Civil case

Dickson: Trial courts face 'crisis' of unrepresented litigants

October 23, 2013
Dave Stafford
About three in five litigants appearing in Indiana’s civil trial courts are doing it themselves, according to data compiled from statewide case filings this summer.
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Defense firm appeals $277M verdict for Humvee maker

October 21, 2013
Dave Stafford
A defense contractor is appealing an Indiana judge’s order that it pay $277 million to the Mishawaka-based manufacturer of Army Humvee military vehicles. The contractor overcharged for armor kits to retrofit the vehicles during the bloodiest days of the Iraq war, the judge ruled.
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$14.5 million defamation judgment against State Farm stands

October 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. is on the hook for a $14.5 million award to a contractor on his defamation lawsuit after the Indiana Supreme Court declined to take the case last week.
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Supreme Court creates civil legal services commission

September 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
Providing access to civil legal services for low-income Hoosiers will be the focus of a commission established by order of the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Brown County logging damages award stands

August 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
A landowner’s award of $55,572.50 in damages caused by a logging contractor at a property in Brown County was properly calculated, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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ACLU alleges IMPD officers infringed panhandlers’ free-speech rights

August 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
The ACLU of Indiana has filed a federal lawsuit claiming the city and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers violated the free speech rights of indigent panhandlers ordered to move from near Circle Center Mall last week.
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Judge advocates expanding Gideon to provide lawyers in non-criminal cases

July 31, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
While some legal scholars lament the deterioration of Gideon v. Wainwright 50 years after the landmark Supreme Court of the United States decision, Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer is calling for an expansion of the principle to include civil litigants.
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Lauren Spierer’s parents sue 3 in daughter’s disappearance

June 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
The parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer have asked the federal court in Indianapolis for a civil jury trial in a lawsuit against students believed to have last been with her before her disappearance two years ago.
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Specificity requirement does not extend to limitations of liability, 7th Circuit rules

June 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a contract clause limiting liability stands because the two commercial entities that entered into the agreement were sophisticated and knowingly negotiated the terms.
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Subcontractor's suit belongs in Hamilton County

May 23, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday reversed the denial by an Allen Circuit judge to remove a lawsuit brought in that county to Hamilton County, where two parties to the lawsuit had agreed in a contract any legal claims would be handled.
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BMV ‘may have inadvertently overcharged’ for licenses

May 21, 2013
IL Staff
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles acknowledged in response to a multi-million-dollar class-action lawsuit that it “may have inadvertently overcharged” Indiana residents for driver’s licenses.
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Marion County’s Odyssey transition: a tech-free week

May 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
The clerk’s office in Indianapolis’ City-County Building is in the middle of a throwback week, revisiting a simpler time when a hand stamp on paper was all you needed to file court documents. Blame technology.
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Court erred in barring expert witness in decade-old software suit

May 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred when it excluded the expert testimony of a witness who sought to address damages for a software company whose former employees allegedly violated non-compete clauses.
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Summary judgments on federal preemption are reversible error

April 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found an exterminator and the insecticide maker should not have been granted summary judgments on the issue of federal preemption.
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Marion County Odyssey transition may cause delays

April 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
Civil filings in Marion Circuit and Superior courts could experience delays after Friday when the JUSTIS case management system will go offline pending a transition to the Odyssey CMS. Odyssey is slated to go live in the civil courts May 13.
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Roche owes Marsh Supermarkets $18M for breaking sublease

April 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld judgment Monday in favor of Marsh Supermarkets LLC on its complaint alleging that Roche breached a contract to sublease space in the Fishers building that houses Marsh’s headquarters.
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Cedar Lake allowed to dissolve Parks Department, board

March 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake Superior judge erred when she used Dillon’s Rule to determine the scope of the town of Cedar Lake’s legal authority to dissolve its park board and Parks Department, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The proper legal inquiry is based on the state’s Home Rule Act.
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Man must reinstate original complaints for lawsuits to proceed

March 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday that a man with a propensity to sue over purchases made online may not file a new lawsuit in Marion County after a similar one was dismissed without prejudice.
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Lake County man warned against disparaging bench

March 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Lake County man with a history of filing unsupported allegations and derogatory comments in pleadings was rebuffed on his latest appearance before the Indiana Court of Appeals, which warned him against disparaging the bench.
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Judges uphold $600k sanction for contempt

March 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
After initially vacating a District judge’s $600,000 sanction against SonCo Holdings for contempt of court and remanding it to the lower court for more proceedings, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the sanction Friday. 
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Trouble with the Curves: Ex-husband still owes for franchise’s default

February 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
A couple’s failure to inform a landlord of their divorce doesn’t excuse the ex-husband from a default judgment on rent payments for a health club that his former wife continued to run.
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COA orders hearing on man’s request to remove name from JTAC website

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that it has no authority to remove a man’s name from the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee website and law enforcement databases after a protective order against him was dismissed. But the judges remanded for a hearing before the trial court on David Cook’s claims.
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Woman hit by foul ball strikes out at Court of Appeals

February 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A baseball organization in Lake County is not liable for the injuries a fan suffered when she was hit in the face by a foul ball during a game, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Fraud victim files civil suit against ex-councilor

February 11, 2013
Cory Schouten
An Indianapolis physician who lost $1.7 million in a fraud scheme orchestrated in part by former Democratic City-County Councilor Paul C. Bateman Jr. has sued Bateman and two associates in Marion Circuit Court.
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COA: Admitted evidence of 20-year-old crimes requires reversal

December 7, 2012
Dave Stafford
A civil judgment in favor of a woman who claimed her ex-husband battered her and forged her name on a quitclaim deed was vacated Friday. A Court of Appeals panel ruled that evidence of the ex-husband’s criminal convictions from the 1980s were prima facie error.
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  1. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  2. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  3. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  4. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  5. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

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