Indiana Supreme Court

Justices reverse conviction and sentence enhancement related to handgun

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man’s firearm enhancement is based on the same behavior used to convict and sentence him for carrying a handgun without a permit, the Indiana Supreme Court vacated the conviction and five-year enhancement.
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State can exclude fuel ethanol plants from ‘chemical process plant’ classification

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the decision by state environmental agencies to no longer consider fuel ethanol plants to be a “chemical process plant” under the Clean Air Act. By removing fuel ethanol plants from this classification, those plants may not be subject to stricter regulations.
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Supreme Court recommends abolishing Marion County township courts

September 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
A report from the National Center for State Courts recommends the nine township small claims venues in Indianapolis transition into a unified section of Marion Superior Courts. The Indiana Supreme Court is asking lawmakers to abolish the current system and unify them with the Superior Courts’ Civil Division effective Jan. 1, 2016.
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Justices halt ruling striking down right-to-work law

September 2, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday put on hold a lower court judge's ruling striking down the state's right-to-work law and denied a request that it be consolidated with a similar case, clearing the way for the justices to hear arguments on the issue next week.
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Fee cap provision in Med Mal Act does not reduce fund’s liability

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has sided with an estate in a dispute over whether the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act's cap on attorney fees from a Patient Compensation Fund award also applies to reduce the fund’s liability. The issue is one of first impression in Indiana.
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Rush takes oath as chief justice in understated event

August 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
Choosing an intimate but profound setting in the Indiana Supreme Court Law Library to take the oath Aug. 18 as the state’s first female chief justice, Loretta Rush said the history in the tomes spoke volumes to her.
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Attorneys want 2 right-to-work cases combined

August 26, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office and attorneys for two sets of plaintiffs challenging the state's right-to-work ban on certain union fees want the Indiana Supreme Court to consolidate the cases.
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Members of the Class of 2017 start law school

August 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
About 872 people are expected to begin their legal studies this fall at law schools in Indiana.
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Justices reverse Tax Court ruling favoring Caterpillar

August 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Monday reversed a Tax Court ruling that favored Caterpillar Inc., holding the company could not deduct foreign-source dividend income when calculating its net operating losses for the years 2000 through 2003 for Indiana tax purposes.
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Judge denies stay in right-to-work law case

August 20, 2014
A northwest Indiana judge has rejected a request by the Indiana attorney general's office that he put on hold his order striking down the state's right-to-work law until the state Supreme Court rules on a similar case.
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Rush takes oath as chief justice

August 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Choosing an intimate but profound setting in the Indiana Supreme Court Law Library to take the oath Monday as the state’s first female chief justice, Loretta Rush said the history in the tomes speak volumes to her.
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Rush to be sworn in as chief justice Monday

August 14, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana Justice Loretta Rush will officially become the Supreme Court’s chief justice Monday. Rush, along with current Chief Justice Brent Dickson, will be among those making brief remarks at the swearing-in ceremony.
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Justices uphold sentence, clarify previous caselaw

August 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted a case to address the proposition that relying on an element of the offense as an aggravating factor when sentencing is no longer prohibited. The justices believe that the Court of Appeals has applied this position too broadly.
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Police allowed to test seized shoe without warrant

August 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday that police do not need to have a warrant before testing lawfully seized evidence, even if that evidence is unrelated to the crime for which the defendant is in custody.
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Loretta Rush wins praise, makes history as new chief justice

August 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
Loretta Rush had dinner with friends awhile back in her hometown of Lafayette, but the upcoming chief justice selection didn’t come up. Robert Reiling recalls a nice time talking about family.  “I’m sure in Indianapolis she’s Chief Justice Rush,” Reiling said. “In Lafayette, she’s Loretta to everyone.”
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Krauss appointed to Disciplinary Commission

August 12, 2014
IL Staff
A professor at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law has been appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.
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State Supreme Court to decide Indiana-IBM dispute

August 11, 2014
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The state Supreme Court will decide a dispute between the state of Indiana and IBM over the company's failed attempt to privatize public welfare services.
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Rush named next chief justice, first female to lead the court

August 6, 2014
Dave Stafford
Loretta Rush was selected the next chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday by the seven-member Judicial Nominating Commission, which deliberated about an hour before naming her the first female chief justice in the state’s history.

“I appreciate the vote of confidence the JNC has given me,” Rush said after her unanimous selection. On being the first woman chief, she said, “I look forward to the day it’s unremarkable.”

Rush will succeed outgoing Chief Justice Brent Dickson, who announced earlier this year he will step down from the leadership position by Sept. 1, but will remain on the court. Dickson, who as chief justice also chairs the JNC, must retire from the court when he turns 75 in July 2016.
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Rush named next chief justice

August 6, 2014
IL Staff
Loretta Rush was selected the next chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday by the seven-member Judicial Nominating Commission.
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Commission to select next Indiana Supreme Court leader

August 6, 2014
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court is about to get its second new leader since 2012.
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Supreme Court denies blogger’s petition for rehearing

August 5, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will not reconsider its decision affirming Daniel Brewington’s intimidation convictions, which arose from inflammatory posts on a blog that threatened a judge.
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State courts open bidding for e-filing manager

August 1, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Division of State Court Administration is soliciting competitive bids for a statewide electronic filing manager to assist with the coming requirement for electronic filing in trial courts.
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Supreme Court committee studying alternatives to bail

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Committee to Study Evidence-Based Pretrial Release was established by Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson in December 2013. The Supreme Court wants a study and evaluation of the risk-assessment tools that are available to determine when pretrial release is appropriate and under what conditions.
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Indiana BMV asks court to delay vanity plate sales

July 29, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has asked the state Supreme Court for permission to continue its suspension on sales of vanity plates until a court case is settled.
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Justices to review denial of shooter's insanity defense

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear the appeal of a man whose 120-year sentence on conviction of four counts of attempted murder was reversed by the Court of Appeals.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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