Indiana Court of Appeals

Man loses appeal over search that led to cocaine charges

July 26, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man on trial for Class A felony counts of dealing cocaine and conspiracy to deal cocaine lost his appeal Tuesday seeking to suppress evidence found in a search of his car.
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COA: Needles near bottle cap support drug conviction

July 26, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the evidence was insufficient to conclude that he intended to use the two syringe needles found in his clothes to inject heroin.
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Lake Michigan property line dispute arguments set

July 25, 2016
Dave Stafford
A dispute over whether the public has a right to walk the beach along Lake Michigan or private property extends to the water’s edge will be heard by the Indiana Court of Appeals Sept. 5.
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Man’s resisting conviction after domestic violence call reversed

July 25, 2016
Dave Stafford
Police responding to a domestic violence call weren’t legally exercising their duties when they entered the alleged perpetrator’s house without his consent, used a Taser on him and charged him with resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Farmers win reversal in drainage appeal against town

July 25, 2016
Dave Stafford
Montgomery County farmers who claimed work done by a town to improve its stormwater drainage ruined their acreage won reversal Monday of a trial court ruling against them.
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Man’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim fails

July 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s assertion that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney didn’t object to the validity of the order placing him on probation.
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COA admonishes prosecutor’s misconduct, doesn’t reverse conviction

July 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A prosecutor’s suggestion to the jury during an attempted rape trial that a defense attorney influenced a witness was misconduct, but not sufficient to warrant reversal of the defendant’s conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. But the court also called out the prosecutor and warned him.
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Reversal: HHGregg prevails in appeal over managers’ bonuses

July 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
HHGregg senior managers are not entitled to share in $40 million in life insurance proceeds from the 2012 death of executive chairman of the board Jerry Throgmartin, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, reversing a trial court ruling in the managers’ favor.
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COA: Buyers had notice property was under lease

July 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that because sellers of a Crawford County property had recorded their assignment of lease in the recorder’s office, buyers of the property had actual or constructive notice that the sellers didn’t own the land.
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Wal-Mart shoplifter’s resisting conviction affirmed

July 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who fled from police and later was arrested after he and another man had been spotted allegedly shoplifting from a Lafayette Wal-Mart store was properly convicted of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA tosses feticide conviction, says statute doesn’t apply to self abortion

July 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Legislature did not intend for the state’s feticide statute to apply to pregnant women or illegal abortions, including the one a northern Indiana woman executed by taking drugs ordered from Hong Kong, the Court of Appeals held Friday.
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COA upholds mother’s neglect conviction for causing son’s health issues

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, acknowledging differing expert testimony in a mother’s neglect of a dependent case, declined to reweigh the evidence and upheld her Class B felony conviction.
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Recommendation of plea document passes ‘duck test’

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Citing the “duck test” credited to Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that a “recommendation of plea” document was a plea agreement the trial judge was free to accept or reject.
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Judges affirm grant of senior living facility’s arbitration motion

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Although a senior living facility “inexplicably” failed to keep a copy of an arbitration agreement signed by a resident, the facility produced enough extrinsic evidence to conclude an enforceable arbitration agreement exists, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA: Woman, not bank, entitled to foreclosure surplus funds

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court misapplied the law regarding disbursement of surplus sale proceedings from a sheriff’s sale when it ordered the full surplus to the bank that owned the first mortgage on the home, the Indiana Court of Appeals held. The law requires the surplus to go to the mortgage debtor.
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DCS agrees more caseworkers needed, argues against suit

July 20, 2016
Indiana’s Legislature and governor have failed to provide resources to ensure sufficient case managers to protect children and families, a lawyer representing the Department of Child Services told the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday. But she argued a caseworker’s lawsuit against the agency was the wrong way to enforce state law requiring those workers have no more than 17 cases each.
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On rehearing, judges find investigator’s photos admissible

July 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted rehearing to a case involving a lawsuit brought by a man injured by a sheriff deputy’s vehicle while he walked along the side of the road. The divided court held certain evidence, including an investigator’s affidavit and photos, are admissible at trial.
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COA: School’s insurance doesn’t cover student who injured teacher

July 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with parts of a trial court’s ruling in an insurance coverage dispute, the judges affirmed the ruling that the insurance policy of a school where a student injured her teacher during class is not the primary insurance in the teacher’s personal injury suit.
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Website set up for COA judges facing retention vote

July 18, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana’s state courts have established a website with information about four Indiana Court of Appeals judges facing retention on the November ballot.
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COA affirms propane company must pay customers’ attorney fees

July 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a trial court that a propane company is on the hook for two customers’ attorney fees after it failed to deliver prepaid propane gas under an agreement with the couple.
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Judges uphold teen’s 40-year sentence for brutal attack on homeowner

July 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A Grant County teen who participated in the rape of a homeowner during his burglary of her home deserves the 40-year sentence imposed in adult court, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Senior judge faces discipline case for OWI, alleged cover-up bid

July 15, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana Court of Appeals Senior Judge William Garrard will face judicial discipline proceedings after driving drunk in Mooresville last November, colliding with a car and later asking a policeman at the hospital to forget about it.
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Church not entitled to $322,000 on breach of contract claim

July 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred when it determined that a church was entitled to $322,000 on its breach of contract claim after its building lessor ordered the church to vacate the premises before the end of its contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Doctor’s criminal charges provide 2 first impression issues

July 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide two issues of first impression Thursday in an appeal regarding charges of reckless homicide and issuing an invalid prescription for legend drugs by a practitioner against an Indianapolis doctor.
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COA: Law doesn’t require insurer to provide UIM coverage

July 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred by denying an insurance company’s motion for summary judgment regarding underinsured motorist coverage because a law change in 2005 no longer required it to provide that coverage.
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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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