Court opinions

Judges split in adopted trust-beneficiaries matter

August 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression regarding the retroactivity of a 2003 amendment to the state’s trust code, the Indiana Court of Appeals was divided on whether adopted children should have been included as beneficiaries of a trust.
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No qualified immunity for officer in diabetic man's claim

August 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed denial of summary judgment in favor of a police officer in a diabetic man’s claims that the officer used excessive force and injured him while removing him from a car after a diabetic episode.
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Majority affirms default judgment against Sears

August 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today as to whether a department store was entitled to have a default judgment set aside.
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7th Circuit affirms Lake County official's sentence

August 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Robert Cantrell’s 78-month sentence for various convictions, including using his position in public office for kickbacks.
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COA affirms doctrine of transferred intent applies

August 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed that the doctrine of transferred intent applied in the case of a juvenile adjudicated for committing battery for hitting his teacher unintentionally when trying to punch another student.
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7th Circuit: Officer allowed to resume frisk

August 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
As one 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge cautioned, it’s generally not a good idea to ride around in a car with cocaine on you when police have many reasons why they may legitimately stop the car.
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A chargeback isn't a sale of insurance

August 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held today that a chargeback for the cost of insurance is not a sale of insurance, as some owner-operators of leased trucks argued. The Circuit Court also took issue with the District judge’s decision on which statute of limitations applied to the parts of the suit.
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Man entitled to commission, but a reduced amount

August 4, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Because a former employee wasn’t aware of nor agreed to a plan that would effectively limit his earnings from selling crop insurance, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed based on Indiana law that he was entitled to his commission he secured in 2005 even if premiums weren't received until later. The appellate court did, however, reduce the amount of money his former employer owed him due to draws and set-offs.
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Appellate rulings can create confusion for attorneys, trial judges

August 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Clear and concise court rulings are what judges hope can be produced, so that lawyers and lower courts can have guidance on how to address a particular legal issue. But that doesn’t always happen.
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Court: insufficient notice bars tort claim

August 3, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Indiana Court of Appeals today ruled that insufficient notice barred a complaint for damages in a case involving a condominium complex and its various longtime issues.
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Justices grant 3 transfers

August 3, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court granted three transfers and dismissed one case during its conference late last week, when the justices examined a total 35 cases that were before them for possible transfer.
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Exotic dancers are employees, may settle case

August 2, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has found that exotic dancers at an Indianapolis club are employees, not independent contractors as the club owner argued.
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Court defines due process rights for drug court participants

July 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a defendant that his due process rights were denied when his participation in a drug court program was ended without giving him notice of a hearing, or allowing him to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.
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Court declines to review commitment cases differently

July 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined Thursday to change how it reviews cases dealing with involuntary commitment.
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7th Circuit ends use of inextricable intertwinement doctrine

July 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a defendant’s perjury conviction and in doing so, concluded that resorting to inextricable intertwinement is unavailable when determining a theory of admissibility.
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Mother of stillborn fetus satisfies actual victim requirement in Med-Mal Act

July 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held today that a mother who suffers a stillbirth due to medical malpractice qualifies as an injured patient and satisfies the actual victim requirement under the Medical Malpractice Act, regardless of whether the malpractice resulted in injuries to the mother, fetus, or both.
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Judge worries ruling may make bright-line rule in traffic stops

July 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges each wrote their own opinion on whether a police officer’s safety concerns were legitimate enough to allow the officer to search a car after a traffic stop.
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Court upholds discrimination claims in coroner's office

July 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that an African-American Marion County Coroner took action against his white chief deputy coroner because of race, but ordered a reduction in the amount of compensatory damages the deputy coroner could receive.
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Majority overturns enticement of minor conviction based on error

July 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Addressing for the issue for the first time, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the “ostrich instruction” in context of 18 U.S.C. Section 2422(b) was not appropriately given to the jury in an enticement of a minor trial.
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Arbitration of FCRA claim survives bankruptcy discharge

July 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s Fair Credit Reporting Act claim can be arbitrated even though the debt was addressed and discharged in bankruptcy proceedings, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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East Chicago casino case still alive

July 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A years-long court battle over millions of dollars in East Chicago casino revenue remains alive after a Marion County judge vacated an earlier dismissal of the civil suit and blocked the release of $8 million in disputed funds that had been part of a settlement.
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COA: Trial court to decide pre-sentencing educational credit time

July 23, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A trial court is the proper authority to determine credit if a defendant earns educational credit time prior to sentencing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Defendants entitled to competency hearing in probation revocations

July 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Defendants are entitled to a competency hearing as part of their due process rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today, addressing the issue for the first time.
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Judges disagree on whether grandfather can adopt

July 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed as to whether a grandfather could adopt his biological granddaughter but allow the mother to retain her parental rights under Indiana law.
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Medicaid applications review policy doesn't violate federal law

July 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An administrative law judge’s refusal to consider evidence of conditions that aren’t disclosed on a Medicaid disability application doesn’t violate federal law and the Due Process Clause, a majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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