Court opinions

Child's disability has no bearing on wrongful death suit filed by adult

December 29, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
A woman who filed a belated wrongful death suit as personal representative for her son’s estate is bound by the two-year statute of limitations, regardless of the fact that her grandchild has a disability.
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COA affirms trial court in felony neglect case

December 29, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a conviction of Class A felony neglect, holding the appellant was unable to prove that he should have been charged with a lesser offense.
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Trial court used wrong legal standard in revoking probation

December 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial court to use the proper legal standard to determine whether a woman violated her probation when she was arrested for theft. The trial court used a probable cause standard instead of the legal standard of a preponderance of evidence.
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COA orders new trial in resisting law enforcement case

December 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County judge violated a defendant’s right to due process when it allowed the charge of resisting law enforcement to go to trial even though the defendant showed purposeful discrimination by the prosecution during voir dire, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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High court takes 2 cases

December 28, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has taken a counterfeiting case and a case involving credit time that presents an issue of first impression, according to its latest transfer order.
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7th Circuit upholds embezzlement convictions against ex-mayor

December 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed ex-East Chicago Mayor George Pabey’s convictions of embezzling government funds and conspiring to embezzle and found the District Court didn’t err when it sentenced him to 60 months in prison.
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Tax Court: tax rate recalculation incorrect

December 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court ruled that a government agency incorrectly calculated a Marion County school district’s capital project fund levy property tax rate for 2011, and it has ordered the Department of Local Government Finance to recalculate the tax rates going back to 2007.
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FedEx wins reversal of jury's $66M award to ATA

December 27, 2011
IBJ Staff
FedEx Corp. has won an appeal that overturns a $66 million verdict in favor of defunct Indianapolis airline ATA Airlines Inc.
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AG to appeal secretary of state ineligibility case

December 27, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller will appeal on behalf of the Indiana Recount Commission the decision by a judge that found Secretary of State Charlie White ineligible to run for office.
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Appeal planned on judge's order to remove secretary of state

December 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Marion Circuit Judge Lou Rosenberg ruled Wednesday that Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was ineligible to be a candidate for the state office in the November 2010 election because he allegedly committed voter fraud. Now, an appeal is being planned and many believe the case is on a fast-track to the state’s highest court.
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Justices to consider certified question on municipal reorganization

December 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted a certified question from a federal judge in Indianapolis that asks whether a township can reorganize into a city in a way that deprives some residents of their statutory rights to vote for mayor and city council.
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7th Circuit rules school provided appropriate public education

December 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Hamilton Southeastern Schools has prevailed on appeal that it does not have to reimburse two parents for their son’s special education at another institution because they claimed the school system wasn’t providing a free appropriate education to their son, who had a traumatic brain injury.
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7th Circuit allows Indiana to enforce ban on out-of-state robo-calls

December 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Indiana is allowed to enforce the statute that restricts out-of-state robo-calls while an appeal on the issue is ongoing.
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Judge upholds Delaware County smoking ban

December 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Delaware Circuit Judge Marianne Vorhees refused to strike down an ordinance passed this summer by the county commissioners that enhanced the county’s smoking ban by prohibiting smoking in bars and private clubs. In her ruling Wednesday, she said those who are unhappy with the ordinance should use the political process to try to change it.
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Court upholds finding man committed crime of domestic violence

December 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that a defendant committed a crime of domestic violence, which then made it illegal for him to possess a firearm in the future. The judges determined there was enough evidence to support the finding that the defendant and the victim were in a dating relationship, a key element in the charge.
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Justices suspend attorney for 18 months

December 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Three Indiana justices decided that an attorney deserved an 18-month suspension for violating four rules of Professional Conduct, including charging an unreasonable fee. Justice Steven David didn’t participate in the case and Justice Robert Rucker believed the attorney only violated three of the rules and deserved a shorter suspension.
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Marsh wins $19.5M judgment against Roche

December 20, 2011
Scott Olson
A Hamilton Superior judge has awarded Marsh Supermarkets Inc. a total of $19.5 million in damages in a soured sublease deal with Swiss pharmaceutical- and medical-equipment-maker Roche.
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Traffic judge's 60-day suspension begins next week

December 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Hammond City Court Judge Jeffrey A. Harkin will begin serving his 60-day unpaid suspension on Dec. 27 as a result of an agreement he reached with the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications and approved by the state’s highest court.
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Federal incarceration doesn't count toward speedy trial clock

December 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a Marion Superior judge’s decision not to dismiss charges against a man who alleged his constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated because the state didn’t bring his case to trial within a year, as required by Rule 4(C) of the Indiana Rules of Criminal Procedure.
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In issue of first impression, COA reverses union decision

December 20, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Following denials from a union officer, three union panels and a trial court, three former union employees successfully convinced the Indiana Court of Appeals that they are entitled to payment for their accrued vacation time. But the COA opinion was not unanimous.
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Judges uphold man's convictions, enhanced sentence

December 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions of and sentence for a man on multiple drug charges, finding that the Lake Superior judge didn’t err by enhancing the man’s sentence because he is a habitual offender.

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Federal Circuit hears judges' pay case

December 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal appellate court heard arguments Friday in a case that could ultimately decide if Congress has the authority to withhold judicial pay increases as it’s done in the past or whether cost-of-living adjustments are required.
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COA affirms arbitration opinion on rehearing

December 19, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Rehearing a case at the request of the appellant, the Indiana Court of Appeals reaffirmed its original opinion that trustees are not bound by an arbitration clause that was signed by predecessors.
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Appeals court sides with estate of contractor killed on the job

December 19, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled an employer was liable for the safety of a subcontractor who fell from a ladder and sustained a fatal injury.
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In first impression ruling, COA reverses trial court on illegal search

December 16, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a police officer went one step too far when he opened a pill bottle he found in a man’s pocket.
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  1. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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