Indiana Supreme Court

Life insurance bankruptcy exemptions apply to nondependent spouses, children

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Friday settled a certified question on whether nondependent spouses and children enjoy the exemption granted to life insurance policy beneficiaries who are “the spouse, children, or any relative dependent upon” the debtor. They do, the court concluded.
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Floyd County prosecutor accused of misconduct

March 20, 2015
 Associated Press
A complaint has been filed against an attorney who led the prosecution against a former Indiana State trooper acquitted of killing his wife and two children.
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Justices reverse Marine veteran's involuntary commitment

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Marine veteran was wrongly committed for mental health treatment, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Justices reversed a trial court involuntary commitment order affirmed in a memorandum Court of Appeals opinion and swept away precedent in similar cases.
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Justices affirm brother committed 3 separate breaches of contract

March 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals on Tuesday that a man who purchased three properties outside of the joint business with his brother breached a noncompetition agreement with respect to all three properties.
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Justices dismiss Ball State from mother’s action seeking college expenses from ex-husband

March 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Ball State University should not have been added as a supplemental defendant in a woman’s petition to modify child support and seek postsecondary expenses from her ex-husband for her daughter, the Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday.
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Supreme Court seeks comments on fee sharing, small claims rule changes

March 17, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure wants to know what attorneys think about proposed rule amendments affecting fee sharing by attorneys and change of judge procedures in small claims cases.
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Indiana Supreme Court hears disputed adoption of 2 boys

March 17, 2015
 Associated Press
An attorney for a woman who's challenging her two grandsons' adoption by their maternal grandmother told the Indiana Supreme Court on Monday that their adoptions should never have happened because the other woman's felony conviction disqualifies her from being an adoptive parent.
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Judge who oversaw troubled Clark County drug court finished

March 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
A former Clark Superior judge who oversaw the southern Indiana county’s drug court and left the bench amid allegations of jailing participants without due process will never serve as an Indiana judge again.
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Justices remand dental office fire insurance dispute

March 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday reset the issues before a trial court in a dispute arising from a shortage in contents insurance after a fire at a dental office.
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'Elkhart Four' convictions put new spotlight on felony murder statute

March 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Three teens convicted of felony murder have asked the Indiana Supreme Court to overturn their convictions because they did not directly kill the victim.
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Center Township Small Claims Court makes move Supreme Court previously blocked

March 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
New Center Township Small Claims Court Judge Brenda Roper is holding court in a new Marion County location that the Indiana Supreme Court less than two years ago found had significant access-to-justice issues.
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Indiana high court won't review conviction in parent deaths

March 10, 2015
 Associated Press
The state Supreme Court won't consider an eastern Indiana man's appeal of his double-murder conviction in his parents' killings.
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Providing temptation to commit crime is not inducement, majority rules

March 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a man’s conviction of patronizing a prostitute, with the majority ruling the state rebutted his defense of entrapment by showing there was no police inducement.
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Justices take environmental contamination appeal

March 3, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took just one case on transfer last week, a case involving a dispute over coverage for environmental contamination. The Court of Appeals ordered a trial on whether the known loss doctrine would bar insurance coverage, but later found that the “known claim” exclusion applies.
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CASA Day at Statehouse set for Monday

March 3, 2015
IL Staff
Hundreds of Indiana court-appointed special advocates will gather Monday for CASA Day at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. The event will be at noon in the north atrium.
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Justices reverse grant of motion to suppress based on pat-down search

March 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In a 4-1 decision Monday, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled it is not inherently coercive for police to give conditional permission to step out of a vehicle during a traffic stop, subject to the motorist’s consent to a pat-down search.
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Elkhart teens try to convince justices to revisit felony murder statute

February 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana statute and a 16-year-old Indiana Supreme Court decision interpreting that statute are under review as three teenagers serving 45-year sentences asked the justices to overturn their convictions for felony murder.
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Lawyers arguing mental illness in murder conviction appeal

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court is set to hear an appeal of the conviction of a schizophrenic man serving a life sentence in the death of his mother.
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Justices affirm death penalty for man who killed 2 children

February 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Vanderburgh County man convicted of the murders of his girlfriend’s eight- and five-year-old children after setting fire to hishome in 2010 will remain on death row. The Indiana Supreme Court declined to reverse his convictions or revise his sentence.
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Justices: Previous ruling did not alter fundamental error doctrine

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court wants to clear up potential confusion involving the state’s fundamental error doctrine.
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Justices vacate transfer in insurance dispute

February 11, 2015
IL Staff
A divided Indiana Supreme Court decided last week that it will no longer take an insurance case involving a landlord and tenant that also divided the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Lawyer to justices: 4th Amendment waivers require reasonable suspicion

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
Community corrections officers should have cause before searching the home of someone who has signed a waiver of their Fourth Amendment rights as a condition of probation, a lawyer argued recently before the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices add malpractice, adoption cases to docket

February 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will review summary judgment in favor of healthcare providers sued for medical malpractice in a stillbirth case as well as an adoption by a grandmother who claimed a 1997 conviction for neglect of a dependant should not automatically bar her from adopting the children.
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Defendant must try to prevent crime discovery for statute of limitations to toll

February 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In dealing with an issue of first impression, the Indiana Supreme Court found a robbery charge should be dismissed because it was filed outside of the statute of limitations. The state argued the defendant had concealed evidence of the crime, thus tolling the five-year statute of limitations.
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Justices send post-conviction case back to COA for consideration

February 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has vacated the dismissal of a Marion County post-conviction case and remanded it to the Court of Appeals. That was one of two cases justices took action on last week.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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