7th Circuit Court of Appeals

In 3-2 decision, justices reinstate molestation conviction

July 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A 3-2 decision of the Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday reinstated a Class A felony child molestation conviction that the Court of Appeals reversed because the defendant was denied opportunities to admit evidence.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling for Emmis in unpaid-dividend suit

July 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A ruling in favor of Emmis Communications in a federal lawsuit brought by owners of preferred shares in the company was affirmed Thursday by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit rejects second challenge at ACA contraception mandate

July 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has again rejected a college’s argument against having to give notification that it does not want to provide coverage for contraceptives as required under the Affordable Care Act.
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Notebook found in car falls under Fourth Amendment exception

July 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A notebook taken from a vehicle during an investigation of an identity-theft scheme was admissible at trial even though police did not have a search warrant, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
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7th Circuit slams lawyer, sets new law on fees

July 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis attorney who appealed a class-action lawsuit seeking a share of his clients’ compensation on top of a statutory award of fees was called out by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which denied his appeal and affirmed the judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Unambiguous contract means lower commission for employee

July 1, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals tossed a jury’s award of $1.5 million, finding the terms of the employee’s incentive plan were unambiguous and the trial was unnecessary.
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Display celebrates Tinder’s career

June 26, 2015
IL Staff
In honor of 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Daniel Tinder’s retirement, a display has been installed in the main hall of the first floor of the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Man deported after living in US since age 1 gets relief

June 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana man who was ordered deported after pleading guilty to federal marijuana charges will be allowed to return to the country, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit rules against Anderson mayor in suit following firings

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith lost his appeal of the finding that he is not entitled to qualified immunity regarding all of the fired government workers involved in a lawsuit alleging their discharges violated the First Amendment.
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7th Circuit rejects claim conviction is outside statute of limitations

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with a defendant who claimed the federal DNA tolling statute is unconstitutional as applied to him. The man was convicted in 2013 of attempting to rob an Anderson bank in 2003, thanks to a positive identification in 2010 using DNA collected at the crime scene.
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COA strikes portion of Indy no-smoking ordinance

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An exception contained in the city of Indianapolis’ no-smoking ordinance for satellite facilities is unconstitutional and invalid, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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7th Circuit rejects woman’s suit that credit agency violated FCRA

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Finding several things “wrong” with a woman’s lawsuit against a credit reporting agency, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the company on her lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
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Inmate not disadvantaged by appearing at trial by video

June 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Monday that a New Jersey inmate who filed a retaliation lawsuit against officials at an Indiana prison while he was housed there was not disadvantaged when the judge denied his request to be transported to Indiana for the trial. The judge instead ordered he appear by video conferencing.
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7th Circuit revives Anderson transit worker’s ADA claim

June 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
A mechanic's helper with the City of Anderson Transit System won the right to pursue his claims that his firing violated his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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7th Circuit: No evidence officer was victim of racial discrimination

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of defendants' motion for summary judgment on a St. Joseph County Police sergeant's lawsuit claiming discrimination because he is African-American. The judges held the man was unable to prove discrimination after he was passed over for promotions or began working in the department's property room.
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AG may appeal death penalty reversal in deputy’s slaying

June 3, 2015
IL Staff
The state is considering whether it will appeal a federal court ruling Tuesday that reversed the death penalty imposed on a man convicted of killing a Morgan County deputy sheriff nearly 14 years ago.
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Death sentence reversed in 2001 slaying of Morgan deputy

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The death sentence imposed on a man for the killing Morgan County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Starnes in 2001 has been reversed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit affirms solitary confinement; cautions against it

June 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana inmate's 30-day stint in solitary confinement at the Miami Correctional facility didn't violate his civil rights, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday. But the panel cautioned judges and prison officials against wide use of the practice.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of railroad disability benefits

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A railroad worker treated in Indiana for years for back injuries and pain failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals he was entitled to federal disability benefits.
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7th Circuit again denies Notre Dame’s request for injunction in contraception suit

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A month after rehearing the University of Notre Dame’s request for a preliminary injunction that it need not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals again affirmed the denial of the school’s request.
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Pressure on PACER

May 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
On May 1, protestors across the country launched their ire on the federal judicial branch. They were not maligning the judges or their decisions, but rather they were imploring the courts to upgrade and improve the online Public Access to Court Electronic Records system.
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Outlaws member had no legal interest in forfeited properties

May 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club who claimed an interest in property forfeited to the government after two fellow members pleaded guilty to racketeering charges did not have an interest under the law, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Monday.
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Do-over expected to bring same result in contraception case

May 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
In a second round of oral arguments regarding the University of Notre Dame’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals not only remained dubious of the school’s assertions but also seemed perplexed as to why the case came back to the court.
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7th Circuit wants rationale for sentence

May 5, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant was unable to get his revocation of probation overturned, but he is heading back to court for another sentencing after the District judge failed to give reasons for imposing a two-year jail term.
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Split 7th Circuit allows death penalty challenge asserting intellectual disability

May 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A killer sentenced in Texas and awaiting execution on federal death row in Terre Haute will be allowed to proceed with efforts to present new evidence of intellectual disability that would make him ineligible for capital punishment, a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals en banc review determined in a 6-5 opinion.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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