Court opinions

Circuit Court affirms judgments against 2 ex-IMPD narcotics officers

March 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has found nothing wrong with the convictions or sentence of two former Indianapolis narcotics detectives brought down by their involvement in an illegal drug scheme to supplement their income as police officers.
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Court rules on early retirement benefits case

March 17, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Employees who accept early retirement even in the worst economic times aren’t entitled to continued unemployment assistance, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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7th Circuit upholds qualified immunity for DCS workers

March 16, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Although sympathetic to a couple whose child was temporarily removed from the family’s home on child abuse concerns – a removal that was subsequently found not to be supported by probable cause –  the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for Department of Child Services employees on qualified immunity grounds.
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Judges split on whether 2 insurers must pay for damage

March 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from the majority’s holding that two insurers were financially responsible for the damages caused by a fractured storm pipe and subsequent flooding of a school. The judge believed that only one of the responsible party’s insurers had to pay for the property damage.
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High court takes 4 cases

March 15, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to four cases, including two dealing with whether a trial court should assert exemptions in garnishment actions on behalf of pro se debtors.
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7th Circuit reverses on relation back issue

March 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A plaintiff attempting to sue his employer for breach of contract should have been able to file an amended complaint with relation back to the date of the original complaint in order to correct the defendant even though the statute of limitations had expired, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded today.
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Judges affirm insurer has no duty to defend

March 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court that a homeowner’s insurance policy is clear that the ingestion of methadone by a guest at his house and his subsequent injuries are excluded from the policy’s liability coverage.
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7th Circuit takes girls' basketball schedule case

March 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether several Indiana school corporations discriminate against girls’ basketball teams by scheduling more of their games on weeknights as compared to the boys’ basketball games.
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Trial court should decide educational credit time

March 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court judge should be the one to determine whether a defendant who completes an educational degree before sentencing is entitled to educational credit time, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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COA reverses marijuana conviction based on intent

March 8, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
The majority of an Indiana Court of Appeals panel today reversed a conviction of marijuana possession after the defendant contended there was insufficient evidence that she constructively possessed the drug.
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Man still fighting dismissal of bar exam suit

March 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The man who sued the Indiana Supreme Court and state Board of Law Examiners because he wants to take the bar exam without going to law school wants a federal judge to reopen his case, arguing that he has no other legal recourse available and the court’s refusal to allow relief is contrary to established precedent.
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Judges uphold IATC’s issuance of alcohol dealer permits

March 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that an association comprised of retail package liquor stores isn’t entitled to injunctive relief preventing the state’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission from issuing permits to stores in the same manner it has for the last 30 years.
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Porter County can't leave RDA

March 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A northwestern Indiana county can’t withdraw from a regional development authority created by lawmakers to facilitate economic development, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Competitor lacks standing for judicial review

March 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court was correct in dismissing the petition for judicial review from a liquor wholesaler who challenged the issuance of a wine and liquor permit to a competitor because the wholesaler lacked standing, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Change sought for 3rd murder trial

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Defense attorneys for former Indiana State Police trooper David Camm have asked the state’s intermediate appellate court to accept an interlocutory appeal and decide whether a special judge should have appointed a new prosecutor to preside over the man’s third trial.
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COA adopts common-sense rule on providing insurance policies

March 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has adopted a common-sense rule many other courts throughout the country have implemented, in requiring insurers to provide copies of their insurance policies to the insured if they ask for one following a loss.
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First impression case tackles wetlands issue

February 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a landowner who raises the subterranean water table on his land and creates a federally regulated wetland may not invoke the common enemy doctrine of water diversion and be shielded from liability to adjoining landowners whose properties as a result become federally regulated wetlands.
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Defense attorney's arranged drug buy illegal

February 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a Bloomington attorney’s argument that his arrangement of a drug buy in an attempt to discredit a state’s witness against his client wasn’t a criminal offense because he’s “on the same legal footing” as prosecutors or police in planning controlled buys.
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High court takes 4 cases

February 28, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted four cases on transfer last week, including a case in which they released an opinion on the day they granted transfer.
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COA orders a new child support order

February 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a father’s petition to modify child support. The judges held he didn’t waive his argument for modification because he made a prima facie showing he qualified for a modification under one subsection of the statute, even though he argued before the trial court that he qualified based on the other subsection.
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Court divided on purchase agreement termination

February 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals were split in deciding whether the seller of a condominium should have to refund a deposit to purchase after the buyers discovered electrical problems that turned out to be minor issues.
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COA: Summons should notify of risk of default judgment

February 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Due process requires that a respondent in a dissolution proceeding be notified of the risk of default for not appearing or otherwise responding, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday. The judges reversed a couple’s decree of dissolution, ruling it was void because the summons served on the wife was insufficient.
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COA discusses vouching testimony in child molesting trials

February 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed vouching testimony by witnesses called during child molesting trials in two opinions Tuesday. In one case, an appellate judge was troubled by the possible effect of the cumulative vouching testimony on the jury.
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7th Circuit agrees crack cocaine offender's sentence can't be reduced

February 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed an issue involving crack cocaine sentencing Tuesday – whether a defendant sentenced under the career offender guideline, but with a downward departure for substantial assistance, is eligible for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. Section 3582(c)(2).
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SCOTUS denies one Indiana case, sidesteps others for now

February 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States denied one prisoner lawsuit from Indiana today, while not saying whether it will address another case from this state on judicial speech. No decision was made on a third Hoosier case it heard arguments on more than a month ago addressing vehicular flight.
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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

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