Indiana Court of Appeals

Court reduces attorney fees awarded to pay firm by $1 million

August 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday found that an estate of a man with dependents can recover attorney fees under the General Wrongful Death Statute, but the trial court erred in how it calculated the amount the law firm will receive.
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Court affirms termination of parental rights without case plan

August 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
Morgan County parents, including a father who dealt meth to a confidential informant while his wife and three minor children were present, lost an appeal of their termination of parental rights Tuesday.
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Payment of ‘ad valorem’ taxes sustain ownership in mineral interest

August 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Reversing the trial court’s ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a woman’s payment of “ad valorem” taxes on a mineral interest in Posey County prevented the lapse of her partial ownership.
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Argumentative passenger’s public intoxication conviction reversed

August 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A passenger in a car that a police officer stopped after seeing an arm and object hanging out of the car window, followed by the sound of shattering glass, was improperly convicted of public intoxication, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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COA: Sentencing court must hear inmate’s habeas petition

August 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man serving a 60-year murder sentence at the Pendleton Correctional Facility must seek relief in the court where he was sentenced, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Evidence does not support stand-your-ground defense

August 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man’s attempt to bolster his defense by using Indiana’s stand-your-ground law was rejected because the evidence did not support his claim.
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Insurer loses appeal over matter litigated elsewhere

August 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
An insurance company may not recover in Marion Superior Court claims paid for an auto accident after a St. Joseph court ruled a driver was not at fault in the crash.
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Search of home after improper GPS tracking affirmed

August 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
Though the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed the warrantless installation of GPS devices was improper, it affirmed a trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress evidence subsequently collected at the home of a suspected drug dealer.
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Court clarifies ‘known claim’ exclusion applies in insurance coverage dispute

August 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted rehearing to a case involving a dispute over coverage for environmental contamination and found that the "known claim” exclusion applies, not the known loss doctrine.
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Judge ‘troubled’ by delays in relocation case

August 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday upheld a mother’s decision to relocate from Indiana to Georgia with her daughter before a court hearing was held on the matter. But one judge on the panel found the court’s reliance on the time the mother and child lived in Georgia to support its decision “makes a mockery” of the relocation statute.
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Man does not need to wait 3 years to file new expungement petition

August 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted a defendant’s petition for rehearing to address a “perhaps unique question” presented in his petition: Does he have to wait three years before he can file another petition to expunge the records of his Class A misdemeanor conviction?
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Court correctly ruled man with terminated employment contract could retire

August 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An employment contract between a certified public accountant and his employer did not prohibit the CPA from retiring from his position after the company announced it would not be renewing his contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday.
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Women who dodged orders to appear at trial properly declared unavailable

August 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a teen’s conviction of felony robbery, finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion in declaring two women unavailable for his trial and admitting their depositions at his trial.
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Judges reverse 8 forgery convictions based on fake ballot signatures

August 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A St. Joseph County man charged with multiple counts of forgery after falsifying signatures on an election ballot petition for Barack Obama in 2008 was not prejudiced when the state was allowed to amend the charging information at the end of his trial. But, the Indiana Court of Appeals held the evidence only supports convicting him of one count of forgery, not nine.
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Appeals panel: Trust’s real property bequeath by later writing invalid

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a mother’s specific gift of real property incorporated into trust documents was an invalid method of willing it to heirs.
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Absence of a plan foils development proposal

July 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A plan commission did not overstep its authority when it turned down a proposal to build a 300-unit apartment complex, in part, because the developer did not submit a preliminary plan for the project.
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Asset forfeiture dispute divides appeals panel

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
An order transferring to the federal government money seized from a criminal defendant was deemed proper by the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday, though a dissenting judge said the defendant didn’t even know the order had been issued until nearly two years later.
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COA tosses in absentia conviction of Army private

July 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A 20-year-old U.S. Army private had his conviction for underage drinking overturned because Hendricks Superior Court denied his motion for a continuance and held the trial while he was deployed in Afghanistan.
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Insurance dispute divides Court of Appeals

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A split Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s finding that a landlord was not covered by the tenant’s insurance policy.
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Order to demolish home reversed by Court of Appeals

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A couple whose lakeside house was built at a different elevation than specified in the site development plan will not be able to call the wrecking crew yet.
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Requiring deaf mom to sign doesn’t violate due process

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A mother whose parental rights were terminated was not denied due process when a judge who couldn’t understand her spoken testimony required her to sign to an interpreter who then spoke her responses aloud.
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Court affirms judgment for NIPSCO in easement dispute

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court was correct in awarding a northern Indiana utility company $245,858 for the cost of reconstructing power lines on a new easement after prior owners had mined sand on the prior easement, making servicing poles difficult.
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Court affirms denial of post-conviction relief

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Elkhart County man twice convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison on drug convictions was not improperly denied post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Denial of summary judgment affirmed in wrongful death case

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A doctor and a South Bend healthcare facility must stand trial on a wrongful death claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, affirming a trial court’s denial of summary judgment.
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Law firm sued over med-mal fees prevails on appeal

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis law firm was properly granted summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by a former client in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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