Judge Patricia A. Riley

Judges affirm elevated drug convictions

June 24, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The state presented sufficient evidence to prove a defendant delivered and possessed methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex, so the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed elevating his convictions to a higher felony level.
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Attorney's fees can come from damages award

October 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Reasonable attorney's fees may be paid out of the damages award in a wrongful death action, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Court erred in ordering DCS to pay costs

September 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of Child Services isn't responsible for the costs of a minor's secure detention because it never entered into a written agreement with the juvenile court to cover the costs, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Court remands custody case for new hearing

September 24, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Although all three Indiana Court of Appeals judges came to conclusion that the trial court should revisit its order to grant full custody of a child to her abusive father, the judges differed as how the trial court should have approached the matter.
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Lawyer failed to deny note execution under oath

September 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Because an attorney acting pro se in a mortgage suit didn't include a statement in his general denial that the denial was truthful and made under penalty for perjury, he failed to deny under oath the execution of the note, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Judges disagree on search validity

August 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
On remand from the Supreme Court of the United States to reconsider under a recent ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals reaffirmed the forfeiture of a woman's car following the arrest of her son for driving while suspended. One judge dissented because she believes the search of the vehicle was unreasonable in light of the recent ruling.
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Judges disagree if testimony is hypothetical

August 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed over whether two doctors' expert witness testimony in a medical malpractice case used hypothetical language that couldn't raise a genuine issue of fact.
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COA reverses small claims judgment

July 29, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

Court failed to include all assets in marital pot

July 29, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
For the second time in the same case, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court's division of assets in a marital dissolution because the trial court excluded from the marital pot the property the parties brought into marriage.
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Township assessor loses appeal

July 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled against a township assessor who filed a suit last year after the General Assembly enacted a bill that eliminated her office and transferred her duties to the county assessor.
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Court tackles scope of 'frivolous'

June 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today used an inmate's appeal of the dismissal of his complaint to address the scope of the word "frivolous" in Indiana's Frivolous Claim Law. And even though this inmate has filed dozens of law suits since being incarcerated, it doesn't mean his suits can be automatically deemed frivolous by the trial courts.
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Judges differ in ruling application in set-off case

May 21, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

COA clarifies emotional distress claims

May 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used an opinion today to clarify how to treat an independent action for emotional distress brought either in combination with the Wrongful Death Statute or as part of the Medical Malpractice Act.
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BMV policy needed to prevent identity theft

May 15, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The inconvenience of a few Hoosiers outweighs the very real threat of identity theft, so the trial court was correct in denying a preliminary injunction against the Bureau of Motor Vehicle's verification of records using Social Security Administration data, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Moving chattel for suit doesn't establish venue

March 19, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In its opinion today regarding a breach of warranty case, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to define for the first time what "regularly located or kept" meant for purposes of Indiana Trial Rule 75(A)(2).
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COA: Statements not made in illegal detention

February 5, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a defendant's motion to suppress statements given to authorities while detained, finding he was legally detained because police already had probable cause to arrest him.
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Opinion invites high court to reconsider decision

January 29, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals invited the Indiana Supreme Court to revisit its ruling that held only children born alive fall under Indiana's Child Wrongful Death Statute. In a decision today, the majority of the appellate court panel felt bound by the high court's previous ruling.
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Law doesn't contain presumption on negligence

December 2, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court committed a reversible error when it instructed a jury that Indiana law has a rebuttable presumption that children ages 7 through 14 can't be found contributorily negligent. The ruling came in a suit against a school for the death of a student.
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Termination of rights affirmed despite error

December 2, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred when it failed to follow Indiana Code in a termination of parental rights hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. Because the appellate court found the error to be harmless, it affirmed the involuntary termination of a father's parental rights.
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COA: Second amended complaint allowed

October 15, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A former Steak 'n Shake employee appealed the trial court's dismissal of his claims of defamation and invasion of privacy against the company, which the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded today.
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COA: Mortgage lien holder has priority

September 3, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined today that two contractors with mechanic's liens did not have priority over the mortgage lien held by the bank in a foreclosure action, discussing a law in a ruling for only the second time since it was enacted in 1999.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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