Civil Case

7th Circuit decides MDL appeal question

November 18, 2011
Michael Hoskins

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeal wants each federal judge handling multi-district litigation to have the flexibility to choose between sending parts of unresolved cases back to the original courts or keep those in one jurisdiction, once a final district-level decision has been made and the time for appeal arrives.

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Judge: fundamental error rule doesn't apply to civil cases

November 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge disagreed with the decision of his fellow panel members to allow a man committed to a psychiatric unit to argue the trial court committed fundamental error by not issuing an order scheduling a hearing within three days of receiving the petition for involuntary commitment.
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Appellate court finds mother wasn't in contempt

November 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a mother that the Clark Circuit Court erred in finding her in contempt for not putting her teenage daughter on a plane to Florida to visit the teen’s father over Christmas break. The appellate court did agree with the trial court that the mom should have to pay for another flight to visit the father.
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Mother files suit challenging school bus fee

November 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A woman in Marion County has filed a lawsuit against a community school corporation because she claims the fee imposed for her children to ride the bus to school interferes with their constitutional right to an education.
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Tax Court denies assessor's motion to dismiss appeal

November 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Tax Judge Martha Wentworth denied the Marion County assessor’s motion to dismiss two petitioners' original tax appeal, finding the parties properly served a copy of the petition with the attorney general’s office.
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COA upholds judgment in auction of towed car

October 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a father and daughter whose car was towed and later sold at auction, finding the towing company didn’t comply with the 15-day waiting period after placing notice in the newspaper before selling the car.
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COA rules man can challenge med mal act

October 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a man whose wife died because of a missed medical diagnosis and obtained an $8.5 million jury verdict is entitled to an evidentiary hearing about whether the state’s statutory cap on medical malpractice awards is unconstitutional.
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Deputy owed no duty to warn of icy road

October 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A county sheriff’s department that doesn’t own, maintain or control a county road does not owe a common law duty to warn the public of known hazardous conditions upon the roadway, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Judges extend due process safeguards regarding interpreters to civil cases

October 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court must take the same steps in a civil action as it does in a criminal action regarding the use of an interpreter in order to address due process concerns, the Indiana Court of Appeals held for the first time Tuesday.
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Judges rule on issues stemming from cemetery case

September 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on matters involving alleged looting of cemetery funds in two cases Monday, upholding the denial of class certification in one case and adopting a “plain legal prejudice” standard in the other case.
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Elements of crimes did not occur in Indiana

September 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered that charges be dropped against a pair living in Houston who faced counterfeiting and theft charges, finding the trial court lacked territorial jurisdiction.
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Fired professor wins one, loses another appeal

September 19, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A tenured English professor at the University of Evansville who was fired after an inappropriate interaction with a fellow professor lost his appeal against his co-worker, but his case against the university will proceed.
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Federal court fees, PACER charge going up

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The policy-making body of the federal judiciary wants U.S. judges to limit how often they seal entire civil cases. In addition, the public access fee for all records is rising and other court fees are going up.
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Damage of personal property not unconstitutional taking

September 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a sanitary district in a suit against it alleging an unconstitutional taking of homeowners’ personal property after sewage backed up into their homes. The judges relied on a case from Nevada to support their decision.
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Judges: State-law claims can proceed

September 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has allowed a woman’s state claim against a sheriff following the suicide of her son in jail to go forward even though she previously had accepted an offer of judgment in District Court on a federal claim.
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Judge dismisses challenge to NCAA bylaws

September 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Two former NCAA athletes whose scholarships were revoked following injuries have lost their suit that argued without certain NCAA Division I bylaws, they would have received multi-year athletic scholarships that would have covered the cost of their bachelor’s degrees.
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Summary judgment inappropriate in slip-and-fall case

September 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals stopped short Wednesday of saying in a negligence suit involving a slip and fall that under any circumstance a home detention officer visiting a detainee at his place of employment is a business visitor.
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Circuit Court upholds settlement; $43 million in attorney fees

September 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a $180 million settlement and grant of $43.5 million in attorney fees in a dispute between retirement plan participants and their former employer. Some class members objected to the amount of attorney fees, but the 7th Circuit saw no reason to disturb the lower court’s decision.
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Unrepresented litigants don't forfeit exemptions even if not pleaded

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a couple who were ordered in small claims court to pay $100 a month toward judgments and look for work each week. The couple’s only income is exempt under the general wage and the Social Security Income exemptions.
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Attorney must pay credit card company

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Illinois attorney has lost his appeal in his fight against a credit card company seeking to collect money owed on a Discover card.
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Toxic dust exposure leads to litigation

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indianapolis attorney Gabe Hawkins has already attended the funerals of three former clients, and he hopes that he won’t have to see a fourth before finally being able to say that the courtroom battle they’ve been waging for years has paid off.
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Can schools discipline for off-campus conduct?

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
School is back in session, and a new set of court rulings issued during the summer break may make it more difficult for school administrators to decide how to handle inappropriate or potentially disruptive online activities carried out by students off-campus.
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Court tackles timeliness of trust distribution

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A recent Indiana Court of Appeals decision offers guidance to those working in trust and estate matters regarding how long a trustee should wait before turning to a probate court for guidance on distributing money to beneficiaries when a dispute exists over the amount that will be received.
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7th Circuit affirms judgment for officers in diabetic man’s case

August 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the City of East Chicago and police officers on an estate’s excessive force and other claims, finding the officers had reasonable suspicion that a diabetic man who was having a hypoglycemic episode was possibly intoxicated.
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COA: Aunt and uncle have no standing for visitation petition

August 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana statutes and caselaw do not allow for aunts or uncles of a child to petition for visitation, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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