7th Circuit Court of Appeals

7th Circuit finds ALJ’s methodology flawed, orders more proceedings

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found an administrative law judge’s opinion denying a man Social Security disability benefits reflects a “flawed evaluation of the record of evidence,” so it ordered more proceedings on the matter.
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Deficient counsel does not overcome convincing evidence

August 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Even though the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals spelled out in a 17-page opinion what defense counsel should have done during a bench trial, the appellate panel ultimately concluded the deficient representation did not prejudice the case.
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Judges blast Indiana, Wisconsin gay marriage bans

August 26, 2014
 Associated Press
Federal appeals judges bristled Tuesday at arguments defending gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, with one Republican appointee comparing them to now-defunct laws that once outlawed weddings between blacks and whites.
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Crowds line up to hear federal gay marriage appeal

August 26, 2014
 Associated Press
The legal skirmish over same-sex marriage shifted Tuesday to a federal appeals court in Chicago, where nearly 200 people lined up hoping to hear arguments in a case challenging gay marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana.
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2 attorneys to argue for same-sex marriage before 7th Circuit

August 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
In a rare move, two attorneys will share the podium and argue before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that Indiana’s law defining marriage as only between one man and one woman is unconstitutional.
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7th Circuit grants city, mayor’s request for stay

August 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The doctrine of “pendent appellate jurisdiction” allows the city of Anderson to ask the District Court to stay proceedings in a case alleging city employees were fired because of political affiliation, ruled the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The case against the city is directly tied to the result of the case against the city’s mayor.
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Same-sex marriage memo keeps Pence as defendant in lawsuit

August 20, 2014
 Associated Press, Marilyn Odendahl
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Indiana must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, but says the ruling doesn’t take effect until the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the issue.
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7th Circuit upholds drug convictions, remands for resentencing

August 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed three defendants’ convictions stemming from a cocaine distribution ring in Indianapolis but found that there were errors in sentencing the defendants.
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Judges order man sentenced under original plea agreement

August 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The District Court committed a legal error when it withdrew a defendant’s guilty plea on his behalf instead of allowing the defendant the choice to stand by the plea or withdraw it, ruled the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Judges uphold man’s sentence under newer guidelines

August 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals had to decide Thursday whether the sentencing of a man under the 2011 Sentencing Guidelines for child pornography offenses that took place over the course of seven years created constitutional problems since different guidelines were in place when he committed the crimes.
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Judge wants Congress to reconsider FDIC’s rights when taking over a bank

August 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a case that hinges on the distinction between direct and derivative claims, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that a failed bank can pursue two claims against former managers.
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Security software maker loses trademark case against Warner Bros.

August 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Plymouth, Indiana-based security software maker that sued Warner Bros. after the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” referred to hacking software as “clean slate” lost its trademark infringement case before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The company, which has a program called “Clean Slate,” claimed its sales dropped after the movie came out.
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7th Circuit declines to overturn mine’s fine for safety violation

August 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the petition for judicial review filed by a company that runs a southern Indiana mine, finding sufficient evidence supports fining the company for violating federal regulation requiring a protective mound along an elevated roadway.
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Indiana asks court to overturn gay marriage ruling

August 12, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys who want a federal appeals court to overrule a judge who threw out Indiana's gay marriage ban say there's no constitutional right to marry a person of the same sex.
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No evidence car crash caused by other driver, 7th Circuit rules

August 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The estate of a northern Indiana man who died in an auto accident was unable to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals his death was caused by the negligence of the other driver.
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Target files brief in Indiana case in support of gay marriage

August 6, 2014
 Associated Press
Target Corp. is adding its name to a legal defense of gay marriage, joining other large companies that are taking a stand, just four years after the retailer came under criticism for supporting a strident opponent of same-sex unions. The company has filed a court brief backing marriage equality  in the case pending before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals invovling Indiana and Wisconsin same-sex marriages.
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7th Circuit affirms man not entitled to habeas relief

August 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although a federal judge erroneously held that a savings clause did not apply to a habeas petition filed by an inmate in Terre Haute, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal based on the merits of the petition.
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7th Circuit overrules decades-old precedent, orders more proceedings on benefits case

August 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal by a federal judge of a woman’s petition for judicial review of the decision to deny rehearing her request for Social Security disability benefits. In doing so, the judges overruled a 1980 7th Circuit decision with similar facts.

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First responders support gay marriage in Indiana

August 5, 2014
 Associated Press
Dozens of Indiana firefighters, police officers and emergency medical workers say a federal appeals court should uphold same-sex marriage in Indiana and Wisconsin for the sake of the families of gay first responders, a spokeswoman said Monday.
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Death row inmate denied relief by 7th Circuit

August 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Arkansas man on death row in Indiana for killing a woman in Texas nearly 20 years ago was unable to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he should not be put to death. Bruce Carneil Webster argues he is mentally retarded and has new evidence that would affect his sentence.
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Testimony properly authenticates video

August 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A video showing two brothers outside a home where a drug deal occurred was properly authenticated for trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit remands denial of request for crack cocaine sentence reduction

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for his role as a Gary gang member who sold large quantities of crack cocaine will have a new shot at a sentence modification, as will the judge who wrote that the defendant may have been linked to several gang-related murders.
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Hamilton County clerk voluntary dismissed from same-sex marriage appeal

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
One Indiana county clerk has withdrawn from the state’s fight to maintain its ban on same-sex marriage.
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Same-sex couples tell 7th Circuit Indiana’s marriage ban is discriminatory

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Plaintiffs challenging Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage filed their appellate brief with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals July 29, making their argument that the state’s marriage law violates their constitutional rights.
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Same-sex couples ask Social Security Administration to recognize their Indiana marriage

July 28, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A pair of Indiana same-sex couples who were married in June have asked the U.S. Social Security Administration to recognize their marriages.
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  2. 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.

  3. 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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