The Indiana Supreme Court held today that appellate courts have the authority to increase a sentence on appeal, but the state can't initiate or cross-appeal review of the sentence and can't ask for a greater sentence if the defendant doesn't initiate an appeal.
In the first appeal of a juvenile case under Indiana Appellate Rule 14.1, the "rocket docket," the Indiana Supreme Court ruled the juvenile court's determination that a child shouldn't be immediately reunited with his mother until after the school year concluded – contrary to what the Department of Child Services recommended – wasn't clearly erroneous.
Under the statute governing the wrongful death of an unmarried adult with no dependents, the amount recoverable for reasonable medical and hospital expenses necessitated by the alleged wrongful conduct is the total amount ultimately accepted after contractual arrangements with an insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid, and not the total of the charges billed, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
Trial courts can sanction government entities through the state's Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules, but officials aren't necessarily acting in bad faith if they don't immediately approve mediated agreements to comply with the Indiana Open Door Law, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
Even if Indiana's public school system falls short of where it should be in providing quality education, courts aren't constitutionally able to set standards or establish a financing formula because that's a task falling solely to the General Assembly.
The Indiana Supreme Court was split in its ruling that a trial court properly instructed a jury regarding a habitual offender finding, with the dissenters arguing the court's instruction was inadequate as compared to the defendant's proposed jury instruction.