Court opinions

COA affirms default judgment against Menards in injury lawsuit

February 1, 2017
Olivia Covington
A summons and complaint in a personal injury claim were adequately served on a Menards store in Gary, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday, so the store cannot seek relief from default judgment entered against it on the basis of the service of process.
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Supreme Court upholds man's life sentence

January 25, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
An Elkhart County man who smoked synthetic marijuana then stabbed his girlfriend to death was unable to convince the Indiana Supreme Court that his sentence of life without parole was unconstitutional.
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Justices revise sentence of man with mental illness

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The justices of the Indiana Supreme Court have revised the sentence of a Daviess County man with a history of mental illness who was convicted of burglary, drawing on the dissent of Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Paul Mathias, who advocated for treatment for offenders who are mentally ill.
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7th Circuit vacates denial of prisoner’s request for help finding counsel

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated a district court order denying a request to help an inmate living in another state recruit counsel for an Indiana case, noting that without counsel or a medical expert, the inmate will be unable to build a strong legal case.
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COA: Restitution must be based on value of damaged car, not upgraded vehicle

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
Trial courts must award restitution based on the cost of an item that was stolen or damaged, not the cost of upgrading to a new item, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, so the Marion Superior Court erred when it ordered restitution based on the cost a woman incurred in purchasing a newer vehicle after a wreck.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of evidentiary hearing, post-conviction review

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The appointed public defender for a man convicted and sentenced for distributing cocaine tried to advise his client to accept a plea agreement, so that client cannot appeal on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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District court declines to stop Supreme Court disciplinary hearing

January 24, 2017
Olivia Covington
A federal judge has declined to intervene in an Indiana Supreme Court disciplinary proceeding against a northern Indiana attorney who claims he is being discriminated against in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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COA: Company cannot withhold ‘voluntary’ deductions from ex-employee's pay

January 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
A plumbing and electrical company cannot impose “voluntary” tax deductions on a former employee’s final paycheck without statutory authority, nor can it force that employee to pay a $1,000 insurance deductible after an auto accident, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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Sexual assault nurse’s testimony qualifies under medical hearsay exceptions

January 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Huntington County man who molested his young relative cannot challenge the admission of the testimony of the nurse who examined the victim because the testimony qualified under the medical treatment exception to hearsay rules, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided.
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IMPD officer was qualified as an expert in stalking case

January 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department sergeant was qualified as an expert to testify about Facebook records and digital trails that led to a man’s multiple convictions for felony stalking, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Friday.
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COA overturns judgment in favor of credit card debt collector

January 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed judgment in favor of a credit card debt collector after determining that the collector failed to establish that it owned the account it was trying to collect on.
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Statute of limitations bars medical negligence case

January 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
After a dermatology appointment left a Marion County woman with facial discoloration that never went away as her doctor said it would, the woman sought damages in a negligence complaint. However, because she failed to prove that she “later learned” that her injury was worse than she thought, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that the woman’s claim cannot proceed in court because it was not timely filed.
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COA: Only property owned prior to final separation can be included in marital pot

January 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
Only property that is owned or acquired before the date a dissolution petition is filed in a divorce proceeding can be included in the marital pot, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday in an opinion that overturned a lower court’s decision to include stock options vested after the date of a couple’s final separation in the marital pot.
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COA: Exigent circumstances justified warrantless search

January 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana State Police detective did not violate a man’s constitutional rights when he searched a bag in the man’s vehicle without a warrant because there were exigent circumstances that made the warrantless search reasonable, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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COA rejects woman’s claim that accident occurred outside chemical test period

January 18, 2017
A woman who drove drunk into a mobile home causing significant damage lost her appeal Wednesday after arguing the state’s blood draw occurred outside the three-hour window under statute and thus did not prove her blood alcohol level at the time of the accident.
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Judges affirm man’s handgun conviction

January 18, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A Vanderburgh Circuit judge tendered a proper jury instruction on the charge of carrying a handgun without a license, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday in affirming a man’s conviction.
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Trial court erred in granting new trial in electrocution estate dispute

January 18, 2017
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in ordering a new trial after a jury returned a general verdict in favor of the estate of an electrician who wired a barn where a teenager was electrocuted in 2010, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Trial court abused discretion in ordering indigent juvenile to pay restitution

January 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Marion Superior Court erred when it ordered a juvenile delinquent to pay restitution to his theft victim after the court noted in its dispositional order that the juvenile offender was unable to pay, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Tuesday.
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Electronic copies of warrants are equal to paper copies

January 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
An electronic version of a signed search warrant is legally considered the equivalent of a paper warrant, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held, so a man’s constitutional rights were not violated when an officer drew his blood after showing him only a photo of a warrant in an email.
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Courts cannot force contact with extended family members other than grandparents

January 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
Courts do not have the authority to force parents to allow their children to have contact with members of their extended family, aside from grandparents, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Tuesday.
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Justices consider PCR waiver in death penalty case

January 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
After a public defender failed to secure a statutorily required signature on Kevin Isom’s petition for post-conviction relief, Isom, a convicted murderer who has been sentenced to death, lost confidence in his legal team. He refused to provide his signature after the error was discovered, vowing not to sign unless he was appointed new counsel.
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COA vacates arbitration award for lack of agreement

January 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals vacated an arbitration award Thursday after determining that an arbitration agreement did not exist, thus making the arbitration proceedings between a Lake County couple and an automotive company pointless.
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Couple who claim bank's actions led to their divorce lose appeal

January 11, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana attorney and her ex-husband couldn’t convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that a bank violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act with regards to an errant insurance payment and that alleged error led to their divorce and caused $300,000 in damages.
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COA: Revocation of sex offender’s probation was not an abuse of discretion

January 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Harrison Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it revoked a convicted sex offender’s probation after he contacted people under 18 years of age and lived within one mile of his victim in violation of the terms of his probation, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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COA upholds child support order in peculiar case involving non-biological son

January 11, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A divorce involving a troubled husband, unfaithful wife and a 12-year lie unraveled into a child support and paternity dispute that ended with a split Indiana Court of Appeals ordering the non-biological father to provide financial assistance. Any other ruling, the majority reasoned, would leave the minor without a dad.
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  1. @BryanJBrown, You are totally correct. I have no words, you nailed it.....

  2. You have not overstated the reality of the present situation. The government inquisitor in my case, who demanded that I, on the record, to choose between obedience to God's law or man's law, remains on the BLE, even an officer of the BLE, and was recently renewed in her contract for another four years. She has a long history in advancing LGBQT rights. http://www.realjock.com/article/1071 THINK WITH ME: What if a currently serving BLE officer or analogous court official (ie discplinary officer) asked an atheist to affirm the Existence, or demanded a transsexual to undergo a mental evaluation to probe his/her alleged mindcrime? That would end a career. The double standard is glaring, see the troubling question used to ban me for life from the Ind bar right here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners (see page 8 of 21) Again, what if I had been a homosexual rights activist before law school rather than a prolife activist? A gay rights activist after law school admitted to the SCOTUS and Kansas since 1996, without discipline? A homosexual rights activist who had argued before half the federal appellate courts in the country? I am pretty certain that had I been that LGBQT activist, and not a pro-life activist, my passing of the Indiana bar exam would have rendered me an Indiana attorney .... rather than forever banished. So yes, there is a glaring double standard. And some are even beyond the reach of constitutional and statutory protections. I was.

  3. Historically speaking pagans devalue children and worship animals. How close are we? Consider the ruling above plus today's tidbit from the politically correct high Court: http://indianacourts.us/times/2016/12/are-you-asking-the-right-questions-intimate-partner-violence-and-pet-abuse/

  4. The father is a convicted of spousal abuse. 2 restaining orders been put on him, never made any difference the whole time she was there. The time he choked the mother she dropped the baby the police were called. That was the only time he was taken away. The mother was suppose to have been notified when he was released no call was ever made. He made his way back, kicked the door open and terrified the mother. She ran down the hallway and locked herself and the baby in the bathroom called 911. The police came and said there was nothing they could do (the policeman was a old friend from highschool, good ole boy thing).They told her he could burn the place down as long as she wasn't in it.The mother got another resataining order, the judge told her if you were my daughter I would tell you to leave. So she did. He told her "If you ever leave me I will make your life hell, you don't know who your f!@#$%^ with". The fathers other 2 grown children from his 1st exwife havent spoke 1 word to him in almost 15yrs not 1 word.This is what will be a forsure nightmare for this little girl who is in the hands of pillar of the community. Totally corrupt system. Where I come from I would be in jail not only for that but non payment of child support. Unbelievably pitiful...

  5. dsm 5 indicates that a lot of kids with gender dysphoria grow out of it. so is it really a good idea to encourage gender reassignment? Perhaps that should wait for the age of majority. I don't question the compassionate motives of many of the trans-advocates, but I do question their wisdom. Likewise, they should not question the compassion of those whose potty policies differ. too often, any opposition to the official GLBT agenda is instantly denounced as "homophobia" etc.

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