Court opinions

COA: County Commissioners can’t amend fire district ordinance

January 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
Brown County commissioners who created a countywide fire district lost an appeal of a trial court order saying they had no authority to later amend the ordinance that had created the district.
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Title conveyance travels winding road but COA finds owner

January 12, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A fresh batch of legal questions are headed to the Wabash Circuit Court for resolution after the Indiana Court of Appeals found feuding neighbors were not co-owners of a lane that connects to all their properties.
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Appeals court affirms cocaine-dealing conviction

January 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of Class A felony dealing cocaine and adjudicated a habitual substance offender couldn’t persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that he was deprived of a speedy trial or that the evidence against him was improperly admitted or insufficient.
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Court properly excluded evidence regarding victim’s truthfulness

January 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court was correct to exclude evidence of specific instances from a woman regarding the truthfulness of her son, the victim of a sex crime, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. That evidence is prohibited by Indiana Evidence Rule 608.
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COA reverses domestic violence determination due to Blakely violation

January 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court committed fundamental error when it determined a man convicted by a jury of Class A misdemeanor battery committed a crime of domestic violence, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Housing agency, not court, ordered banned woman from properties

January 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a woman’s argument that the court imposed as part of her trespass sentence an order to stay away from any properties owned by the Indianapolis Housing Agency.
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ALJ’s numerous errors require denial of benefits reversed

January 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of a federal judge to uphold the denial of a man’s request for disability insurance benefits. The appeals court held that an administrative law judge made a number of errors when considering the record.
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Judge dissents on reversal of CHINS adjudication

January 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A father who claimed his due process rights were violated when his daughter was adjudicated as a child in need of services before the conclusion of a fact-finding hearing won his appeal before the Court of Appeals Wednesday. But one judge believed that the trial court correctly found the girl to be a CHINS.
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Panel split over whether man needed to be involuntarily committed

January 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday was divided over whether sufficient evidence was presented to justify that a mentally ill man was a danger to himself or others and thus needed to be involuntarily committed.
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Civil Rights Commission exceeded authority in upholding complaint

January 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding the Indiana Civil Rights Commission overstepped its authority, the Indiana Supreme Court has vacated the organization’s final order regarding an “intra-group squabble” over a dinner menu.
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First impression: Suspect’s recorded talk in police car admissible

January 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
What a South Bend man said to another suspect while they were alone in the back of a police cruiser was recorded by an in-car video camera and properly presented to a federal jury, a panel of judges decided in a matter of first impression for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit dismisses case because dispute arose after lawsuit was filed

January 5, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who claimed State Farm Insurance Co. owed him a higher rate of interest and attorney fees had his case dismissed because the controversy did not exist when the lawsuit began.
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Tax Court: Alleged puppy mill owner wrongly denied refund

January 5, 2015
The Indiana Department of Revenue improperly denied a refund of the value of 240 dogs seized by the state from an alleged Harrison County puppy mill, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Dec. 31.
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COA affirms neighbor’s notice to court about survey is sufficient

December 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s challenge to the denial of his motion to correct error regarding the introduction of a survey reflecting a property line by his neighbor. The case was the result of a boundary dispute.
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Company owed no duty to woman injured by employee after work

December 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday that a northwest Indiana steel producer did not owe a duty to a woman injured in a car accident caused by an employee as he drove home from his shift. 
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Driver’s lack of appellee brief reinstates license revocation

December 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A motorist who won a trial court judgment vacating the suspension of his driver’s license didn’t file a brief when the Bureau of Motor Vehicles appealed the decision and, therefore, lost his challenge of the BMV action.
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COA affirms judgment for seller in voided land deal

December 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Sellers of property that had been designated as the second phase of a Gatorade distribution facility in Hendricks County were properly awarded specific performance of a contract to sell the land after the buyer backed out, the Court of Appeals held.
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Pulling a switcheroo leads to felony conviction

December 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who switched seats to help a friend failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he unknowingly put himself in the hot seat.
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Insurer owes no duty in dispute between sibling ex-law partners

December 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A dispute between a brother and sister as their law firm partnership was dissolving was an employment-related matter covered by an insurer’s exclusionary clause, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday, reversing a trial court order.
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Principal fired for relationship with teacher wins appeal

December 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Westfield elementary school principal fired in 2011 for a consensual sexual relationship with a teacher he supervised won an appeal of his lawsuit against the school corporation, which had been granted summary judgment by the trial court.
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Owner can seek separate claim for property damage coverage

December 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite having agreed to pay $1.7 million, an insurance company may have to provide more money to satisfy a claim from the owner of a contaminated property.
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COA finds double-jeopardy violations in conviction of former secretary of state

December 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White, convicted of voter fraud and removed from office, had three of his six convictions overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals Dec. 29 and will have to serve his sentence of one year of electronic home monitoring.
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Ohio woman’s incriminating statements properly suppressed

December 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Ohio woman charged with murder and other crimes in Ripley County prevailed in the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday when the judges affirmed the grant of her motion to suppress incriminating statements she gave to police.
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‘Second haircut’ nixed by tax court

December 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A finance company that purchased car loans at a discounted price is entitled to recoup all the sales tax on the loans which have since gone into default.
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Pro se medical malpractice claim fails without expert testimony

December 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals chastised a pro se litigant for supporting his medical malpractice claim with only a “perfunctory and self-serving” affidavit instead of submitting expert testimony.
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