Court opinions

State death penalty cases averaged 17 years

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When the moment of death finally arrives, it ends what may be described as a long legal journey to justice within the capital punishment system.
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Mental aspect of capital cases can be challenging

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When it comes to tallying the total price of capital punishment, the cost of those cases for the legal community is more than just expansive legalese and court procedures that span a decade or two.
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Judge rejects plea for former physician

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
U.S. Judge Philip Simon in the Northern District of Indiana rejected a plea agreement on April 27 for former physician Mark Weinberger, who faces at least 22 criminal counts of billing insurers and patients for procedures he didn’t perform.
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Supreme Court splits on Barrett Law sewer payment case

May 10, 2011
Michael Hoskins

A divided Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that the City of Indianapolis didn’t violate the constitution by refusing to grant some homeowners’ refund requests for sewer project assessments they’d paid in full when other homeowners who’d made partial installment payments had the remaining balance of assessments owed discharged.

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COA reverses denial of translated version of hearing

May 10, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the post-conviction court abused its discretion when it denied a woman’s request to have access to the electronic recording of her guilty plea hearing.
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Justices rule on 'no-knock' warrant executions

May 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Constitution doesn’t require prior judicial authorization for a “no-knock” execution of a warrant when justified by exigent circumstances, the Indiana Supreme Court held Tuesday. This is the case even if those circumstances are known by police when the warrant is obtained.
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COA affirms remanded sentence

May 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s remanded sentence of 44 years, finding that his previous drug conviction could serve as both the basis for his consecutive sentence for a firearm conviction and to enhance his sentences for his other convictions.
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Judge rules against former deputy in Taser suit

May 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has ruled in favor of the Hamilton County sheriff and other officials in a former employee’s lawsuit filed after the employee was fired for refusing to be shocked by a Taser as part of a training session.
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Justices take felony murder, child support cases

May 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to two cases - a convicted murder’s appeal and a case involving child support nonpayment.
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COA affirms perjury, misconduct convictions against children's caseworker

May 6, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that that a closed hearing on a juvenile proceeding was admissible as evidence in the perjury trial of an Indiana Department of Child Services caseworker.
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Justices address judicial-temperance presumption

May 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court used an opinion Thursday to reaffirm the limitation described in Fletcher v. State on the judicial-temperance presumption.
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Judges order modification of dissolution decree

May 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court abused its discretion when it didn’t consider a $160,000 change in value of a property when calculating marital assets and distributing marital property.
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Appellate court orders reinstatement of jury verdict

May 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a trial judge erred when granting a new trial because he didn’t make specific findings in setting aside a jury verdict, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the lower court and ordered the jury verdict reinstated.
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Landlord sent itemized letter on time

May 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed judgment in favor of a tenant in a security deposit dispute, ruling that the landlord did deliver an itemized damages letter within statutory deadlines.
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7th Circuit addresses sex offender registration law

May 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has joined a majority of other circuits nationwide in finding that the federal sex offender registration law is not a retroactive punishment on those who were convicted prior to 2006 and traveled after the law was enacted.
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Judges split on District Court’s use of Colorado River abstention doctrine

May 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that a homeowners’ citizen suit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act against a solid waste dump should be allowed despite two similar suits pending in state court filed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. However, the court split when determining whether the District Court erred by dismissing the homeowners’ suit based on the Colorado River abstention doctrine.
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COA rules on unjust enrichment issue for first time

April 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
For the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals addressed an issue involving express contracts and equitable remedies and decided that the existence of a contract, in and of itself, doesn’t preclude equitable relief which isn’t inconsistent with the contract.
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First impression issue on 'in loco parentis' doctrine

April 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Until Friday, Indiana courts had never specifically addressed the application of the in loco parentis doctrine in the context of a private club sport that isn’t affiliated with a school. The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed the issue in a lawsuit against a private club volleyball coach and the volleyball club following the injury of a minor player while on private property.
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Judges split on stalking conviction

April 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Friday in reversing a man’s conviction of stalking. The decision hinged on their interpretations of the term “repeated” in Indiana’s anti-stalking laws.
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7th Circuit rejects ineffective trial assistance claim

April 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the denial of a defendant’s motion to vacate his guilty plea, claiming ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The judges found the record foreclosed any claim that the man’s attorney was constitutionally ineffective or that the man didn’t otherwise knowingly and voluntarily plead guilty.
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COA splits on need for evidentiary hearing in revocation

April 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split as to whether only a chronological case summary entry indicating a man’s admissions to violating terms of community corrections placement is enough to bypass holding an evidentiary hearing.
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Credit-time statute amendment not retroactive

April 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An amendment to the statute governing credit-time eligibility for people on home detention in criminal corrections programs is not retroactive, therefore, a defendant isn’t entitled to credit time under the amendment, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday.
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Judge: Governor doesn't have to testify in IBM case

April 26, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer has ruled that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels doesn’t have to testify about his involvement in the cancelled multi-million dollar IBM contract to modernize the state’s welfare system.
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COA affirms transfer penalty for nursing home resident

April 26, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a finding by the Family and Social Services Administration that an elderly woman was not entitled to Medicaid nursing home benefits in the eight months after she gave $35,500 to her nephew and his wife.
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Judges address 'public utility' questions

April 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In a case of first impression in this state, the Indiana Court of Appeals has determined that BP Products North America Inc.'s petroleum refinery plant in northern Indiana isn’t a public utility as defined by state statute when it acts as a sort of conduit and provides natural gas and other services such as steam and wastewater to other private companies nearby.
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  1. Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in December, but U.S. District Judge Robert Miller later reduced that to about $540,000 to put the damages for suffering under the statutory cap of $300,000.

  2. I was trying to remember, how did marriage get gay in Kentucky, did the people vote for it? Ah no, of course not. It was imposed by judicial fiat. The voted-for official actually represents the will of the majority in the face of an unelected federal judiciary. But democracy only is just a slogan for the powerful, they trot it out when they want and call it bigotry etc when they don't.

  3. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  4. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  5. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

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