Court opinions

SCOTUS: Bankrupt homeowners can't void second mortgage

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
A unanimous Supreme Court of the United States ruled homeowners who declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy can't void a second mortgage even if the home isn't worth what they owe on the first mortgage.
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High court throws out conviction for Facebook threats

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday threw out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man prosecuted for making threats on Facebook but dodged the free-speech issues that had made the case intriguing to First Amendment advocates.
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Indiana justices to weigh Lake County small precinct law

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday over a law that requires Lake County officials to study whether to consolidate election precincts with fewer than 500 active voters.
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7th Circuit affirms solitary confinement; cautions against it

June 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana inmate's 30-day stint in solitary confinement at the Miami Correctional facility didn't violate his civil rights, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday. But the panel cautioned judges and prison officials against wide use of the practice.
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Justices rule for Muslim denied job over hijab

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday for a Muslim woman who did not get hired after she showed up to a job interview with clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch wearing a black headscarf.
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COA affirms attempted murder conviction, denial of insanity defense

May 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of attacking and trying to kill his mother’s boyfriend was not prejudiced when a judge denied his request to pursue an insanity defense, a Court of Appeals majority ruled. But a dissenting judge said the man had good cause and would remand for a new trial.
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Judge: Lawyers have responsibility to correct bench errors

May 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man’s appeal of his sentence for marijuana-related convictions was denied in a memorandum decision Friday, but an appellate judge wrote the case wouldn’t have been there had a prosecutor or defense lawyer spoken up when a judge erred.
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Split COA: 1992 Michigan sex offender required to register in Indiana

May 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who committed a sex crime in Michigan in 1992 and moved to Indiana in 2012 must put his name in the Indiana Sex Offender Registry created two years after his initial offense, a divided Court of Appeals panel ruled.
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Court rejects Meyers’ claims his trial counsel was ineffective

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
John R. Myers II, the man convicted of killing Indiana University student Jill Behrman in 2000, was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his father-son trial counsel team was ineffective during his murder trial.
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Parties’ oral modification of land agreement unenforceable

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision by a trial court finding an oral agreement between a buyer and seller that modified a written land contract had to be in writing based on the Statute of Frauds and that the buyer defaulted on the terms of the agreement.
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No abuse in giving jury instruction, but COA still reverses 1 conviction

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it gave a jury instruction during an invasion of privacy trial, the Court of Appeals ruled, but the appeals court sua sponte did reverse one of two convictions because of double jeopardy.
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COA affirms admission of gun and photographs into evidence

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted as evidence a handgun and photographs of the gun found in a car being impounded after police discovered the driver did not own the car and believed it was unsafe to operate, the Court of Appeals held.
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Judge concerned about doctor’s contradictory affidavit

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge found it troubling that a member of a medical review panel that unanimously found defendants breached their duty of care to a patient could later issue an affidavit in which he changed his mind relating to a doctor accused of medical malpractice.
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Police did not induce woman to commit prostitution, COA rules

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who was arrested for prostitution after she agreed to have sex in exchange for money with an undercover detective outside of a strip club was not entrapped by the detective, the Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Probationer’s admission to smoking marijuana supports revocation

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man on probation admitted to participating in unlawful conduct during his probationary period, the trial court correctly revoked his probation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA upholds man’s belated appeal, molestation conviction

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Citing the defendant’s limited understanding of English and his timely request for appellate counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the decision by the trial court to grant a man’s belated notice of appeal regarding a child molesting conviction.
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Judge believes lack of victim notification of plea supports vacating agreement

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues on Tuesday when he voted to support a trial court's decision to throw out a plea agreement on the day of sentencing. The trial court discovered the victim in the case had not been notified of the plea agreement.
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Court declines to rule on constitutionality of statute as it relates to auditors

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the Marion County auditor does not have statutory or common law standing to appeal a property tax assessment board of appeals’ decision under Indiana Code 6-1.1-15-12 to the Indiana Tax Court, its judge, Martha Wentworth, held that the constitutional challenge raised regarding the statute will have to be decided another day.
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Drug conviction reversed because state didn’t prove substance was heroin

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because police did not prove the product of a controlled drug buy was heroin, the Court of Appeals reversed a man's conviction of Class A felony dealing in a narcotic within 1,000 feet of a school.
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COA: No evidence employee violated professional conduct rule

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday reversed the denial of a man's application for unemployment benefits, finding the record doesn't support that he was fired for just cause for violating his employer's professional conduct rules. The man kept a mentally disabled client in a hot car, citing his safety and the safety of other riders.
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State proved man forced his way into apartment, COA holds

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of three crimes stemming from the robbery of an apartment could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he did not force his way into the apartment because someone inside opened the door first.
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COA reverses felony conviction for lack of evidence

May 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The state did not prove that a St. Joseph County man intimidated another person when the man pulled out a knife after being confronted about stealing water, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The dissenting judge believed there to be no distinction between the defendant being “caught” stealing water and “confronting” the defendant about stealing it.
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Man’s appellate arguments challenging misdemeanor convictions waived

May 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the state that a man waived his arguments on appeal because he did not raise a relevant objection at trial, he did not make a cogent argument on appeal, and because his arguments are otherwise meritless.
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Magistrate chides ‘bloated filings’ in long-running gun dispute

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal magistrate judge in a protracted trademark dispute over the design of competing firearms took aim Tuesday at lawyers he said were slowing the case.
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Savings clause of 2014 criminal code revision not unconstitutional

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that the savings clause of the 2014 criminal code revision violates the Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Indiana Constitution.
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  1. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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