Indiana Court of Appeals

2012 Year in Review

January 2, 2013
IL Staff
2012 was another busy year for the legal community. We welcomed new justices and a new chief justice, witnessed the beginnings of the state’s fifth law school, and saw local stories garner national and international attention. Here’s a look back at the top news stories from last year.
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Public-record email case focuses on scope of requests

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
A dustup over access to public records reveals an uncertain standard exists for what is considered a reasonable request to disclose public officials’ emails under Indiana public record laws.
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Court cites fishy documents in reversing support order

December 28, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Marion Superior judge had no jurisdiction to enter a judgment against a father stating he owed $27,522 in support to his children’s mother, because Canadian court documents and other filings should not have been considered, the Court of Appeals ruled.
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Vintage Corvette belongs to the last buyer

December 28, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette was the subject of litigation over ownership when it was purchased by a third party on eBay, the Indiana Court of Appeals has found the hotrod belongs to the eBay bidder.
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Duke loses appeal of scandal-touched IURC rate case reversal

December 28, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s reversal and subsequent rejection of deferred accounting of $11.9 million for Duke Energy was affirmed by the Court of Appeals Friday in a case revisited because of an ethics scandal involving state regulators.
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Public interest in reducing poverty is grounds for application of doctrine of laches

December 27, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In overturning a lower court’s ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals opened the door for the doctrine of laches to be applied to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles by finding the suspension of a Bloomington woman’s driving privileges conflicts with the public’s interest in reducing poverty.
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Testy divorce remanded for recalculation

December 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A divorce order that satisfied neither party was sent back to the trial court for recalculation of several provisions.
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COA affirms ruling in suit brought after fatal train accident

December 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
The trial court did not err in concluding that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether federal preemption applies with respect to the adequacy of the traffic warning devices installed at a railroad crossing where a fatal accident occurred in 2009, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday.
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Appeals court reinstates injured motorist’s claim against insurer

December 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A driver’s claim against an insurance company that was dismissed by a trial court was reinstated by the Indiana Court of Appeals on Thursday.
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Appeals court upholds Medicaid fraud charges

December 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A woman charged with defrauding Indiana’s Medicaid program of nearly $350,000 lost the appeal of her partial motion to dismiss the charges.
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Snow forces court, office closures

December 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Many people in Indiana may be enjoying an extra-long Christmas vacation thanks to blizzard-like conditions in parts of the state. Heavy snow and high winds have led to closures, including Indiana’s appellate courts.
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Man’s child molesting conviction upheld

December 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals acknowledged that although a defendant did not receive a perfect trial, it is confident that Steven Malloch received a fair trial on a charge of Class A felony child molesting relating to his stepdaughter.
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COA upholds cocaine convictions, sentence

December 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s arguments to overturn his two convictions of Class A felony possession of cocaine, including that he should have been granted a speedy trial and the trial court erred when it rejected his tendered jury instruction.
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Judges affirm criminal recklessness conviction

December 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Someone shooting at a residence, for purposes of a criminal recklessness prosecution, may create a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person even if the resident is away from the home at the moment of the shooting, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a first impression case.
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Judges reinstate administrative order to refund excessive title insurance premiums

December 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
After finding a trial court exceeded its authority when it reweighed evidence presented to a hearing officer regarding overcharging of title insurance premiums by several agencies, the Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated the administrative order issued by the Indiana commissioner of insurance to refund excessive premiums.
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COA orders continuation of insurer’s case against tenant

December 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because Indiana law does not currently preclude a landlord’s insurer from bringing a subrogation claim against a tenant and a landlord’s complaint established a set of circumstances under which it would be entitled to relief, the Court of Appeals reversed the grant of a tenant’s motion to dismiss. The landlord’s insurer filed a subrogation action against the tenant after a fire started on her patio.
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Justices reinstate 80-year sentence

December 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Disagreeing with the Court of Appeals, which ordered a convicted child molester’s sentence cut in half, the Indiana Supreme Court reinstated John Kimbrough III’s 80-year aggregate sentence for molesting his former girlfriend’s two young daughters.
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Powers collide in utility rate case charged by ethics scandal

December 19, 2012
Dave Stafford
Undue influence is an undercurrent of Duke Energy v. Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission case.
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State drops charges against mom whose murder, arson convictions were overturned

December 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The state has dropped charges against Kristine Bunch, the Decatur County woman who claimed she was wrongfully convicted of killing her son in a fire in 1995. Bunch was convicted in 1996 of murder and arson, but the Court of Appeals ordered a new trial this year.
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Attempted ‘hybrid’ defense delay didn’t violate speedy trial rule

December 18, 2012
Dave Stafford
A criminal defendant who filed motions on his own behalf and who also had consented to appointment of a special public defender was not denied a speedy trial when a delay of more than 70 days occurred, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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The Star asks Supreme Court to review order to name online commenter

December 18, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis Star has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to hear its appeal of an order that it identify an anonymous commenter who posted messages on its website that became part of a defamation suit.
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Woman who invited abusive spouse did not violate no-contact protective order

December 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the Indiana General Assembly was deliberate when it did not criminalize the violation of a protective order by the protected person.
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Star seeks rehearing on order to identify online commenter

December 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis Star is asking the Court of Appeals to reconsider its order issued Dec.7 that required the newspaper to release the name of an online commenter Friday to a plaintiff who claims the remarks defamed him.
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Split court upholds $3.9 million workplace injury judgment

December 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
Whether a general liability carrier could intervene in a workplace injury lawsuit that awarded a plaintiff $3.9 million is a question that divided the Indiana Court of Appeals, which affirmed the lower court ruling.
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COA reminds ex-spouse that turnips cannot bleed

December 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Calling her interpretation of Indiana law incorrect, the Court of Appeals rejected a woman’s argument against the decrease in her spousal support and reminded her that “one cannot bleed a turnip.”  
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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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