Civil Case

7th Circuit reverses benefits denial; judge chastises process

December 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner had harsh words for the Social Security Disability Office regarding vocational expert testimony: clean up your act.
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Vet: Unjust civil commitment 'takes everything' away

April 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Marine Corps veteran is trying to put his life back together after he was wrongly committed when a court found him gravely disabled and dangerous. His case before the Indiana Supreme Court recently reformed the requirements necessary to deprive the liberty of someone with mental illness.
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Service of process fees increase under proposal in Senate

January 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
Fees sheriffs collect to serve parties in civil lawsuits would nearly double under a bill that cleared a Senate panel last week.
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‘Settlement Week’ helped to change public policy in civil cases

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
Lawyers 25 years ago had a radical concept: Let’s see how many civil lawsuits we can settle in a week.
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Justices: Woman who had co-worker committed not in contempt of court

May 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Clark Circuit judge lacked statutory authority to find a nurse in indirect civil contempt for completing an application for emergency detention of her co-worker, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Justices uphold order criminal defendant answer civil complaint

March 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday found a Lake Superior judge did not abuse her discretion in ordering a man criminally charged for the hit-and-run death of a woman to respond to her estate’s wrongful death complaint filed against him.
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Court of Appeals saw fewer cases in 2013

March 12, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals in 2013 received and decided fewer cases than in any of the five prior years, according to the court’s annual report released Tuesday.
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COA affirms the voiding of $500,000 default judgment against American Legion post

February 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior court correctly set aside default judgment against an American Legion post after finding the method employed to serve process on the organization was not the best way to inform it of a woman’s lawsuit, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Civil case filing now all electronic in Northern District

February 3, 2014
IL Staff
Beginning Monday, all new civil cases filed by counsel will be filed electronically in CM/ECF, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana has announced. Electronic filing will become mandatory as of Feb. 24. 
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Justices take homeschooling-group expulsion case

October 28, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases, including one involving a homeschooling group that presented an issue of first impression regarding education under civil rights law.
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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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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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