Indiana Court of Appeals

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Because a man’s probation was revoked based on unsubstantiated evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the revocation Friday.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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Denomination loses appeal in favor of breakaway church

November 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
A church denomination failed to prove to the Indiana Court of Appeals that it was entitled to the property of a congregation that broke away.
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Conviction for hit-and-run fatality affirmed

November 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
The conviction of a driver who struck and killed a woman while she walked on a busy street during a rainstorm was affirmed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA rules contract with missing elements is still valid

November 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A Hamilton County man failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the absence of start and completion dates along with his name rendered his contract with a home improvement company invalid.
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COA reverses judgment for driver in fatality, rules for moped rider’s dad

November 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday turned upside down a trial court’s judgment in favor of a driver who collided with a moped rider who died at the scene of the Indianapolis crash in August 2012.
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Lawyer: Affirmed $1.4M judgment against Walgreen sets HIPAA precedent

November 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Marion County jury verdict affirmed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals upholds a $1.4 million verdict for a Walgreen pharmacy customer whose prescription information was provided to a third party and sets a national precedent, according to the lawyer who argued the case.
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Agency record required for judicial review of agency action

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A petitioner seeking judicial review of an agency action must file with the trial court the agency record as defined by the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act. Not doing so will result in dismissal of the petition, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday.
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COA upholds order man pay ex-wife’s appellate attorney fees

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that the same standard for awarding attorney fees should apply regardless of the forum. The judges affirmed the order that he pay his ex-wife’s appellate attorney fees because he is in a better position than she is to pay them.
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School police justified in searching student’s backpack, COA holds

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The search by school police of a student’s backpack was justified based on a teacher’s suspicion that the backpack may have contained drugs or weapons, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The officer’s search turned up a gun.
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Law firm disqualified based on attorney’s previous representation of doctor

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a case involving the conflicts that arise and obligations that remain when lawyers move from one firm to another, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a law firm hired to represent plaintiffs in a medical malpractice lawsuit must be disqualified based on an attorney’s prior representation of the doctor being sued.
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Judge urges high court to look at counsel assistance during state psychiatric exam

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed citing court precedent that a defendant who was to be examined by the state’s expert based on his insanity defense has no right to the presence of counsel during the psychiatric exam. But Judge Terry Crone argues the Indiana Supreme Court needs to take another look at this issue.
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Appeals court upholds burglary conviction but sends matter back to trial court

November 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found sufficient evidence to conclude that a man’s house qualified as a dwelling, thereby supporting a defendant’s burglary conviction. But the judges sua sponte reviewed the trial court’s entry of judgment and sentencing order and decided to send the matter back to the lower court.
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COA: Judge should dismiss habeas petition

November 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Henry County judge erred when he denied an inmate’s petition for habeas corpus challenging a disciplinary decision from the Indiana Department of Correction. The judge should have instead dismissed the petition.
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Oral argument set for ex-Indiana elections chief

November 11, 2014
 Associated Press
The next step in former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White's fight to overturn his voter fraud conviction is set for next month.
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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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