Court opinions

Supreme Court: City not immune from injury suit

April 5, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled a city did not meet the requirements of the Indiana Tort Claims Act, and as such does not have immunity in a suit filed by a woman who fell in a city street and broke her leg.
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Supreme Court affirms second-degree murder charge, life in prison

April 5, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court said admission of an autopsy report and testimony by a pathologist who did not complete the report was not a violation of a man’s Sixth Amendment right to cross-examination and thus affirmed the trial court’s conviction of second-degree murder.
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COA dismisses improperly filed preliminary injunction motion

April 5, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a motion for preliminary injunction against the state’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit filed by Pain Medicine and Rehabilitation Center and Anthony Alexander after it found PMRC’s motion in the trial court was not procedurally correct.
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Court reduces man's sentence by 3 years

April 5, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reduced a man’s aggregate sentence by three years after it found he was denied effective assistance of counsel when his counsel did not bring up a statutory limitation issue.
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Man must pay to clean up meth mess, court affirms

March 31, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a man must pay to clean up the remnants of his meth lab after it found Indiana Code justified the payment and there was a victim to whom restitution should be paid.
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COA: Patient not notified doctor was independent contractor

March 31, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a man was never notified that the doctor treating him was an independent contractor and not an employee and therefore reversed summary judgment to the hospital and remanded the man’s vicarious liability case to the trial court.
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Majority: injured worker’s immigration status relevant

March 31, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a split decision a man’s immigration status is valid evidence in a case where he was injured while working in the United States as an undocumented immigrant.
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Supreme Court: Blanket suppression goes too far in murder case

March 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
While police officers who overheard a pretrial consultation between a suspect and his lawyer were definitely in the wrong, the total suppression of all the officers’ testimony in the case may not be necessary, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision
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COA: Man has to abide by settlement

March 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
A man must abide with the agreement he settled on even though he had later second thoughts. The Indiana Court of Appeals found he breached a contract after he came to a settlement with an insurance company.
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Man has sentence cut in half by Supreme Court

March 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court cut a man’s sentence in half, from 32 to 16 years, by a 3-2 decision after it found consecutive sentences in the case were not appropriate because the state sponsored a series of identical offenses.
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COA: Contract can be rescinded after land misrepresented

March 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a rental company could rescind its purchasing contract for a tract of land after the company that owned the land misrepresented it to the buyer.
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COA: Flood plain ordinance is enforceable, residential ordinance is not

March 28, 2016
Scott Roberts
A builder must seek a special exception to mine in a flood plain zone after the Indiana Court of Appeals found that ordinance enforceable under state statute. However, an ordinance that doesn’t allow mining within two miles of a residential area is not enforceable because it was not enacted in accordance with Indiana’s zoning statutes.
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'Quasi-contract' not enough in fraud suit

March 28, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said a “quasi-contract” was not enough to pursue damages in a fraud case where one additive was unknowingly substituted for another.
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CHINS case dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction

March 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
A mother’s appeal of a trial court’s order terminating her visitation with her child and denying her motion to modify the permanency plan in a CHINS case was dismissed by the Indiana Court of Appeals for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
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Woman claiming defamation after charges dropped loses appeal

March 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
A woman who sued for defamation against her employer and a private investigator after she was acquitted of two counts of theft will not gain relief after the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment for the employer and investigator in her case.
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COA trims man’s robbery, sex offense sentence from 248 to 218 years

March 24, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man who was one of five accomplices who robbed a house and sexually assaulted victims inside during a two-hour rampage will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday he had been subjected to double jeopardy and trimmed 30 years off his sentence.
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COA: Trial court did not follow Batson regulations when dismissing Hispanic juror

March 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
A trial court did not follow Batson regulations when dismissing a Hispanic juror before the trial of a man convicted of Class D felony intimidation and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery, and as such the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed his convictions, finding the evidence enough for him to stand trial again.
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Woman can be charged with criminal trespass after entering school

March 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
A woman who entered school property after she was threatened with criminal trespass if she did so can be charged with the crime after the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a trial court ruling that she had no contractual interest in the school property, despite being a parent in the district.
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ADA claims against St. Joseph County courts fail in 7th Circuit

March 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment for the St. Joseph County court system in a case involving accessibility of the St. Joseph County Courthouse and the Mishawaka County Services Building. The court said many of the plaintiffs’ claims lack standing, while others failed to raise genuine disputes of material fact.
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COA changes sentence for drunk woman who hit a man with her car

March 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the sentence given to a woman who hit a man with her car and killed him while driving drunk was too harsh and took two years off it. However, the COA upheld all other parts of her conviction.
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COA affirms estate no longer has interest in property

March 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a motion to dismiss as well as a motion for summary judgment after a woman sued an estate that no longer has interest in a property because that interest had passed to another person.
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7th Circuit affirms $34.2M in fraudulent transfer case

March 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling from the Southern District of Indiana that a company needs to pay $34.2 million for a crop-insurance business it bought and later sold to other companies it also controlled.
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Man on death row loses habeas petition before 7th Circuit

March 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld rulings lifting a stay on a man’s habeas corpus petition and dismissing his claims after the appellate court held his claims could be decided based on the state-court record.
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Ruling ends statute of repose for some asbestos cases

March 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling that the statute of repose does not apply in prolonged asbestos cases could open the door for more cases to be filed, two Indianapolis attorneys said. However, they were split if the decision was the right one.
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Supreme Court: Consolidating precincts is not unconstitutional

March 22, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled an effort to consolidate small Lake County precincts to reduce election costs was not unconstitutional, finding it is neither an impermissible special law nor a violation of the separation of powers doctrine.
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