Court opinions

Question remains as to whether son is ‘child’ under Wrongful Death Statute

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of the defendants on two parents’ claims under the Child Wrongful Death Statute regarding their 21-year-old son who died in a car accident. The appellate court found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the informal apprenticeship the son was participating in at the time of his death would be considered a vocational program under the CWDS.
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Prisoner adequately stated First Amendment claim against DOC employees

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals quickly affirmed the dismissal of most of a prisoner’s claims regarding violations under Indiana statute or the state and federal constitutions, but found her First Amendment retaliation claims against several Department of Correction employees should not have been dismissed by the trial court.
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COA affirms dissolution of corporation embroiled in family dispute

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A company owned by two brothers – one disabled and one terminally ill – was properly dissolved by the trial court over the disabled brother’s objections, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Attorney disbarred for writing book about client

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered a Carmel attorney disbarred after finding he wrote a book revealing sensitive information about a former client for his monetary gain.
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Justices: Voluntary associations must comply with Wage Payment Statute

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday ordered more proceedings on a fired union employee’s complaint seeking payment for unused vacation time. The justices held that she is entitled to accrue vacation pay unless there was an arrangement or policy to the contrary, which is in dispute in this case.
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7th Circuit won’t make Indiana rip up section of I-69

July 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected environmental activists’ arguments that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to adequately address impact on wetlands when it issued permits for a recently completed section of Interstate 69 in southern Indiana.
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Conviction splits COA in determining actions of a ‘reasonable person’

July 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In affirming the conviction of a man who violated a no-contact order, the Indiana Court of Appeals split over what a “reasonable person” would have done in similar circumstances.
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Appeals court cites apparent authority to affirm auction sale

July 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
The sale of Noble County lake and farm property at auction is valid even though some siblings in a family limited liability corporation objected because reserve prices hadn’t been met, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in affirming the trial court.
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COA finds argument that documents were ambiguous is really ‘a failure to read’

July 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A real estate investor who argued that he should not be held personally liable because the loan documents were ambiguous was reminded by the Indiana Court of Appeals that “a failure to read does not equate with an ambiguity….” 
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Rear-ended motorist found 70 percent liable wins on appeal

July 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
A jury that found a Kokomo motorist 70 percent at fault when his vehicle sitting at an intersection was rear-ended misread the law, as did a judge who instructed jurors, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Criminal convictions and financial penalties do not violate double jeopardy

July 15, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A business owner will have to serve his sentence after the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected his argument that his criminal convictions and financial penalties imposed for failing to pay taxes violated double jeopardy principles.
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7th Circuit won’t excuse IMPD officer from wrongful arrest, excessive force suit

July 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man’s federal lawsuit against two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers and the city will go forward after a federal judge rejected one officer’s interlocutory appeal.
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7th Circuit affirms drug convictions, sentence

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an Indiana man’s convictions and 360-month sentence for drug-related offenses, rejecting his claims that his right to a speedy trial was violated and the starting time of his offenses was incorrectly determined by the District Court.
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Man accused of violating city ordinances entitled to jury trial

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Because the underlying substantive claims brought against an Indianapolis man regarding his treatment of his dog are quasi-criminal, he is entitled to a jury trial under the Indiana Constitution, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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COA: Surrogate can not petition to disestablish maternity

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A married woman who acted as a surrogate for another couple cannot petition to disestablish her maternity because it would cause the child to be “declared a child without a mother,” the Indiana Court of Appeals determined on interlocutory appeal.
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COA affirms $1,380 restitution order for missing CDs, coins

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday that a trial court did not err in letting the state present evidence of a victim’s loss for the first time at a restitution hearing. It affirmed an order that Kenneth Smith pay $1,380 to William Kirkham for missing CDs and coins.
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Server’s electronic tip alteration is forgery, COA rules

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Logan’s Roadhouse server who used a computer to alter the amount of tip a customer left for her on a credit card can be convicted of forgery, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday.
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Man loses challenge to Internet access restrictions

July 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A convicted sex offender’s probation condition restricting his access to certain websites and programs that are frequented by children does not violate the man’s First Amendment rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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7th Circuit reverses sanctions against Plews Shadley, other firms in False Claims Act case

July 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
After finding that a federal court in Indianapolis erred in dismissing a former ITT Educational Services Inc. employee’s False Claims Act lawsuit, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the nearly $350,000 in sanctions imposed against three law firms representing the woman.
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Police officer’s suit alleging retaliation for political comment survives

July 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed summary judgment in favor of two Portage police officers and the city on a detective’s claim that he was transferred in retaliation for comments he made to a local newspaper following the mayoral primary election in 2007.
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7th Circuit rejects ‘kitchen sink approach’ in widow’s insurance appeal

July 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A woman whose husband died of cancer as their purchase of several Terre Haute-based car dealerships was failing is not entitled to proceeds of his life insurance policy – a policy that had been assigned as an asset in the sale of the lots – the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Defendant waived right to appeal sentence

July 3, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a man knowingly and voluntarily waived the right to appeal the appropriateness of his concurrent 34-year sentences following a guilty plea to drug charges, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his sentence.
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7th Circuit dismisses campground owner’s appeal after raising new arguments

July 3, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Cedar Grove campground owner’s appeal regarding the judgment that the campground is subject to the Safe Drinking Water Act raised an “interesting question,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals noted, but the judges dismissed the appeal because the owner raised arguments for the first time on appeal.
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Guardian may not file for divorce on behalf on incapacitated adult

July 3, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Citing a 1951 Indiana Supreme Court case, the Court of Appeals has affirmed that the law does not allow a guardian of an incapacitated person to file a petition for divorce on behalf of the incapacitated person.
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COA split over reversing summary judgment in slip-and-fall case

July 3, 2013
Jennifer Nelson

The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Wednesday over whether a Merrillville store failed to preserve its issue of prejudice by opposing summary judgment granted to two companies in a negligence lawsuit filed by a woman who fell on ice in front of the northern Indiana Pier 1 Imports store.

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