Court opinions

Court affirms termination of parental rights for drug-using mom, dad

November 15, 2012
Dave Stafford
A mother who used methamphetamine while pregnant and continued to abuse drugs after her children were judged in need of services was properly denied parental rights, as was the children’s often-absent father, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Appeals court rules wrong state law applied in truck crash, but result is same

November 15, 2012
Dave Stafford
A trial court erroneously applied Georgia law in a lawsuit brought by a truck driver injured in a collision in West Virginia, but correctly applied Indiana law yielded the same result, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Owners of foul-smelling washing machines granted class certification by 7th Circuit

November 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has granted class certification to owners of odor-emitting Kenmore washers, allowing their lawsuit against Sears, Roebuck and Co. to go forward. 
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COA finds plea agreement was not circumvented by admission of uncharged conduct at sentencing

November 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A convicted child molester’s argument that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting during sentencing the testimony of two other alleged victims was rejected by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The court described the appellant’s contention as “pure conjecture supported by nothing in the record.”
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Divided COA allows suit after wage claim fails at Department of Labor

November 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
A worker who left employment at a Columbus construction company may pursue his wage claim in court after his complaint had been assigned to the Indiana Department of Labor, a divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Supreme Court upholds trial court’s ruling on professor’s dismissal

November 13, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite a professor’s claim that he was in a joyous mood when he interacted with a colleague and his actions were harmless, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld his dismissal from his tenured teaching position.
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Justices: COA overreached on reversing trial court custody ruling

November 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Court of Appeals got it wrong when it reversed a trial court custody modification in favor of a child’s father, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in one of the first opinions joined by Justice Loretta Rush.
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COA to hear challenge to sex offender monitoring program

November 12, 2012
IL Staff
An Allen County man’s argument that the state’s Sex Offender Management and Monitoring Program is unconstitutional will be heard Tuesday by a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Appeals court finds for insurer in worker’s comp case where victim’s mother died

November 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
The mother of an injured worker whose estate claims she died due to emotional distress caused by an insurer’s handling of her son’s case cannot directly sue the insurer before exhausting the regulatory process, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Man not required to register in Indiana for Illinois crime

November 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled it’s a violation of the ex post facto provision of the state’s constitution to require a man who committed a sex crime in Illinois, but now lives in Indiana, to register in Indiana because the laws requiring him to register in both states were enacted after he committed the crime in Illinois.
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Ex-employee wins appeal and prejudgment interest

November 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A former employee is entitled to commissions owed to him after he left a real estate company, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday. The judges also found the ex-employee is entitled to prejudgment interest.
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Justices reverse COA, hold state’s appeal timely

November 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday reversed a divided Court of Appeals panel’s dismissal of an appeal of suppression of evidence in a drunken-driving case.
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Evidence shows outrage over property tax assessment is a case of ‘buyer’s remorse’

November 6, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A dispute over a property tax assessment of a mobile home park is a case of buyer’s remorse and not indicative of an error by the Indiana Board of Tax Review, the Indiana Tax Court has ruled.
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Wife’s pain from shove, poked forehead ‘bodily injury,’ justices rule

November 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court late Monday reconciled conflicting interpretations of the “bodily injury” requirement for domestic battery and other criminal offenses using that language, concluding that any such offense that causes the victim physical pain meets the test.
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Board did not abuse discretion in finding assessor’s appraisal more persuasive

November 6, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Noting that determining the assessed value of a property is not an exact science, the Indiana Tax Court rejected a property owner’s assertion that the county assessor’s appraisal was improperly given greater weight.
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Justices take 1 case, reject 20

November 5, 2012
IL Staff
Indiana justices will review a case involving a search deemed illegal and a subsequent conviction for resisting law enforcement that was reversed by the Court of Appeals.
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Appeals court: Felon waived speedy trial, judge challenges

November 2, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of multiple felonies lost his appeal when the court determined he had not objected to matters raised in the appeal during his jury trial or sentencing.
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Woman did not exhaust administrative remedies before suing

November 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a Marion Superior judge that the courts do not have jurisdiction over a woman’s lawsuit concerning the disconnection of her water because the woman did not exhaust all her available administrative remedies before suing.
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PCF may not present evidence to dispute injury

November 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that in a case involving a boy diagnosed with a mild form of cerebral palsy, the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund may not present evidence to dispute the existence or cause of the boy’s injury while defending his petition for excess damages from the fund.
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Police had reasonable suspicion to stop men, search bag

October 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with an appellant who claimed police did not have reasonable suspicion to believe he and two other men were involved in criminal activity, which led to their stop and his eventual conviction of Class A felony attempted dealing in methamphetamine.
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Man can’t challenge sentence as illegal

October 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because a defendant entered into a beneficial plea agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals denied his request for post-conviction relief. The man argued that a Supreme Court decision handed down while he was appealing should require that his sentence be reduced.
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Court affirms man’s sentence for murdering wife

October 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Lawrence County man was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his 65-year sentence for the murder of his wife in 2009 should be reduced to the advisory sentence of 55 years.
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Justices vacate transfer in business dispute

October 31, 2012
IL Staff
After hearing arguments Oct. 24 in a dispute between former shareholders of a company and the new owners over what assets the new owners should receive, the Indiana Supreme Court decided that the Court of Appeals decision should stand.
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Common carrier entitled to more tax exemptions

October 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Wabash-based company that relocates oversized factory machinery won a partial victory in the Indiana Tax Court Tuesday. Judge Martha Wentworth ordered the Indiana State Department of Revenue to reassess the company’s tax obligations after finding some property should be considered exempt.
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Justices order retrial due to deficient jury instruction

October 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court found that a final jury instruction in a woman’s trial for receiving stolen property did not correctly state the law, and it remanded for a new trial.
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