Indiana Court of Appeals

COA instructs trial court to vacate 2 convictions of child molestation

February 26, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals threw out two charges and sent a case back to the trial court after the state admitted that it did not intend to charge the defendant with four separate acts of child molestation.
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Trial court denied due process in revoking probation

February 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man whose probation was revoked without an evidentiary hearing after he walked away from an inpatient alcohol treatment program imposed by the court will receive a new hearing.
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Consecutive sentences in drug buy case ruled inappropriate

February 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man sentenced to 40 years in prison after he sold crack cocaine to undercover agents in two separate controlled buys received an inappropriate punishment, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Felon’s convictions, multiple sentence enhancements affirmed

February 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
A sentence of 12 years with a year suspended was not inappropriate for a man who stole an idling car from a Lafayette convenience store and later resisted police, punched a police dog and threatened officers.
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Trouble with the Curves: Ex-husband still owes for franchise’s default

February 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
A couple’s failure to inform a landlord of their divorce doesn’t excuse the ex-husband from a default judgment on rent payments for a health club that his former wife continued to run.
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Transferred intent instruction not error in domestic violence trial

February 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Elkhart County man’s conviction for domestic battery stands after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a jury instruction on the doctrine of transferred intent was not an abuse of discretion.
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Interstate defendant denied due process in hasty sentencing trip

February 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Kentucky inmate brought to an Indiana court for sentencing on four burglary counts to which he pleaded guilty was deprived due process when his new attorney was given only minutes to prepare, the Court of Appeals ruled.
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Officer’s inclusion of victim’s statements did not violate Confrontation Clause

February 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a police officer’s testimony that incorporated statements from the victim did not violate the defendant’s right to be confronted with the witnesses against him.
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Change to public intoxication statute not retroactive

February 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
A woman convicted of public intoxication may not receive relief from a change in the statute that took effect a day before her bench trial.
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COA answers first impression issue on custodial statements

February 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant convicted of a burglary in St. Joseph County challenged the admission of his prior statement to police while in custody, arguing the statement couldn’t be allowed at his trial because a recorded version of the statement wasn’t available at trial as required by Indiana Evidence Rule 617.
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Court reverses DCS order requiring mother to take prescribed meds

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother whose child was adjudicated as child in need of services won a partial victory before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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Life sentence upheld by Court of Appeals

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Grant County man who killed his ex-wife in the middle of the night after breaking into her Marion home will spend the rest of his life in prison, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. The judges affirmed the denial of Fred Laux’s petition for post-conviction relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel.
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COA orders hearing on man’s request to remove name from JTAC website

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that it has no authority to remove a man’s name from the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee website and law enforcement databases after a protective order against him was dismissed. But the judges remanded for a hearing before the trial court on David Cook’s claims.
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Insurance policy’s one-year limitation period voided

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.’s claim that if it’s one-year limitation on bringing an action against the insurer is unenforceable then the court should find a two-year limitation period applies based on Indiana statute.
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Man’s challenge to requirement he register as sex offender dismissed

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded it lacked jurisdiction over an appeal out of Marion County by a man who argues he shouldn’t have to register as a sex offender for a 1982 rape conviction in California.
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Man facing deportation loses 2 appeals

February 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A citizen of Ecuador who has lived in the U.S. since he was one year old was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals in separate cases that his counsel’s failure to inform him of the possible deportation consequences of pleading guilty to a crime should result in post-conviction relief.
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Brother’s previous threat allowed at trial

February 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Monday that a threat made by a man against his brother a year before the man threw hot water on the brother was properly admitted into evidence during trial.
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Pro se defendant wins reversal of restitution order

February 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant ordered to repay more than $19,000 that a drug task force spent to investigate his methamphetamine manufacturing will not have to make restitution because the state isn’t a victim under the restitution statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Woman hit by foul ball strikes out at Court of Appeals

February 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A baseball organization in Lake County is not liable for the injuries a fan suffered when she was hit in the face by a foul ball during a game, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA split on whether judge can order community service in lieu of fines

February 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Two judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals decided that a trial judge didn’t have statutory authority to order an indigent woman to perform community service instead of paying fines and costs of her case, ordering the court to address the issue of imposing fees and costs.
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Judges rule in favor of bank on request to end trust

February 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A beneficiary of a trust couldn’t prove to the Indiana Court of Appeals that the purpose of the trust, created by her mother, was to benefit any grandchildren and because there are no grandchildren, the trust should be terminated.
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Rejection of garnishment request upheld

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A collection company seeking to garnish a woman’s wages in order to satisfy an alleged $1,800 debt was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the trial court had to issue the garnishment order.
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Judge-backed court staff attorney pilot program bill moves out of committee

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Legislation that would create a pilot program administered by the Indiana Judicial Center to assist trial courts when preparing and writing certain motions moved out of the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code 11-0.
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Judges affirm defendant must register as sex offender as part of probation

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant who was convicted of robbery and rape, but whose rape conviction was vacated on double jeopardy concerns, can still be required to register as a sex offender as a condition of his probation, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday.
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Defendant received ineffective trial counsel assistance in murder case

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a Delaware County man’s post-conviction relief petition finding his trial attorney was ineffective in not ensuring the jury was properly instructed on the elements of murder, voluntary manslaughter and the state’s burden of proof regarding sudden heat.
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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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