Court opinions

Justices rule on in-state, out-of-state police actions

April 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld its own law enforcement practices, but leaves those of Alabama's police and judiciary out in the cold.
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COA rules on first impression railroad issue

April 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded a Federal Employer Liability Act claim premised on unsafe ballast isn't precluded by Federal Railroad Safety Act regulations of ballast in a man's suit for injuries he sustained while employed with a transportation company.
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Jury not properly instructed at man's trial

April 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a defendant's convictions of battery and resisting law enforcement, and disorderly conduct because the jury wasn't properly instructed about the man's defense of the right to reasonably resist unlawful entry into his home.
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COA: Inmate must pay filing fees

April 14, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled today on another case filed by a New Castle Correctional Facility inmate who had filed at least 50 civil actions.
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Justices rule on trust mill UPL case

April 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana State Bar Association has won an unauthorized practice of law action against an estate planning services company, but wasn't able to completely sway the state's highest court that all "costs and expenses" should be completely granted for the prosecution of the case.
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Court denies request for emancipation, child support change

April 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In deciding whether a father's child support requirement should be modified or ended, the Indiana Court of Appeals refused to adopt new reasoning that any child attending college could be deemed emancipated if that child didn't live in the custodial parent's home.
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Ex-racer loses appeal on Porsche ownership

April 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued its take on an ownership dispute over a classic 1979 Porsche on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation's Hall of Fame Museum.
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Court reverses handgun conviction

April 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed today a defendant's conviction of carrying a handgun without a license because the circumstantial evidence doesn't support that the man had the requisite intent to constructively possess the gun.
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Inconsistent jury verdicts not reviewable

April 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Inconsistent, contradictory, or irreconcilable jury verdicts in criminal cases aren't available for appellate review, the Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday.
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High court upholds life sentence

April 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court upheld a man's sentence of life in prison, noting the defendant's numerous opportunities to reform, but that he continued to commit crimes.
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7th Circuit affirms cross burner's convictions

April 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found sufficient evidence to uphold a Muncie man's convictions stemming from his burning of a cross in front of the home of a family with biracial children.
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Court puts death penalty case on hold

April 2, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed an Indianapolis judge's decision on a death penalty case, putting a condemned convict's death penalty appeal on hold indefinitely because of his current mental state.
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FMLA leave doesn't accrue hours for benefits

April 2, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed an Indiana District judge's decision that an employee on family medical leave doesn't accrue those hours for benefits and can be fired for violating attendance policies.
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COA upholds termination of parental rights

April 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of a mother and father's parental rights based on sufficient evidence. The appellate court also found the mother couldn't appeal on the basis that the Department of Child Services failed to prove her drug use when she repeatedly refused to submit to drug testing.
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Judges disagree on retroactive support issue

March 31, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, a panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges couldn't agree on whether an initial support order can be retroactive to a date preceding the filing of a petition for resolution. The judges disagreed as to whether a court has the authority to reach into an intact marriage and order a party to pay child support to the other.
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COA sets standard in parental rights cases

March 31, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In addressing a statutory inconsistency on parental rights terminations, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that trial judges must offer findings of fact in those types of cases just as they're required to by law for children in need of services cases and grandparent visitation matters.
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Judges rule on custody issues

March 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
When modifying custody, the change in circumstances required by Indiana Code doesn't need to be so decisive in nature as to make the change necessary for the child's welfare, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA lengthens defendant's sentence

March 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals revised a defendant's sentence for rape and other convictions, but it may not have been what the man had in mind when he appealed. In a rare move, the Court of Appeals increased his sentence by 25 years.
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Company not bound by defiant agent's actions

March 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in finding that a company was bound by its insurance agency's acts even though the agency acted against the company's wishes, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Judge dissents in eviction case

March 25, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
There is "potential for abuse" when an armed and uniformed police officer is at the scene of a self-help eviction or repossession of a private party, according to an Indiana Court of Appeals judge.
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COA: no error in admitting no contest plea

March 25, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A plea of no contest can be admitted under Indiana Evidence Rule 803(8) as a public record proving the fact of a conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today. The appellate court found no error in admitting a defendant's nolo contendere plea to a Florida murder as proof he was convicted of an offense qualifying him as a serious violent felon.
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Tax return doesn't require attached appraisal

March 25, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana code doesn't require an estate to file an appraisal with its inheritance tax return, the Indiana Tax Court decided in two opinions handed down Wednesday.
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Estate entitled to hearing on cause of fire

March 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A plaintiff is entitled to a hearing on whether vandalism caused the fire at an unoccupied home, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today. The District Court never made a finding on the investigation that indicated it may have been burglars who started the fire.
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7th Circuit: expenses were capital expenditures

March 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An Indianapolis-based health insurer can't deduct its settlement payments or legal expenses from the litigation because the insurer's payments were actually capital expenditures, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed today.
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COA: State didn't bring man to trial within 1 year

March 22, 2010
Jennifer NelsonMore
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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