Court opinions

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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Appellate judges will hear arguments in East Chicago

October 4, 2011
IL Staff
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges will travel to northern Indiana Thursday to hear the appeal of a man convicted of attempted murder.
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Judges uphold admission of robbery confession

October 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in admitting evidence of uncharged misconduct from another incident during a defendant’s trial for robbery, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The evidence contained a letter that helped corroborate the man’s confession to the robbery.
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Justices agree subsidiaries are not new employers

September 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Emphasizing its ruling only deals with determining the proper merit rate for unemployment fund contributions, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled a manufacturer did not create employers through its new subsidiaries, so it wasn’t entitled to a lower rate.
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Circuit Court rules in favor of utility

September 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment in favor of a Louisville utility in a dispute as to whether landowners could eject the utility from their property after violating portions of the lease. The appellate judges also declined to certify a question to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices suspend attorney for collecting 'exploitive fee'

September 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended an Indianapolis attorney after finding he engaged in attorney misconduct by collecting a “clearly unreasonable and exploitive fee” from a vulnerable client.
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Court: CHINS fact-finding hearing required by due process

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagrees with the state Department of Child Services that fact-finding and dispositional hearings in a child in need of services case are interchangeable. The appellate panel has ruled a Marion County father’s due process rights were denied because he didn’t receive the opportunity for a fact-finding hearing.
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Justices uphold murderer's convictions

September 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed that a man will serve life in prison without parole for his role in the murders of seven people in Indianapolis in 2006.
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Appeals court reverses judge on visitation ruling

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The state’s intermediate appellate court has reversed a southern Indiana judge’s ruling that a boyfriend should retain visitation rights over an ex-girlfriend’s child. It ruled that the finding is contrary to law because lawmakers didn’t allow for that type of circumstance to warrant visitation.
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Federal judge finds U.S. law preempts state 'robo-call' statute

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The state is not able to prevent out-of-state entities from placing political calls to residents within Indiana because of an existing federal law, according to a federal judge’s ruling on Indiana’s auto-dialer statute.
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Judge: query goes too far

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Ruling strikes down one Indiana bar exam application question.
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Justices clarify police resistance ruling

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Emphasizing that it’s not trampling on the Fourth Amendment and allowing police to illegally enter one’s home, the Indiana Supreme Court has revisited a case it decided four months ago and reinforced its ruling that residents don’t have a common law right to resist police entering one’s home.
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BLE will strike broad question, revise other

September 27, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court’s Board of Law Examiners is cutting one controversial question from its annual bar exam application and will revise another in order to comply with a federal judge’s recent ruling.
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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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COA: woman not denied right to confrontation

September 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a woman’s appeal of her prostitution conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals addressed the right to confront witnesses and its interrelationship with hearsay evidence.
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COA reverses trial court's ruling in favor of attorney

September 23, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of an attorney who failed to monitor an estate checking account while serving as the estate’s counsel.
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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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Federal judge: 1 bar exam application question goes too far

September 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge has found that one of the Indiana bar exam application questions violates the Americans with Disabilities Act because it infringes on potential lawyers’ privacy rights.
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Man's conviction hinges on 'induce' definition

September 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had to determine how to interpret the term “induce” related to a man’s contributing to the delinquency of a minor case and upheld his conviction based on the term’s dictionary definition.
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Judges uphold involuntary commitment

September 19, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
When a defendant has been previously committed to a state institution because he was found incompetent to stand trial, that state institution may be considered a community mental health center for purposes of a report required under Indiana Code 12-26-7-3(b), the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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COA finds 2007 version of statute is an ex post facto law

September 19, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed in part a man’s petition for post-conviction relief challenging the finding that he is ineligible to petition for a change of status regarding being a sexually violent predator. The 2007 version of the applicable statute is an unconstitutional ex post facto law as applied to him.
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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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Judge allows state to cut Medicaid fees to pharmacists

September 15, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis federal judge has reversed the temporary restraining order she issued two months ago that stopped the state from cutting fees it pays to pharmacists for dispensing Medicaid prescriptions.
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Judges rule on breach of contract lawsuit

September 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The City of Jeffersonville breached its contract with a company hired to maintain its sewer system by not adequately providing written notice before ending the contract.
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Justices split over how to determine a lawsuit is equitable

September 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has expanded on a previous decision to create a multi-pronged inquiry to determine whether a suit is essentially equitable, a move that causes two justices to worry the new test may often foreclose a defendant’s right to a jury on distinct and severable legal claims.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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