Court opinions

Termination rash in special needs CHINS case

December 11, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the termination of a mother's parental rights to her special needs son, finding the decision would create a "sobering message" to parents of children who need ongoing assistance.
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High court grants transfers with opinions

December 11, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer with opinion to two cases today and granted transfer to another, which it remanded to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit: Woman has claim for relief

December 9, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed today with a District Court's dismissal of a woman's complaint against the federal government, finding she had stated a claim for relief following her dismissal from her job as a result of a Federal Protective Service investigation.
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Court tackles 2 first-impression issues

December 9, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled on a case today in which there were two issues of first impression, finding consolidation of a trial with a preliminary injunction hearing without notice isn't a reversible error unless a showing of prejudice can be made.
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Man can't challenge motion after guilty plea

December 8, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant who pleaded guilty to a drug charge can no longer challenge the trial court denial of his pretrial motion to suppress, affirmed the Indiana Court of Appeals today.
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Judges disagree on public intox conviction

December 5, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a woman's conviction of public intoxication, but the judge dissenting in the case believed the majority reweighed the credibility of the witnesses and their testimony to reach their decision.
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Court: Lawyer necessary in federal litigation

December 5, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Although the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions of a defendant and his company for violations of the Clean Water Act in an unpublished opinion today, the appellate court wrote a separate opinion to discuss the issue of whether a limited liability corporation can proceed pro se in federal litigation if an attorney had already worked on the case.
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Man can't collaterally attack sentence again

December 4, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has again denied a man's attempt to have his drug conviction overturned or sentence reduced because he had used the one 28 U.S.C. Section 2255 motion he was allowed and he can't challenge his sentence again under the same section.
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Law doesn't contain presumption on negligence

December 2, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court committed a reversible error when it instructed a jury that Indiana law has a rebuttable presumption that children ages 7 through 14 can't be found contributorily negligent. The ruling came in a suit against a school for the death of a student.
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Termination of rights affirmed despite error

December 2, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred when it failed to follow Indiana Code in a termination of parental rights hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. Because the appellate court found the error to be harmless, it affirmed the involuntary termination of a father's parental rights.
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Judge: Attorney can't sue using pseudonym

December 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A Northern District magistrate judge has again denied an attorney's motion to proceed with a lawsuit under a pseudonym, finding the type of injury the attorney may suffer as a result of suit doesn't rise to the level to justify anonymity.
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State can increase withholding without order

November 26, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals examined the state's code regarding the limits of a withholding amount in child support arrearage, and acknowledged that its interpretation of the statute allowing the state to increase the amount without a court order "may cause some concern."
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Riverboat not covered by Jones Act

November 25, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A casino riverboat that is indefinitely moored to the shore isn't considered a vessel in navigation under the federal Jones Act, so a riverboat worker can't bring a claim for compensation of injuries under the act, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA: Expenses apply under penalty period

November 25, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a woman who wanted her out-of-pocket payments to a nursing facility allowed as a spend-down expense, finding the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration's denial of her request would penalize her twice.
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Police not responsible for woman's murder

November 24, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a woman's lawsuit against Vanderburgh County officials following the death of her daughter because there isn't a federal constitutional right to be protected by the government against private violence when the government isn't complicit.
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Judgment for prison employees affirmed

November 21, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of prison employees in an inmate's Eighth Amendment violations suit, finding the inmate's lack of cooperation in providing details of threats against him prohibited the officials from protecting him from an attack by another inmate.
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7th Circuit cautions about propensity inferenceRestricted Content

November 20, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed a man's drug convictions with intent to distribute, but questioned how a previous drug conviction showed the man had intent or absence of mistake in the instant case.
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Man not fired for being 'whistle-blower'

November 19, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a plaintiff's former company, finding no evidence the company fired him in retaliation for being a whistle-blower.
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Statute must be followed in all CHINS cases

November 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed the involuntary termination of parental rights of a mother and father, but cautioned the Marion County Department of Child Services to continue to follow the statutory procedures in child in need of services cases and termination cases even if a court determines reunification efforts aren't required.
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Court reverses joint tenancy interest ruling

November 17, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a finding that a mother and her daughter and son-in-law each held a one-half joint tenancy in a property, finding the parties actually held one-third undivided interest as joint tenants.
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COA rules on 'In God We Trust' plate suit

November 17, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Not charging an administrative fee for Indiana's "In Got We Trust" license plates doesn't violate the state constitution, affirmed the Indiana Court of Appeals today in an unpublished decision.
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Adjudications don't violate double jeopardy

November 15, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that double jeopardy violations can be applicable to juveniles, but denied reversing a girl's adjudications because there were no violations in her case.
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Prior conviction counts in sentencing decision

November 14, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A prior drunk-driving conviction - reached pursuant to a state statute now repealed and recodified in a newer law - can be used in determining a person's sentence, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA voids Terre Haute's 2007 mayoral election

November 13, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The man elected Terre Haute's mayor was ineligible because of federal law to become a candidate or assume office, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today on an issue of first impression. As a result, a special election is needed to fill the vacancy.
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Justices analyze occurrence-based limitations

November 13, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices dissented from the majority today in two medical malpractice suits because they believed the majority's reasoning behind the decisions that both plaintiffs' claims are time-barred would foster suspicion and doubt between health-care providers and their patients.
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  3. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  4. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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