ILNews

Judges at law school to hear defamation case

IL Staff
March 30, 2009
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A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges will head a few blocks from their Statehouse courtroom to Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis to hear arguments in a case involving defamation and invasion of privacy claims stemming from a letter written to church leaders.

In Rosalynn West v. Betty Wadlington, et al., No. 49A02-0809-CV-849, Rosalynn West sued her fellow churchgoers, Betty Wadlington and Jeanette Larkins, and Larkins' employer, the City of Indianapolis, for defamation and invasion of privacy. Wadlington wrote a letter about West to their church board of trustees and board of deacons and sent the letter in an e-mail to Larkins at her work e-mail address. Larkins then forwarded the e-mail on to more than 80 other e-mail addresses.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss West's complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, arguing the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment prevented the court from ruling whether the statements in the e-mailed letter were defamatory or false. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss.

Judges L. Mark Bailey, Michael Barnes, and Paul Mathias will hear arguments at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the law school's Wynne Courtroom, 530 W. New York St., Indianapolis.

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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