Civil Case

Court rules on transfer to California court

September 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a trial court's decision to relinquish its jurisdiction over child support matters to a California trial court. In its opinion, the high court examined the interplay between the Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.
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Judge: Officer is entitled to qualified immunity

September 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge ruled in favor of a defendant police officer in a suit alleging he conducted a warrantless and unreasonable search of a home to find a gun mentioned in a 911 call.
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High court rules on post-judgment interest

September 2, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case in order to clarify precedents on post-judgment interest in dissolution cases. The high court held that the dissolution statutes give a court the option to either assess interest or not in the course of fashioning a just division of assets.
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Amended ordinance doesn't apply to travel plaza

August 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Allen Superior Court correctly ruled that a travel plaza had a vested right to develop its plans under an original zoning ordinance, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today.
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COA: Business is a nuisance to homeowners

August 26, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Despite modifications to a mycelium-drying business located adjacent to a farmhouse, the business is still a nuisance that deprives the homeowners from the free use and enjoyment of their property, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Worker's suicide fails chain of causation test

August 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A widow's request for workers' compensation benefits of her deceased husband can't be granted because his death at work was caused by a knowingly self-inflicted injury, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. The woman failed to satisfy the chain of causation test in trying to prove an initial work-related event led to her husband's death.
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Fax confirmation creates issue of fact

August 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed for the first time in a ruling today the evidentiary significance of a fax confirmation generated by the sender's machine. The Circuit Court determined the fax confirmation is strong evidence of receipt, so the District Court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of a company in an employment-discrimination case.
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Female firefighter not discriminated against

August 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indianapolis Fire Department didn't discriminate against a short female firefighter when it ordered her to be psychologically evaluated or perform driving tests, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed today.
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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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IDEM could fire employee for ethics violation

August 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The state's Ethics Commission correctly concluded an Indiana Department of Environmental Management employee violated a provision of the ethics code when he bought gas with a state-issued credit card at a gas station he partly owned.
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COA disagrees on damages to bidder

August 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed today whether a company should be entitled to damages when it lowered its bid for work at a state-run hospital based on fraudulent information from another bidder.
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Insurer's policy breach a case of first impression

August 11, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

Judges: amendment not retroactive

August 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that an estate's interpretation of a 2003 amendment to Indiana Code would threaten the fiscal health of governmental entities and that the amendment isn't retroactive.
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Judge argues ruling puts form over substance

August 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The chief judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals dissented from his colleagues in an insurance dispute because he believes the decision leads to "an inequitable result."
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Couple should be allowed truck title

August 5, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a couple in a vehicle title dispute, ruling the pair should be allowed to take the title free of an auto auction's security interest in the truck.
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Insurer must provide underinsured coverage

August 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An insurance policy that doesn't provide uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to all insureds is contrary to public policy based on Indiana statute, affirmed the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Police officer not entitled to qualified immunity

August 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a police officer isn't entitled to qualified immunity in a suit claiming excessive force because the officer didn't have a reason to point a submachine gun at the plaintiffs during the execution of a search warrant.
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COA reverses one dismissal of inmate's suit

August 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The New Castle inmate with a history of filing frivolous lawsuits got a minor victory in the Indiana Court of Appeals today. The judges reinstated his complaint against the only person who presided over the inmate's disciplinary hearing for a Department of Correction rule violation for filing a frivolous claim.
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COA: University should get summary judgment

July 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the trustees of Indiana University, finding the trial court erred when it denied summary judgment for the school and concluded a provision in an agreement between the school and a fired professor was ambiguous.
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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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Judge awards $42 million in back pay suit

July 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge is awarding more than $42.4 million to a class of thousands of former state employees who sued to recover back pay for unequal wages earned between 1973 and 1993.
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COA rules on coal bed gas dispute

July 24, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In settling a dispute between two Illinois companies regarding who has the legal right to recover coal bed methane gas, the Indiana Court of Appeals made its decision based on public safety and ruled in favor of the company assigned the coal bed gas lease.
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COA declines ruling on constitutionality of plan

July 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to address the constitutionality of a Department of Correction program for sex offenders based on the deficient record before it and because the appellate court could decide the case without ruling on the constitutionality of the program.
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Alarm company's actions not covered by policies

July 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed the denial of summary judgment on an insurance company's coverage defenses, ruling its insured's actions leading to a lawsuit were "errors or omissions," and so weren't covered by the commercial general liability or umbrella policies.
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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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