Indiana Court of Appeals

Split COA reinstates State Fair stage collapse suit

March 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
The company that leased a temporary stage that collapsed in a windstorm killing seven and injuring dozens prevailed in overturning a trial court ruling in favor of the Indiana State Fair Commission. A dissenting appellate judge wrote that the majority placed form over substance in shifting liability to the state.
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COA splits over jury instruction, affirms conviction

March 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals split over whether the jury instruction was erroneous, the panel was unanimous in upholding the defendant’s conviction for theft from Walmart.
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Dispute over beach ownership heading back to trial court

March 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Property owners along Lake Michigan will have another chance to make their arguments in a dispute over which part of the beach belongs to them and which belongs to the public.
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Driving 91 mph in 55 zone supports reckless driving verdict

March 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
A driver’s argument that his speed of 91 mph on a 55-mph country road was insufficient evidence of endangerment cut no ice with the trial court, and the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed Thursday.
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Plaintiffs in bar shooting were owed protection

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When a customer pulled a gun and started shooting, the bar had a well-established duty to protect its other customers, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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State statute protects taxpayers from loan dispute

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Ruling that taxpayers should not be penalized for a bank’s lack of diligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held a financial institution cannot recoup the outstanding balance on a loan for a fire truck.
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COA reverses neglect resulting in death verdict against mom

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis mother was wrongly convicted of neglect of a dependent child resulting in death, the Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in reversing the jury’s verdict. Judges found evidence against Chelsea Taylor was insufficient to support the conviction.
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Bragging is admissible in court, COA rules

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s statement to law enforcement that he could “read” people was a boast and not a character reference, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals, so it was admissible at trial.
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Termination of parental rights waiting period requires no services

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Parents of children removed from the home for 15 of the prior 22 months before a hearing on termination of parental rights may not argue that a lack of services during that time tolls the waiting period, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA reverses lease judgment for tenant, finds for landlord

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A medical office that leased space from a landlord lost a judgment in its favor in a dispute over owed rent. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and ordered judgment in favor of the property owner.
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A lifetime of service

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Imagine reviewing your bosses’ expense claims and finding something that raises red flags. Now imagine it’s your job to go to your bosses and reject their claims.
Incidentally, your bosses are judges. And there are 15 of them. You’ve just imagined one of the routine tasks of veteran Indiana Court of Appeals administrator Steve Lancaster. If you can negotiate this task and dozens of others for the court’s judges and 18 administrative staff members, you may be the person to take Lancaster’s place.
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Mistaken interpretation of law by officer created reasonable suspicion

March 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed its earlier reversal of a trial court ruling after the Supreme Court of the United States found that reasonable mistakes of law do not violate the Fourth Amendment.
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Court declines Evansville woman’s suit over flood damage

March 24, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of an Evansville woman who sued the city over flood damage to her home that she blames on a storm sewer pipe.
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COA judge: Parole board 'should do better'

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who killed no one but who’s been in prison for almost 40 years for a felony murder conviction was entitled to a more thorough parole board review than one based on a 13-year-old psychological evaluation, a Court of Appeals judge wrote Friday.
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Reversal: Ex-AM General exec must go to court for compensation

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
The ex-president, CEO and chairman of South Bend Humvee maker AM General will have to go to court to seek cash compensation that the company instead paid in the form of a promissory note, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA affirms finding liquor stores violated rules on home delivery of wine

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission’s final order fining a northern Indiana liquor store company for using common carriers to transport wine to customers, which is a violation of its liquor permit.
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COA: Husband’s motion to set aside divorce decree time-barred

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the type of fraud a man alleged his ex-wife committed is considered “ordinary,” it was subject to the one-year time limit of Indiana Trial Rule 60(B)(3), the Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges affirmed the refusal of the trial court to set aside a 2008 dissolution decree.
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Evidence properly admitted in OWI trial

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Evidence discovered after law enforcement approached an intoxicated man’s minivan parked in a driveway was properly admitted at his trial over the defendant’s objections, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed, finding no violations of the U.S. or state constitutions.
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State failed to prove inmate knew he made false statements

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state could not establish that a Marion County Jail inmate knew statements he made to a witness over the phone in another inmate’s case were false, the state didn’t prove Johnny Gomillia committed attempted obstruction of justice.
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Joint defense agreement does not prevent trust from suing attorney

March 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
On interlocutory appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that a joint defense agreement entered into by an attorney and the trust he helped to set up and for which he served as trustee did not bar the trust’s later lawsuit against him for claims arising from their business relationship.
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COA affirms stalking conviction of man who followed teen in stores

March 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A southern Indiana man who followed the same teenage girl through two stores on separate occasions, staying as close as five feet to her at all times, could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his felony conviction for stalking needed to be overturned.
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Judge incorrectly considered acquitted charges in denying expungement petition

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Facts from an incident that do not result in a felony conviction cannot be taken into consideration by a judge when determining a person is disqualified from filing for mandatory expungement of a different felony conviction resulting from the same incident, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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Mother’s due process rights deprived in termination hearing

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In finding both constitutional and statutory guarantees were transgressed, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by a lower court to convert an omnibus hearing on a termination of parental rights matter into a final hearing while mother was not present, which led to the termination of her parental rights.
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TIF funds can’t be used to maintain parks, COA affirms

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a Lake County trial court ruling that tax increment financing funds used in the redevelopment of Munster parks could not be used to later maintain the parks.
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COA: Trial court lacked authority to rescind plea agreement

March 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a Howard Superior judge to sentence a man to the terms of the plea agreement that he had entered into on drug charges before the judge revoked the agreement and ordered him to continue to trial.
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  1. The ADA acts as a tax upon all for the benefit of a few. And, most importantly, the many have no individual say in whether they pay the tax. Those with handicaps suffered in military service should get a pass, but those who are handicapped by accident or birth do NOT deserve that pass. The drivel about "equal access" is spurious because the handicapped HAVE equal access, they just can't effectively use it. That is their problem, not society's. The burden to remediate should be that of those who seek the benefit of some social, constructional, or dimensional change, NOT society generally. Everybody wants to socialize the costs and concentrate the benefits of government intrusion so that they benefit and largely avoid the costs. This simply maintains the constant push to the slop trough, and explains, in part, why the nation is 20 trillion dollars in the hole.

  2. Hey 2 psychs is never enough, since it is statistically unlikely that three will ever agree on anything! New study admits this pseudo science is about as scientifically valid as astrology ... done by via fortune cookie ....John Ioannidis, professor of health research and policy at Stanford University, said the study was impressive and that its results had been eagerly awaited by the scientific community. “Sadly, the picture it paints - a 64% failure rate even among papers published in the best journals in the field - is not very nice about the current status of psychological science in general, and for fields like social psychology it is just devastating,” he said. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/aug/27/study-delivers-bleak-verdict-on-validity-of-psychology-experiment-results

  3. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  4. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  5. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

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