Indiana Supreme Court

Indiana Court Decisions - Feb. 23-March 7, 2012

March 14, 2012
IL Staff
Read summaries of the latest for publication opinions from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Indiana's appeals courts.
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Justices reprimand former Marion County prosecutor

March 13, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has publicly reprimanded former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi for statements he made about a high-profile murder case, and in doing so the state’s justices have set a new standard and issued a warning for prosecutors statewide: Be careful what you say.
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Divided Supreme Court rules on attorney fees case

March 12, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed the award of attorney fees to an Indiana town, although two justices disagreed and would have reversed the trial court.
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'Vouching testimony' not allowed in child sex abuse cases

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The state’s rules of evidence don’t allow for “vouching testimony” in child sex abuse cases to help determine when a youth isn’t exaggerating, and the Indiana Supreme Court won’t carve out an exception allowing for that testimony in these types of cases.
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Justices: injured cop prevented by law from rejoining force

March 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer who was injured in the 1980s and received disability benefits – but later was physically able to rejoin the police department – is statutorily prohibited against returning to the force, the Indiana Supreme Court decided in answering a certified question.
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Justices accept 5 cases

March 5, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has taken five cases, including one challenging the constitutionality of the state’s medical malpractice cap and a case on the reasonableness of hospital fees charged.
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Shepard to be focus of 2 public radio broadcasts

March 2, 2012
IL Staff
Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard will be on WFYI Public Radio’s “No Limits” program the week of March 5 as the show takes a look at his legacy.
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Governor has met with Supreme Court finalists

March 2, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels wants to move quickly on appointing the state’s next Indiana Supreme Court justice. He has already met with the three finalists who are vying for that position.
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Indiana justice finalists named

February 29, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels will select next justice from a pool of two men, one woman.
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Chief justice extends retirement date to March 23

February 24, 2012
IL Staff
As chair of the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission, Chief Justice Randall Shepard oversaw on Thursday the narrowing of the list of candidates vying to replace him on the Supreme Court.
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Commission names 3 justice finalists

February 23, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission has selected Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Cale J. Bradford, Indianapolis attorney Mark S. Massa, and Jane A. Seigel of the Indiana Judicial Center as finalists for an upcoming Indiana Supreme Court vacancy.
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Justices address Batson challenges in 2 appeals

February 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled on two cases Wednesday that stemmed from Batson challenges, and in doing so, articulated the standard of review of such challenges when a defendant raises a Batson challenge at the trial level, but then brings up a different argument on appeal.
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Supreme Court split over reducing man's sentence

February 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court was divided 3-2 over whether to reduce the sentence of a man who received the maximum 20 years for having cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school when police stopped his vehicle.
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Small Claims task force meetings begin Wednesday

February 20, 2012
IL Staff
The newly created task force formed by the Indiana Supreme Court to look into the practices and procedures used in Marion County Small Claims courts will hold its first of three hearings Wednesday.
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Nonsupport of dependent enhancement not based on number of children

February 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that under Indiana Code 35-46-1-5(a), the enhancement of nonsupport of a dependent child to a Class C felony because of an arrearage of $15,000 or more is triggered by the dollar amount owed, regardless of how many children the parent has.
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Justice semi-finalist interviews Feb. 23

February 17, 2012
IL Staff
The seven lawyers in the running to be the next Indiana justice will be interviewed by the Judicial Nominating Commission Feb. 23.
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Justices slash amount non-merit state employees can get in back pay

February 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has adjusted the time frame for which state non-merit employees who sued for back pay may be able to recover funds. Instead of the period going back some 20 years, the justices decided the non-merit employee’s time period should be the same as merit employees.
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Justices decline Camm prosecutor case

February 16, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court decided Tuesday it will not disturb the ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals that Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson can’t be involved in the retrial of David Camm. Camm is set to be tried for a third time for the murders of his wife and two children.
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Justices reformulate jury instruction

February 15, 2012
The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the denial of a man’s petition for post-conviction relief claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. In doing so, the justices addressed the use and language of a jury instruction and rewrote it to make it clearer.
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Justice applicant pool reflective of Indiana

February 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The percentage of women in the semi-finalist group to be the next state justice decreased as compared to the state's population.
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Indiana Court Decisions Jan. 26-Feb. 8, 2012

February 15, 2012
IL Staff
Read For Publication opinions from Indiana's appellate courts and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Justices dissent on denying transfer in wage payment case

February 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices disagreed with their colleagues about not taking a case on the state’s wage payment statute, issuing dissent that described how they believe the justices should clear up perceived uncertainty about whether the law can be applied to certain claims before the Indiana Department of Labor.
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Task force will examine Marion County's small claims courts

February 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
A new task force will review the practices and procedures of the nine small claims courts within the state’s largest county, following critical reports last year suggesting litigants may not receive the same access to justice in each court or as parties have in other Indiana jurisdictions.
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Justices take environmental, land rights appeals

February 13, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted two civil cases last week on transfer, in addition to the two-high profile appeals involving legislative fines against lawmakers and Secretary of State Charlie White.
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Fund-matching extension increases value of gifts to lawyer loan repayment program

February 13, 2012
IL Staff
Any gift contributed by a lawyer to the Indiana Bar Foundation’s Richard M. Givan Loan Repayment Assistance Program this year could potentially quadruple in value, thanks to fund-matching initiatives.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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