Indiana Court of Appeals

COA reverses convictions based on ineffective appellate counsel

December 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s convictions of Class A felony child molesting and Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor based on his sexual advances toward his stepdaughter when she was in junior high and high school. The judges acknowledged as a result of their decision, the stepfather won’t face any legal consequences for those actions, but the state had a duty to present sufficient evidence to support those convictions.
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Court erred in affirming decision new seawall must be removed

December 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the portion of a trial court’s order that affirmed the decision by a board of zoning appeals denying a company’s request for a variance which allowed its newly completed seawall to remain intact. The judges found Caddyshack Looper LLC demonstrated that strict application of the setback requirement will result in practical difficulties.
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COA orders man’s birth certificate change to reflect gender

December 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The birth certificate of a person who was born a woman but now identifies as a man and has undergone extensive medical treatment for gender transition should be changed to show he is male, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Questions exist as to whether teen furnished alcohol to other teens

December 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a Pittsboro man in a lawsuit alleging he was liable for the death of friend because he furnished alcohol at a party. The friend died in a car accident while riding with another teen who had consumed alcohol at the party.
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No advice from counsel leads to post-conviction relief

December 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A mother’s refusal to convey her son’s threats of harm possibly saved the man from violating Indiana’s intimidation statute.
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Divided panel reverses default judgment against bank

December 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The bank that promises customers 24-hour grace overdraft protection received more than 20 days grace in an Indiana Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday.
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Fired nurse’s retaliation claim reinstated

December 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
A nurse fired from a St. Joseph County clinic that treated patients with sexually transmitted diseases may go forward with a lawsuit claiming her termination was in retaliation for expressing concern that treating undiagnosed patients went beyond her scope of practice.
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Statements by insurance provider do not constitute defamation, COA rules

December 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A surgery center’s defamation claim that an insurance provider was making false statements purposefully to harm the center’s business reputation was dismissed because the communication did not allege any misconduct in business practices or trade. 
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Enhancement to sentence upheld by COA

November 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding Indiana’s criminal gang enhancement statute can be understood by individuals of ordinary intelligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s challenge to his 175-year aggregate sentence.
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Allegation of conspiracy not enough to support civil conspiracy claim

November 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A parts supplier failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that a civil conspiracy claim against several co-defendants named in a breach of contract dispute can stand without showing every alleged conspirator committed an underlying unlawful act.
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Appeals panel offers direction to abusive pro se litigant

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals has heard about enough from pro se litigant Eddie G. Love.
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Man convicted of brutal beating loses appeal despite errors

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who was convicted of the brutal beating of his stepfather lost an appeal Wednesday that argued his 2008 traumatic brain injury, prosecutorial misconduct and other factors should have reversed or mitigated his 20-year sentence.
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COA reverses custody evaluation granted to grandparents

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court that expressed in the record reservations about the legal status of granting a visitation evaluation sought by grandparents of children in the care or another grandparent had those doubts confirmed Wednesday when the Court of Appeals reversed.
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Perjury voids conviction; COA refers prosecutor for discipline

November 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A St. Joseph County man’s burglary conviction was reversed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The state’s knowing use of perjured testimony to obtain the conviction led the panel to refer the case for possible disciplinary action against a prosecutor.
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Evidence does not support grandparent visitation order, COA rules

November 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding the evidence did not support the trial court’s ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals tossed a visitation order in favor of the maternal grandparents.
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COA revises neglect of dependent conviction stemming from boy’s death

November 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s murder conviction following the death of his girlfriend’s son after he seriously injured the boy while punishing him. But the court reversed his Class B felony neglect of a dependent conviction based on double jeopardy concerns.
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Felony enhancement reversed because woman did not directly cause officer’s injury

November 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday reached a conclusion opposite from one reached by a previous panel of the court when the judges held a woman who was resisting arrest did not cause the officer’s injuries. The officer hurt his hand when he fell forcing the defendant to the ground.
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COA: Man entitled to have attorney present at small claim hearing

November 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a businessman who was confused as to whether he needed his attorney to appear in a small claims case was denied the basic right of representation, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of his motion for a continuance.
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Judges reverse probation revocation due to inadmissible evidence

November 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man’s probation was revoked based on unsubstantiated evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the revocation Friday.
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Judges: Cop shouldn’t have asked driver for license

November 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a man’s motion to suppress evidence collected during an investigatory traffic stop. The judges held that once the police officer knew the owner of the vehicle – who had a suspended license – was not driving, the investigation should have ended.
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Judges reverse drug charges based on constitutional violation

November 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed drug charges against two Bloomington men after finding the police detective’s actions unreasonable. The detectives entered the men’s property while looking for another person despite clear signs of "no trespassing."
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Split COA orders trial for woman injured measuring countertop

November 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday concluded summary judgment was not proper for a home improvement business on a woman’s negligence claim. The customer was injured when a granite countertop propped up outside of the business fell on her foot while she was measuring it.
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Failure to object to judge in termination case waives argument on appeal

November 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
A father whose parental rights were terminated by the same judge who presided when he was convicted of child molesting and neglect raised the issue on appeal for the first time, therefore waiving the objection, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Delay of protection order hearing called ‘disturbing’

November 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals called a trial court’s delay in setting a hearing on a petition for a permanent protection order “disturbing” and found the lower court’s denial of the order did not comply with the state’s trial rules.
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Language of trust overrides statutes, COA rules

November 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man’s promise to sue his brother and deplete their father’s trust of its assets resulted in him being ordered to pay $13,166 in attorney fees to the trust.
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