Indiana Court of Appeals

Possible improper use of risk assessment in sentencing not enough for remand

November 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A man convicted of child molesting and incest will not get a chance to have his 99-year sentence reduced. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that even though the trial court may have abused its discretion, the sentence was not inappropriate.
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Drug-dog sniff after traffic stop was rightly suppressed

November 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A southern Indiana trial court rightly suppressed drug evidence gathered after a police drug-sniffing dog indicated the presence of meth in a van after a traffic stop.
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Increased bail is abuse of discretion, panel rules

November 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court abused its discretion when it raised a defendant’s bail in a meth possession case, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA rules preliminary injunction wrongly extended noncompete agreement

November 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In reviewing a dispute over the terms of a noncompete agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals reminded the trial court that a preliminary injunction has limits.
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Justices reject Spierer-obsessed man’s appeal of gun confiscation

November 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from a man whose 51 guns and ammunition were seized after authorities became alarmed by his behavior near the site where missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer was last seen.
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COA reverses summary judgment in complaint to recover credit card debt

November 8, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a company did not satisfy its burden of proof under Indiana Trial Rule 56(C) when attempting to collect on a breach of a credit card contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday reversed summary judgment in the case.
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Judges uphold 54-year sentence of man who asked women to take pics of kids

November 8, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument Friday that he couldn’t be convicted of Class A felony child molesting under the accessory statute because the perpetrator was under 21 at the time of the molestations.
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COA holds law firms are judgment creditors, owe restitution

November 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a dispute over whether two law firms should have to repay money from a judgment they received by way of attorney liens, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that the law firms are judgment creditors, so they are liable to pay restitution to the state of Indiana.
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Appellate arguments in cancelled IBM contract set for Nov. 25

November 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments later this month on whether the state should have to pay more than $62 million to IBM after cancelling its billion-dollar contract with the company to modernize Indiana’s welfare system.
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COA rejects claim overhaul of Criminal Code shows Class A felonies disproportionate

November 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant attempted to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that the Class A felony classifications for dealing or possession of cocaine are disproportionate by pointing to the recent revisions to the Criminal Code. The new criminal classifications and sentencing structure that take effect next year no longer include these crimes in the highest level of felonies.
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Woman’s 35-year sentence upheld following death of stepson

November 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake Superior judge did not abuse her discretion in sentencing a woman to 35 years for neglect of a dependent after the woman’s stepson died following years of abuse.
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Filings continue to drop, as does funding for Indiana courts

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A sharp decline in infraction and ordinance-violation cases is among factors that resulted in courts around the state collecting considerably less revenue, according to data released in the annual Judicial Service Reports.
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Is a death certificate public information?

November 6, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Differing interpretations of statutory language puts the state of Indiana and the Court of Appeals at odds.
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Unemployment checks no longer part of summer break, COA rules

November 5, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding that an addition to the state’s statute did not change the intent of the law, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that school bus drivers in Anderson were rightly denied their unemployment checks.
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Court of Appeals cites snail mail as reason for overturning summary judgment

November 5, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
While neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will keep the U.S. Postal Service from its appointed rounds, the Indiana Court of Appeals reminded a lower court that trial rules allow for three extra days when motions are sent by mail.
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Trial court errantly suppressed DUI evidence

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Marion Superior Court should not have suppressed evidence of intoxication of a man who was taken to a roll-call station on suspicion of drunken driving, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Post-conviction claim allowed in DOC placement change

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Offenders may seek post-conviction relief from Department of Correction placement changes, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday after the state revised its view that a claim should be dismissed.
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Appeals court affirms revoked probation after test shows marijuana

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man ordered to serve 90 days of a suspended one-year sentence for a conviction of misdemeanor marijuana possession wasn’t denied due process when his probation officer admitted evidence of a positive urinalysis, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Aye Chihuahua! Dog’s domain remains Indiana, appeals court rules

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Sofie, the black-and-white Chihuahua-rat terrier mix, stays in Indiana, the Court of Appeals affirmed in a canine custody challenge.
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Rehearing on double-jeopardy appeal leads to same conclusion

November 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel was unmoved by a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision, and the appellate panel reaffirmed that a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor should not be dismissed against a defendant acquitted of rape based on the same incident.
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Retailer properly terminated lease, COA rules in reversal

November 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A retail chain that closed an underperforming store in a Hendricks County shopping center had a contractual right to do so under its lease, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in reversing a judgment in favor of the plaza owner.
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Appeals panel rules former same-sex partner has standing to seek visitation

October 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A former same-sex domestic partner of a woman who gave birth to a child has standing to seek visitation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, reversing a trial court in an opinion begging lawmakers to speak to the rights of same-sex couples in parenting disputes.
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Man arrested for public intox at gas station has conviction reversed

October 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Based on the language of the recently amended statute defining public intoxication, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s conviction due to lack of evidence that he endangered his life or the life of someone else.
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COA decides not to take video recording issue on interlocutory appeal

October 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday decided that it was improper for it to accept a man’s appeal of his motion seeking to exclude video recordings of video files found on his phone. The judges accordingly dismissed David Wise’s appeal.
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Woman’s convictions did not subject her to double jeopardy

October 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who attempted to shoplift from an Indianapolis K-Mart was not subject to double jeopardy when she was convicted of resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct. She argued the court could have based the convictions on identical facts.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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