Indiana Court of Appeals

Trial court erred in denying dad custody vs. contemptuous mom

August 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals bluntly reversed denial of a father’s petition for primary custody of his children, finding their mother undermined him and deprived him of court-ordered visitation.
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Officer’s ‘Where’s the gun?’ question properly admitted in shooter’s trial

August 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
A suspect who fled the scene of a Lafayette shooting and later was found with ammunition in his shirt pocket was not prejudiced when a police officer asked, “Where’s the gun?”
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Letter to victim’s mother supports lesser misdemeanor charge

August 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s rambling letter to a victim’s mother was not enough to uphold his convictions for attempted obstruction of justice and invasion of privacy, but it was sufficient to support a lesser charge.
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Pawnshop owner not victim of prosecutorial misconduct

August 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A prosecutor’s comments to a witness about what would have been helpful did not shift the burden of producing evidence onto the defendant, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Guilty plea stands despite ineligibility for habitual charge

August 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a man was wrongly charged as a habitual substance offender, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined the facts do not support his claim that his counsel was ineffective and he did not knowingly enter a guilty plea.
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Reversal: VORP cannot be ordered in sentence

August 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday that offenders may not be ordered to participate in the Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program, reversing a sentence and remanding to the trial court for a restitution hearing.
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Failure to read contract no protection against liability

August 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A coal mine superintendent failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he should not be held liable because he did not understand the contract he signed.
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Wiretap and defamation claims against South Bend councilman allowed to move forward

August 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Overturning the trial court’s dismissal, the Indiana Court of Appeals is allowing the complaint claiming a South Bend city councilman violated the federal wiretap act and committed defamation to proceed.
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Reversal: Insurer’s acceptance of payment reinstated policy

August 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Porter County man won his argument that his insurer’s acceptance of a late payment kept his homeowners coverage in force, after which a garage fire caused damage exceeding $80,000. Now, the insurer also may have to pay bad-faith and punitive damages.
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Uncertain of meth’s status, COA tosses syringe conviction

August 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who was convicted of two felonies for injecting himself with methamphetamine should not have been convicted of unlawful possession of a syringe, because it’s unclear whether meth qualifies as a legend drug, a Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday.
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Judge’s description not impermissible judicial testimony

August 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Marion County judge who described the testimony to jurors as “heartfelt” did not overstep the prohibition against the judiciary acting as a witness.
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Victim’s statements were dying declaration, COA rules

July 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the argument that the victim, who was shot multiple times and eventually did die, could not have made a dying declaration because paramedics repeatedly told him he would live.
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No evidence of officer’s injury voids restitution order

July 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis trial court abused its discretion by ordering a man convicted in a physical altercation with police to pay more than $27,000 in restitution despite a lack of evidence he caused injuries that resulted in those medical bills.
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Convictions based on ‘very same behavior’ do not violate double jeopardy

July 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A man was unable to overcome heavy precedent and convince the Indiana Supreme Court his convictions violated the state prohibition against double jeopardy.
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Trial court erred in ruling defendant waived counsel

July 30, 2015
Dave Stafford

A defendant who pleaded with a judge to try to obtain possibly exculpatory video evidence he said his public defender refused to seek did not, by his conduct, waive his right to counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined Thursday.

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Dissenting judge implies majority reweighed evidence in custody reversal

July 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dissenting judge on an Indiana Court of Appeals panel that Wednesday reversed a child custody order implied the majority reweighed evidence to reach its conclusion.
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COA hands remonstrators another defeat

July 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed another annexation ruling, this time finding the town of Whitestown can move forward with plans to incorporate a portion of Perry Township.
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Aunt denied custody of CHINS niece in foster care

July 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
An aunt who repeatedly sought to gain custody of her 4-year-old niece the Department of Child Services placed in foster care got no relief from the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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Altice selected to succeed Friedlander on Court of Appeals

July 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior Judge Robert R. Altice Jr. was named to the Indiana Court of Appeals July 17 by Gov. Mike Pence.
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COA clears way for broader use of postnuptial agreements

July 29, 2015
Michael Kohlhaas, Jim Reed
A February decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals makes postnuptial agreements a more attractive option for married couples who, considering divorce, decide instead to reconcile.
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Material alteration of terms sufficient for dismissal of foreclosure

July 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly ruled against a financial institution in a mortgage foreclosure action because terms of the surety’s contract were materially altered over time, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Unsupported search warrant voids drug conviction

July 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday threw out a man’s cocaine dealing conviction, holding that a search warrant that led to charges against him should not have been issued.
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COA affirms conviction, sentence in pizza deliveryman’s slaying

July 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday upheld the 65-year sentence and convictions a jury rendered against an Indianapolis man who robbed, shot and killed a pizza deliveryman at a southside apartment complex.
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Winning plaintiff agrees prejudgment interest award not warranted

July 22, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A real estate investor who was successful in her protracted feud with her real estate broker acknowledged an error in the calculation of her award and induced the Indiana Court of Appeals to make a reversal.
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COA: Post-conviction court too speedy in its denial of petition

July 22, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A post-conviction court which denied a petition even before the state had responded has been ordered by the Indiana Court of Appeals to go back, slow down and do it over.
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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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