Indiana Court of Appeals

Appeals court orders physical custody of child back to father

September 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
A mother has lost primary physical custody of her daughter after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided on Thursday to reverse and remand a decision that would have taken the daughter out of the custody of her father and instead place her in the primary custody of her mother.
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Bad-faith deal after bar assault clears insurer

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
Trial court rulings in favor of an insurer finding it had no duty to pay the victim of a punch in the jaw at a New Castle bar were affirmed Thursday. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a consent judgment between the tavern, the victim, and the man convicted of the crime was executed in bad faith.
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COA finds notice on out-of-state parties sufficient to affirm

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
Lawyers for a man injured in a crash involving a tractor-trailer sufficiently served the truck driver and the transport company, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in affirming a default judgment in favor of the injured driver.
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Builder’s statute of limitations defense prevails in COA

September 8, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of construction supplier on its breach of contract claim against a builder to which it provided a line of credit. The appellate court agreed with the defendants' claims that the lawsuit was time-barred.
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COA reverses resisting law enforcement convictions based on video evidence

September 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has overturned convictions of mistreatment of a law enforcement animal and resisting law enforcement after finding that law enforcement officers’ testimony in the case was in direct contrast to video evidence.
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COA affirms developer’s liability on defaulted property

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A real estate developer whose project had to be sold after the company defaulted on the mortgage is on the hook for nearly half the owed price based on a contract he signed as guarantor, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Man who parked car on I-94 must face OWI causing death charge

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Criminal charges against a man who prosecutors say was drunk and parked his car in an interstate lane in the early morning hours, leading to the death of truck driver, will move forward after the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of the driver’s motions to dismiss and suppress evidence.
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Man entitled to serve sentence in jail, not DOC

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a trial court to resentence a man under the statute in place when he was sentenced, even though he committed the crime before the date noted in the statute. As a result, he is entitled to serve his Level 6 felony in jail instead of the Department of Correction.
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COA reverses woman’s fine for defying no-animals order

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the $1,000 fine imposed for indirect contempt of court after a woman continued to have animals at her home after ordered by a court not to do so was punitive in nature and impermissible, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Wednesday.
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Company barred from mentioning standard in negligence case

August 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A company being sued for negligent design by a man who fell out of its utility truck bucket and became paralyzed may not mention a specific design standard at a new trial on the issue, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Breach of contract suit to get new venue

August 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court should have granted the city of Lawrenceburg’s request to move a breach of contract lawsuit against it filed by Franklin County out of Franklin County, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Woman’s outburst politically ambiguous; disorderly conduct conviction stands

August 26, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a Michigan City woman’s disorderly conduct conviction after finding the focus of her speech was politically ambiguous and the state acted rationally in impairing her speech while trying to serve an arrest warrant.
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Doctor’s profit sharing plan not recoverable by slain wife’s estate

August 25, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The estate of a woman whose husband shot and killed her and himself just hours after they married is not entitled to any funds from the husband’s profit sharing plan based on Indiana probate law, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday.
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Trust beneficiary’s complaint reinstated by COA

August 25, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The lawsuit filed by a man who claimed the trustee of the irrevocable trust in which he is the beneficiary mismanaged assets will move forward after the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed dismissal of the suit.
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COA calls for guidance on social media use during criminal trials

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
In affirming that a man was not deprived due process when the media live tweeted during his murder trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals noted that it’s time for the judicial branch to address social media use concerns.
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Court divided over stop of man in movie theater

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
By a 2-1 vote, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of an Indianapolis man’s motion to suppress a handgun found on him after officers questioned him in a lobby of a movie theater. The majority ruled the officers had no reasonable suspicion to justify the investigatory stop.
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COA affirms officer’s stop of teen involved in mall ruckus

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer had reasonable suspicion to stop and search a teen at an Indianapolis mall on Black Friday last year whom was believed to be involved in a shouting match with another group of people in a department store, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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COA upholds restraining order against man who threatened mother’s caretakers

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A Clark County man’s behavior qualified as a credible threat of violence with respect to three employees of the assisted living facility where his mother lived, so the trial court correctly issued workplace violence restraining orders on their behalf, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Promise to pay for broken nose breathes life into estoppel claim

August 23, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A young woman who suffered a broken nose trying to help law enforcement can have her estoppel claim move forward even though she did not file a timely notice under the Indiana Tort Claims Act.
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DOC, trial court errors lead to reversal of parole revocation

August 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
A longtime criminal who was convicted of violating his parole on an attempted robbery sentence was deprived a hearing on a corrected record and therefore is entitled to post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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COA advice: Leave affirmation out of jury instructions

August 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man’s convictions of battery and disorderly conduct will stand, but the Indiana Court of Appeals cautioned trial courts that including law enforcement affirmations in jury instructions should not, calling the practice “undesirable and completely avoidable.”
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Split COA reverses sex conviction on ‘Romeo and Juliet’ grounds

August 22, 2016
The majority of a Court of Appeals panel reversed the conviction of a young man who claimed he was wrongly denied an opportunity to present Indiana’s “Romeo and Juliet” law as an affirmative defense to a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor.
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City owes man legal fees for ‘meritless, possibly frivolous’ case

August 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the city’s Office of Corporation Counsel pursued a ‘wholly meritless, possibly frivolous argument’ in a public-records case, the Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The city will pay the legal fees of a man who sued to obtain records after he was denied.
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Appeals panel overturns man’s trespass conviction

August 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man who had lived with his father with the consent of the senior apartment complex where he resided should not have been convicted of trespass after he was ordered to leave, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in overturning a bench trial verdict.
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Dissent: PO reversal ‘insulates’ domestic violence perpetrators

August 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
An ex-husband’s actions that prompted a woman to get a protective order against him did not constitute stalking or threatening behavior sufficient to warrant the court order, the majority of an Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled Friday. A dissenting judge warned the holding “insulates perpetrators of domestic violence” who threaten friends or associates of former partners.
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  2. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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