Indiana Court of Appeals

Fired Polaris technician wins reversal at 7th Circuit

August 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A former Indianapolis lab technician presented enough evidence to support her claims of discrimination and retaliation that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned summary judgment in favor of her former employer.
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Agreement means what it says, COA rules

August 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
While the Indiana Court of Appeals conceded the severance agreement was “not a model of precision,” it disagreed with a trial court’s conclusion that the agreement contained a mistake.
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Molestation charge dropped against committed incompetent defendant

August 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
A child molestation charge must be dropped against an incompetent defendant who’s been in psychiatric hospitals longer than he could have been imprisoned had he been convicted, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Toyota dealership relocation to Fishers divides appeals court

August 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
Whether three competing greater Indianapolis Toyota dealers may block the relocation of another Toyota franchise from Anderson to Fishers divided a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday.
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Divided COA panel reverses modification of support

August 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
A judge who ordered a modification of child support after a father told the court he was moving out of state and intended to seek custody of a minor child acted prematurely, a Court of Appeals panel majority ruled Thursday.
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Indianapolis panel overreached in adopting Millersville Plan

August 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
A landowner has successfully challenged the Indianapolis Metropolitan Development Commission’s adoption of a plan that reduced potential residential development on 21 acres in the northeast-side community of Millersville.
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Friedlander reflects on half-century in law as retirement nears

August 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
Although he's set to retire later this month, COA Judge Ezra "Zeke" Friedlander will continue to serve as a senior judge. Marion Superior Judge Robert Altice will be taking his place.
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Class-action members did not show illnesses were caused by same meals

August 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although several Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. members who visited Indianapolis in 2013 all reported symptoms much like those caused by food poisoning, the Indiana Court of Appeals denied class certification, ruling the individuals did not specifically link their illnesses to the chicken served at lunch and dinner.
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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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  1. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  2. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

  3. I am one of Steele's victims and was taken for $6,000. I want my money back due to him doing nothing for me. I filed for divorce after a 16 year marriage and lost everything. My kids, my home, cars, money, pension. Every attorney I have talked to is not willing to help me. What can I do? I was told i can file a civil suit but you have to have all of Steelers info that I don't have. Of someone can please help me or tell me what info I need would be great.

  4. It would appear that news breaking on Drudge from the Hoosier state (link below) ties back to this Hoosier story from the beginning of the recent police disrespect period .... MCBA president Cassandra Bentley McNair issued the statement on behalf of the association Dec. 1. The association said it was “saddened and disappointed” by the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. “The MCBA does not believe this was a just outcome to this process, and is disheartened that the system we as lawyers are intended to uphold failed the African-American community in such a way,” the association stated. “This situation is not just about the death of Michael Brown, but the thousands of other African-Americans who are disproportionately targeted and killed by police officers.” http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2016/07/18/hate-cops-sign-prompts-controversy/87242664/

  5. What form or who do I talk to about a d felony which I hear is classified as a 6 now? Who do I talk to. About to get my degree and I need this to go away it's been over 7 years if that helps.

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