Indiana Court of Appeals

K-9 search turning up heroin in car sufficient for conviction

September 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A South Bend man’s conviction of Level 6 felony possession of a narcotic was affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday, which found the evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict.
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Mother fails to prove entitlement to coverage after untimely payment

September 16, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a Hendricks County woman’s insurer on her suit alleging breach of contract after the insurance company declined to cover her son’s auto accident, which occurred after she let her coverage lapse for nonpayment.
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COA: Defrauded Logansport business can’t sue Michigan law firms here

September 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Logansport businessman who was defrauded of more than $20,000 cannot use Indiana courts to sue the Michigan law firm whose client was later convicted of wire fraud, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Appeals court affirms decision to strip parental rights

September 15, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday a trial court decision to involuntarily strip a couple of their parental rights despite the father’s claim that the Department of Child Services had not produced enough evidence to warrant such action.
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COA reverses decision to deny woman’s expungement request

September 15, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a Jay Circuit Court decision to deny a woman’s petition for expungement of her records after she was convicted of forgery and dealing in methamphetamine.
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Property award to ex-girlfriend of longtime boyfriend affirmed

September 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court correctly awarded certain property to a woman who filed a complaint against her longtime partner for unjust enrichment after the two broke up after a 17-year relationship, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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COA affirms health services provider in contempt for not producing records

September 14, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed that Meridian Health Services was in contempt of court when it failed to provide a patient’s father with her health records after a subpoena ordered the health services provider to do so.
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COA affirms conversion judgment against mortgage lender

September 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
A mortgage company lost its appeal of a ruling that it effectively stole the Muncie property from its borrower, who is entitled to $158,392.50 in damages, including $74,000 under the Indiana Crime Victims Relief Act.
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COA: Discovery rule applies in inverse condemnation action against Duke Energy

September 13, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a Monroe Circuit Court decision to dismiss a complaint against Duke Energy after finding that the trial court erred when it ruled that the statute of limitations for the complaint had expired.
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COA orders couple to pay fees to lot owner’s association

September 13, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a couple to pay a Bartholomew County lot owner’s association $6,000 in assessment fees despite the couple’s claim that they are not members of the association.
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Court of Appeals upholds denial of request to set aside 1997 divorce decree

September 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The denial of a woman’s request to set aside her divorce decree nearly 20 years after the end of her marriage because of fraud on the part of her ex-husband has been upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA affirms felony battery conviction; no evidentiary dispute of substantial pain

September 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a felony battery conviction on Friday despite the defendant’s claim that he should have only been charged with a misdemeanor.
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On rehearing, appeals court reins in DCS on CHINS custody change

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Department of Child Services lost on rehearing its argument that a custody modification ordered in a child in need of services case survives the CHINS proceeding.
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COA: third-party perpetrator evidence not relevant

September 8, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A man sentenced to 40 years for murder failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals he was unable to adequately defend himself at trial because he was prohibited from pointing an accusatory finger at the victim’s brother-in-law.
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Circumstantial evidence supports murder conviction

September 8, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite not having a direct link showing Donald Burns intended to kill his 74-year-old grandmother, the Indiana Court of Appeals found the amount of circumstantial evidence was enough to support his murder conviction.
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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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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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