Court opinions

Divided 7th Circuit revives Marion County Small Claims suit

July 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
More than eight months after Judge Richard Posner argued in a dissent that Newsom v. Friedman needs to be overruled, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals did just that in an en banc decision involving Marion County’s Township courts.
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Car dealer responsible for buyer’s unauthorized purchases at auction

July 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
After finding that a trial court did not err in reinstating an action after initially dismissing it with prejudice, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of Automotive Finance Corp. on its action seeking repayment of loans made to purchase cars.
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SCOTUS rules public union can't make nonmembers pay fees

June 30, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions Monday, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover the union's costs of collective bargaining.
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Justices: Some employers don't have to cover birth control

June 30, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that some corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.
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Justice argues majority opinion does not give clear guidance going forward

June 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court by a vote of 3-2 upheld a man’s Class B misdemeanor public intoxication conviction, with the dissenting justices concerned that the majority opinion “muddies the judicial water.”
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Dam dispute rightly decided, Court of Appeals rules

June 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Owen County property owner who sued a neighbor over the enlargement of a dam that he said shed water onto his property received no relief at the Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday.
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COA vacates murder conviction for ineffective assistance

June 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman convicted of a 2006 murder received ineffective assistance of counsel and is entitled to a retrial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday, vacating a murder conviction.
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Same-sex couple facing terminal illness files emergency motion with 7th Circuit

June 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The couple who won an initial battle to have their same-sex marriage recognized – a case that foreshadowed the overturning of Indiana’s marriage law last week – is now fighting the emergency stay granted June 27 by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Plea agreement did not give court ability to impose restrictive probation

June 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court went too far when it accepted a plea agreement then imposed a one-year term in work release as a condition of probation, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
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Justices reverse resisting conviction for man who walked from police

June 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who walked away from police after they ordered him to stop was wrongly convicted of resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Supreme Court held Friday in one of two cases that reviewed the statute.
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Court puts Indiana gay marriage ruling on hold

June 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court on Friday put on hold a judge's order striking down Indiana's gay marriage ban, bringing same-sex marriages to a halt and leaving those who've already tied the knot in legal limbo.
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Virginia statute of limitations holds in Evansville radio purchase

June 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Nearly identical provisions in business agreements meant a media owner had to file his complaint against another communications company by the statute of limitations deadline in Virginia, not in Indiana.
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Judges, prosecutor at odds over 12-hour rule for Indy arrestees

June 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior judges Friday delayed enacting a policy opposed by Prosecutor Terry Curry that would ensure major felony suspects a probable cause determination within 12 hours of arrest.
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Justices end suit against Gary Railcats over foul-ball injury

June 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
A fan who suffered fractured facial bones and was blinded in one eye after she was struck by a foul ball at a Gary SouthShore Railcats baseball game may not proceed with a lawsuit against the team, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Friday.
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Reversal holds bank’s suit on repossessed vehicle filed too late

June 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
A pro se litigant won a reversal at the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday, which ruled a trial court erred when it ruled in favor of a bank seeking to collect after a vehicle repossession.
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Deed provisions are not vague, COA rules

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the trial court erred in construing the provision of a plaintiff’s deed in a dispute over use of parking areas, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the finding of the existence of a prescriptive easement allowing dance academy customers to use portions of land owned by a neighboring company for ingress and egress from the academy’s property.
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COA: Bank could charge back account after check is lost

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man who withdrew nearly all of the money in a bank account is personally liable to pay back that money to the bank, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The bank had lost a check deposited into the account and the account holder was unable to help the bank identify the check writer to obtain a replacement check.
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10th Circuit ruling pushes gay marriage closer to Supreme Court

June 26, 2014
 Associated Press
The first ruling by a federal appeals court that states cannot prevent gay couples from marrying makes it more likely the Supreme Court of the United States will ultimately have to make a decision it has so far avoided — do states have the ability to prohibit same-sex marriage?
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Landlords timely delivered itemized damages notice to former tenants

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The date a tenant provides her forwarding address to her landlord triggers the 45-day period the landlord has to deliver the itemized damages to the tenant, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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COA affirms order that child should remain in Indiana with father

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court erred in concluding that a Johnson County mother did not relocate to South Carolina for legitimate reasons, the court correctly ordered her son to remain in Indiana with his father, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Church lacks standing to appeal order preventing erection of crosses on city property

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville church that sought to display multiple six-foot-tall crosses along the city’s public Riverfront cannot appeal the court order that prevents the city from allowing the display, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Clark County loses request to impose excess property tax levy

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Noting that the Clark County Council made the conscious decision to not levy the maximum amount of property taxes allowed by statute for the 2008 budget year, it cannot now claim that decision is somehow a data error that the Department of Local Government Finance could later correct, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Wednesday.
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COA: Questions remain whether proper notice given after tax sale

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, citing several questions of fact in a case involving a tax sale, affirmed denial of summary judgment for a mortgagee that sought to set aside the issuance of a tax deed.
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Indiana attorney general appeals marriage ruling

June 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is fighting Wednesday’s decision that overturned the state’s marriage law.
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Indiana attorney general appeals marriage ruling

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is fighting Wednesday’s decision that overturned the state’s marriage law.
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  1. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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