Indiana Court of Appeals

COA orders jury trial on animal cruelty charges

September 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville man convicted of six counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty due to the condition of horses on his property did not knowingly waive his right to a jury trial and, therefore, is entitled to a jury trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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Court video pilot project will last through 2013

September 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The pilot project announced this summer by the Indiana Supreme Court that includes using video transcripts in three trial courts as the official court record will run through Dec. 31, 2013.
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Admission of the videotaped confession constitutes fundamental error

September 25, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The true finding that a juvenile committed an act that would constitute the offense of attempted burglary, a class B felony, was reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds the trial court made a fundamental error in admitting into evidence the juvenile’s videotaped confession.
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Court affirms protective order without evidentiary hearing

September 25, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Shelby County man’s protective order against a neighbor is valid even though the trial court didn’t hold an evidentiary hearing or honor the neighbor’s request for a continuance, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Court affirms mobile meth lab conviction, sentence arising from car search

September 25, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction and 24-year sentence on charges related to a mobile meth lab found in his vehicle was affirmed Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Hospital has no claim against insurer in Tennessee judgment

September 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Fort Wayne Hospital that treated a person injured after a Tennessee vehicle crash may not enforce a lien against a judgment of a Tennessee court that awarded damages to the motorist.
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Court of Appeals points to ‘alarming trend’ in defendant’s appeal

September 24, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant who attempted to have his conviction reversed by citing the fundamental error doctrine instead received a sharp rebuke from the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Stepson’s testimony, cell phone search invalidate stepdad’s drug conviction

September 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction on a drug dealing conspiracy charge was reversed Monday when an appeals court panel ruled that a Marion County court erred in admitting testimony and evidence about text messages from the defendant’s stepson.
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Appeals court reverses vacation of habitual traffic violator status

September 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred when it set aside a man’s 2002 guilty plea on a charge of operating a vehicle while a habitual traffic violator, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Question over spirit in which statements were made is enough for jury to deliberate

September 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A defamation suit against an employee will proceed following the Indiana Court of Appeals' finding that there is doubt as to what conclusion a jury could reach in determining whether statements were made in good faith and without malice.
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Ankle bracelet excuse fails in court

September 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A sex offender cannot use an ankle monitor as an excuse for failing to update his address on the sex offender registry, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court of Appeals affirms extension of protective order

September 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Asserting it cannot reweigh evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a father’s arguments that the evidence did not support the extension of a protective order against him.
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Man to get new trial on meth, marijuana charges

September 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart man is entitled to a new trial on drug charges after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the police failed to “scrupulously honor” his right to remain silent.
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Underinsurance benefit payout doesn’t satisfy judgment

September 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the party at-fault in an auto accident is not entitled to benefit from the injured party’s “carefulness and assiduousness” in obtaining underinsured motorist insurance coverage.
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Court reduces $1.4M judgment in dispute over work done at Honda plant

September 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that Greensburg-based Custom Conveyor Inc. is only entitled to recover about a tenth of the original $1.4 million awarded to it on breach of contract and warranty claims the company made against a subcontractor regarding work on the Indiana Honda plant.
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Appellate court upholds life sentence

September 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Duane Turner will spend the rest of his life in prison for murdering a Ball State student in 1994. The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected his claims that his sentence was unconstitutional and that his attorney was ineffective.
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Inmate loses appeal of visitation restrictions by DOC

September 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An inmate at the Pendleton Correctional Facility can have his visitation restricted to non-contact visits due to committing battery with a deadly weapon and violating disciplinary procedures, the Court of Appeals concluded.
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Malpractice complaint hinges on claim of apparent agency

September 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday that a Bartholomew Superior judge did not err in denying partial summary judgment on the issue of whether two physicians working as independent contractors were the apparent agents of Columbus Regional Hospital.
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Judges find evidence properly admitted in drug case

September 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
North Manchester resident Michael Carpenter lost his attempt before the Indiana Court of Appeals to have evidence tossed out that was collected when police officers arrived at his home attempting to serve an arrest warrant for a different man. Police believed the man being sought lived at Carpenter’s residence.
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Judges advise defense attorneys to ask clients about citizenship

September 14, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used its decision on a post-conviction relief appeal to “encourage” criminal defense attorneys to find out the citizenship of their clients and advise the clients as to the risks of deportation after pleading guilty.
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Attorney general’s office will now represent DCS on appeal

September 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Thursday afternoon that the attorney general’s office will take over appellate representation of the Department of Child Services. DCS currently utilizes attorneys of its choice in appellate matters.
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Proposed med mal complaint fee divides Court of Appeals

September 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In a dissent from Judge Nancy Vaidik involving a proposed medical malpractice complaint filed with the Department of Insurance before filing fees were paid, Vaidik claimed Judge James Kirsch created a new test to determine whether a complaint is timely filed and shifted the burden of ensuring fees are paid to the Department of Insurance instead of the attorney. 
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State may take Greene County property for I-69 project

September 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The state may take property in Greene County over the objections of the owners for construction of a portion of Interstate 69, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Man convicted of molestation was denied fair trial

September 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Greene County man convicted of Class A felony child molesting is entitled to a new trial because extensive hearsay and vouching testimony was admitted in error, the Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Statute on car window tint not void for vagueness

September 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Howard County man who argued that the statute dealing with the tint of car windows is void for vagueness lost his appeal, so the drug evidence found on him during a traffic stop can be allowed at trial, the Court of Appeals ruled.
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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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