and remands inmate’s request for kosher meals

October 9, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A Pendleton Correctional Facility inmate will not be able to collect monetary damages against employees of the Indiana Department of Correction, but his request for kosher meals will get a second review.  
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Divided appeals court affirms disabled firefighter’s enhanced PERF benefit

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Brownsburg firefighter is entitled to disability benefits that a trial court enhanced after an appeal from the local pension board, a divided court of appeals panel ruled Tuesday.
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Divided court affirms sentence that exceeds statutory authority

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and whose sentence exceeded statutory authority must nonetheless serve the term, a divided Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Indiana farmer’s tangle with seed producer over patent infringement gets SCOTUS review

October 8, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to review a federal appeals court decision regarding patent infringement in a case involving an Indiana farmer and a seed producer.
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Weinberger seeks sentence of time served

October 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
Former Merrillville ear, nose and throat doctor Mark Weinberger on Monday asked a federal court to sentence him to time served for the 22 counts of health care fraud to which he pleaded guilty.
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Justices tackle home foreclosure issue involving MERS

October 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Justice Mark Massa, writing for the court Thursday, delved into the history of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. and its role in today’s mortgage industry in a case involving a foreclosed home in Madison County.
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Appeals court affirms rejection of HOA ‘abusive junk fee’

October 5, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Morgan County man who took no action to defend a judgment in his favor nevertheless prevailed in the Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday. The judges upheld a trial court ruling that rejected a homeowners association charge it called an “abusive junk fee.”
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Death row inmate’s habeas petition denied

October 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in South Bend has denied a death row inmate’s request for habeas corpus, rejecting the man’s claims that he is mentally retarded and, therefore, cannot be sentenced to death.
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7th Circuit rules against fired animal shelter worker

October 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment for the city of Jeffersonville after finding that a terminated employee’s lawsuit claiming her firing violated the Americans with Disabilities Act can’t proceed because the woman doesn’t qualify as “disabled” under the ADA.
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Defendant’s argument should be made to rules committee

October 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In affirming the denial of a man’s motion to suppress statements he made to an officer at a gas station, the Indiana Court of Appeals pointed out that his arguments pertaining to Indiana Evidence Rule 617 would be better presented to the Evidence Rules Review Committee.
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Judges find no misconduct by hospital

October 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a woman’s motion to correct error and relief from judgment following a verdict in favor of Clarian Health Partners on her medical malpractice complaint. The court found that Clarian’s counsel did not commit misconduct by not supplementing the deposition testimony of one of its doctors – a nonparty to the case – prior to trial.
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Fraternity pledge loses appeal involving alleged hazing incident

October 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Court of Appeals judges found that an incident involving “showering” at a Wabash College fraternity in 2007 – which led to injuries to a freshman pledge – were not considered hazing under Indiana law. Judge Nancy Vaidik, who dissented, found the majority’s view of pledging and hazing “far too restrictive.”
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Trial court should not have admitted statement to detective

October 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the Vanderburgh Circuit Court abused its discretion in admitting at trial statements a defendant made to a police detective.
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COA rejects arguments Batson should extend to juror age

October 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in overruling a defendant’s Batson objection to the removal of two African-Americans from the jury during his trial for drug charges, the Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Justices reinstate COA opinion after hearing arguments

October 2, 2012
IL Staff
After hearing arguments last week in a discrimination case, the Indiana Supreme Court decided Monday not to assume jurisdiction over the appeal.
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Justices to hear negligent design case

October 1, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took three cases last week, including a lawsuit filed by a man rendered a quadriplegic after he fell out of a company truck while working for Richmond Power.
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Clay County man entitled to discharge because of ruling delays

October 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that Scott F. West is entitled to discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C) because he was held to answer on marijuana charges for more than a year without a trial date while his motion to suppress awaited a ruling.
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Trial court correctly revoked man’s probation in 5 cases

September 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Washington Circuit judge did not abuse his discretion in revoking a man’s probation in multiple cases and ordering that he serve all of his previously suspended sentences, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA orders jury trial on animal cruelty charges

September 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville man convicted of six counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty due to the condition of horses on his property did not knowingly waive his right to a jury trial and, therefore, is entitled to a jury trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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  1. 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

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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