Court opinions

Ruling: DOC 'indifferent' to mentally ill inmates

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
The opinion from the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana fits the national trend against isolation policy for these inmates.
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Property mortgagor, managers owed no duty in case of drowned girl

January 15, 2013
A trial court correctly dismissed a wrongful death case the mother of a 5-year-old girl filed against a mortgage company and other defendants after the child drowned in the pool of a house that had been abandoned.
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COA: Theft and auto theft adjudications didn’t violate single larceny rule

January 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
A teen lost an appeal challenging his adjudication as a delinquent on charges that would be theft and auto theft if committed by an adult violated the single larceny rule.
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Detailed settlement agreement not specific enough for son to claim funds

January 15, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a settlement agreement worked out between siblings included details about who would receive the comic books, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled because the document did not specifically address the accounts receivable, one of the surviving sons would not be entitled to the money.
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Plank failed to preserve claim med mal cap is unconstitutional

January 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday that Timothy Plank, who filed a medical malpractice complaint following the death of his wife in 2001, forfeited his opportunity to conduct an evidentiary hearing challenging the constitutionality of the Medical Malpractice Act.
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Borrower entitled to retrial on judgment, COA rules

January 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Steuben Circuit Court committed reversible error when it failed to admit into evidence an exhibit purporting to show that a borrower had repaid a $650,000 promissory note, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Father owes support to children conceived via artificial insemination

January 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
A father who contested a trial court order that he must pay child support for two children failed to convince the Court of Appeals that he did not consent to their conception through artificial insemination.
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COA: ‘Appalling character’ of deadbeat dad merits 10-year sentence

January 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Elkhart County father whose child support arrearage neared $57,000 lost his second appeal of a case that already has gone to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices find man not required to register for life as sex offender

January 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday that based on the facts of a Lake County man’s case, a 2006 amendment requiring him to register for life as a sex offender violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Indiana Constitution. The amendment took effect after Andre Gonzalez fully served his sentence and during the 10-year period of his required registration.
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Judge supports denying rehearing, but disagrees with colleagues’ rationale

January 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a man’s petition for rehearing and for a rehearing en banc after the court originally upheld the seizure of thousands of dollars following a traffic stop. But one judge did write to explain that she disagreed with her fellow panel members’ rationale for originally affirming the seizure.
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Evidence supports wife entitled to protective order against husband

January 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Tippecanoe County man appealing the issuance of a protective order against him lost his case before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday. The appellate court concluded that the evidence showed his wife is a victim of domestic violence.
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Settlement without insurer’s consent is at builder’s expense

January 8, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals praised a homebuilder for its quick response and remedy to a couple’s discovery that their brand new home was full of backed-up sewage. But because Arbor Homes didn’t get the consent of the insurer regarding a settlement, the insurer has no obligation to pay for the cleanup.
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Texas Roadhouse fire suit among 4 justices take

January 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A lawsuit over liability for a fire that destroyed an Indianapolis steakhouse because hydrants were frozen and unusable will proceed to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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SCOTUS to hear Indiana farmer’s case against Monsanto in February

January 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A patent infringement case involving a Knox County soybean farmer and an international seed producer will be argued Feb. 19 before the Supreme Court of the United States.
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Judges reinstate battery charges against drunken casino patron

January 4, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Switzerland Circuit Court had no grounds to dismiss the information against a man charged with misdemeanor battery after jabbing the shoulder of a pit boss at Belterra Casino.
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Judges ‘disturbed’ by linking of drugs to defendant’s nationality

January 3, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Even though the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was “disturbed” by a government agent’s improperly admitted testimony linking a defendant’s Mexican nationality to the methamphetamine at issue, the court declined to grant a new trial.
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Judge: DOC treatment of mentally ill unconstitutional

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
A lack of basic treatment for mentally ill Indiana Department of Correction inmates held in isolation violates the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, a federal judge ruled Monday.
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COA reverses conviction after BMV stumbles over address

January 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A driver whose conduct was “clearly blameworthy” had his conviction overturned after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the state’s evidence did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver knew his license was suspended.
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In test of 2012 emancipation law, COA affirms denial of college expenses

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
A statutory change in the age of emancipation for child support, except for educational support, does not preclude courts from modifying educational support obligations when parents demonstrate changes in their financial circumstances, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Traffic stop based on companion’s statement did not violate constitutional protections

January 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Police had the “reasonable suspicion” required to stop a possible impaired driver, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled, even though the driver’s companion did not specifically tell the officers the driver was intoxicated.
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Previous back problems not enough to disqualify public employee from disability benefits

January 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although an employee had a pre-existing condition, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled his on-duty injury qualified him for Class 1 impairment disability benefits from the Indiana Public Employee Retirement Fund.
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Court cites fishy documents in reversing support order

December 28, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Marion Superior judge had no jurisdiction to enter a judgment against a father stating he owed $27,522 in support to his children’s mother, because Canadian court documents and other filings should not have been considered, the Court of Appeals ruled.
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Vintage Corvette belongs to the last buyer

December 28, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette was the subject of litigation over ownership when it was purchased by a third party on eBay, the Indiana Court of Appeals has found the hotrod belongs to the eBay bidder.
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Duke loses appeal of scandal-touched IURC rate case reversal

December 28, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s reversal and subsequent rejection of deferred accounting of $11.9 million for Duke Energy was affirmed by the Court of Appeals Friday in a case revisited because of an ethics scandal involving state regulators.
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Public interest in reducing poverty is grounds for application of doctrine of laches

December 27, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In overturning a lower court’s ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals opened the door for the doctrine of laches to be applied to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles by finding the suspension of a Bloomington woman’s driving privileges conflicts with the public’s interest in reducing poverty.
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  3. What a fine example of the best of the Hoosier tradition! How sad that the AP has to include partisan snark in the obit for this great American patriot and adventurer.

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  5. It is a sad story indeed as this couple has been only in survival mode, NOT found guilty with Ponzi, shaken down for 5 years and pursued by prosecution that has been ignited by a civil suit with very deep pockets wrenched in their bitterness...It has been said that many of us are breaking an average of 300 federal laws a day without even knowing it. Structuring laws, & civilForfeiture laws are among the scariest that need to be restructured or repealed . These laws were initially created for drug Lords and laundering money and now reach over that line. Here you have a couple that took out their own money, not drug money, not laundering. Yes...Many upset that they lost money...but how much did they make before it all fell apart? No one ask that question? A civil suit against Williams was awarded because he has no more money to fight...they pushed for a break in order...they took all his belongings...even underwear, shoes and clothes? who does that? What allows that? Maybe if you had the picture of him purchasing a jacket at the Goodwill just to go to court the next day...his enemy may be satisfied? But not likely...bitterness is a master. For happy ending lovers, you will be happy to know they have a faith that has changed their world and a solid love that many of us can only dream about. They will spend their time in federal jail for taking their money from their account, but at the end of the day they have loyal friends, a true love and a hope of a new life in time...and none of that can be bought or taken That is the real story.

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