Court opinions

Trial court should have booted the bloody shoe, but conviction stands

April 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a convicted murderer that his bloody shoe should not have been admitted into evidence, but the judges did not overturn the conviction, ruling other substantial independent evidence supported the guilty verdict.
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Self-defense claim of man who killed 2 fails on appeal

April 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man’s claim that the state failed to disprove his claim of self defense did not persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to revisit his two murder convictions and sentence of 115 years in prison.
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Appeals court overturns suppression of evidence gathered in search

April 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
A special judge in Orange Circuit Court erred in suppressing evidence obtained during the execution of a search warrant that led to a man’s arrest on Class D felony charges of possession of marijuana, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit declines to overturn ruling on excessive force

April 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man who entered a conditional plea on drug charges couldn’t convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday that it should overturn a ruling that the use of excessive force during an arrest is not a basis for suppressing evidence.
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Mother, wife could consent to search of home for meth

April 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of making methamphetamine objected to his conviction, arguing that his mother, who he claims has Alzheimer’s disease, and his wife did not have the authority to allow police to search his home on the report he was making the drug.
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Court orders more proceedings on laborer’s pay

April 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Boone Superior Court will need to take another look at a man’s lawsuit against R.L. Turner Corporation that claimed he was underpaid by the company for labor he provided on two public works projects, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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COA reduces $125k judgment against company to $200 in fines

April 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a liability administrative law judge erred in determining that a company that previously operated a call center in Fishers owed more than $125,000 in unemployment insurance contributions, interest and penalties for a year when the company had no Indiana employees, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed.
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GE did not discriminate against employee

April 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A longtime employee at the Bloomington General Electric Co. plant could not prove to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the company discriminated against her because of a disability and retaliated against her when she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
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Judges affirm AUL Insurance owed no fiduciary duty to 401(k) plan

April 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an insurance company on a 401(k) plan trustee’s lawsuit that the insurance company's revenue-sharing practices breached a fiduciary duty under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
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7th Circuit affirms men’s drug convictions

April 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a consolidated appeal brought by two men convicted on charges stemming from a heroin conspiracy, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed their convictions. Ronald Zitt, who went to trial, argued he was entitled to a mistrial. Joshua Wampler pleaded guilty but argued he should be allowed to appeal.
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Trial court needs to take another look at alibi defense

April 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a man’s petition for habeas corpus and ordered the District Court to take another look at the defense counsel’s alibi defense investigation.
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Judge: Undeveloped land can be assessed as agricultural

April 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Friday upheld a final determination by the Indiana Board of Tax Review to assess farm land as agricultural that was purchased by a developer but remained undeveloped for years.
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Judges affirm restitution order, sentence following deadly crash

April 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man who was speeding and under the influence of alcohol when his car struck another, killing the driver and severely injuring the passenger, will have to make restitution to the victims, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Man found guilty again in South Bend murder

April 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A St. Joseph County man who was convicted of killing his girlfriend – but later had the conviction overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court – was found guilty again April 12 of murder.
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Court reverses hotel’s cybersquatting conviction

April 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A dispute over who could use the designation “Visit Michigan City LaPorte” led to a legal battle between LaPorte County’s visitors bureau and an area hotel-resort, with the trial court ruling in favor of the visitors bureau. But the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Monday, ruling the bureau didn’t prove it held a valid and protectable trademark.
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Police Merit Commission may discipline former assistant chief

April 12, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A former assistant police chief of the City of Greenwood who was demoted to lieutenant may be disciplined by the city’s Police Merit Commission, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The officer argued that based on ordinances and codes, only the mayor could discipline police chiefs or assistant chiefs.
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Justices rule in favor of sewer facility operator in condemnation action

April 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A case involving a compensation award for condemnation initiated by Fort Wayne’s Board of Public Works that may appear at first blush as a “no brainer” is actually not as simple as it seems, the Indiana Supreme Court pointed out Thursday.
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Contractor wins on appeal of $14.5M damages award for defamation

April 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. is on the hook for $14.5 million in damages after a contractor prevailed on his defamation claim against the insurer. The award is one of the largest defamation damages in the country, according to the court.
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State Farm must pay contractor $14.5M for defamation

April 11, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a $14.5 million award of damages against State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. after finding the insurer couldn’t prove its three arguments on appeal to reverse. The award is one of the largest defamation awards in U.S. history, according to the court.
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Electric cooperative owed no duty to injured contractor

April 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
An independent contractor injured at a generating station owned by Bloomington-based Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative was unable to prove to the Indiana Court of Appeals that the electric cooperative was negligent regarding his injury.
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7th Circuit: Federal courts or juries can’t decide religious questions

April 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Taking up three appeals stemming from a lawsuit filed surrounding control of religious documents and artifacts from the appearance of the Virgin Mary, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a federal judge erred in ruling that it should be up to a jury to decide whether a party to the lawsuit is still a religious sister.
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COA affirms father’s convictions stemming from daughter’s injuries

April 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a St. Joseph County man’s claims that the trial court abused its discretion regarding the admission and exclusion of certain evidence at his jury trial for charges related to injuries to his infant daughter.
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Vouchers validated, program scope at issue

April 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
The recent Indiana Supreme Court ruling affirming school choice renews Statehouse fight over vouchers.
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COA rules trial court cannot exceed scope of plea agreement

April 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A man will have to serve his full sentence, but the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled since his plea agreement makes no mention of restitution, he will not have to pay.
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7th Circuit upholds precedent but asks for further guidance from U.S. Sentencing Commission

April 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a gun buyer had his sentence affirmed, his argument for reduced time has caused the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to call upon the Sentencing Commission to clarify a section of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
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