Court opinions

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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Justices rule man not disenfranchised under the Infamous Crimes Clause

December 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court hesitantly answered Thursday a certified question from the federal court as to whether misdemeanor battery is an “infamous crime” under Article II, Section 8 of the Indiana Constitution.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of plaintiffs

December 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals could rule on the dismissal of multiple plaintiffs from a civil rights and breach of contract lawsuit, the appellate court had to determine if it had jurisdiction to rule on the plaintiffs’ appeal.
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Woman loses appeal for overtime pay

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A sewing manager who sued her former employer to obtain overtime pay for work she did before her shift started lost her appeal because the employer didn’t know that she was working prior to her shift, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Evidence properly admitted under independent source doctrine

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found no plain error in a District Court’s decision to admit evidence of a telephone number on a defendant’s cell phone in 2007 at the man’s trial several years later.
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Judges reverse termination of parents' rights

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case filled with several errors and discrepancies, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the termination of parental rights of a mother and two fathers because the Department of Child Services failed to meet the burden of proving that termination is in the best interest of the children.
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Judge won't allow auto-dialer statute enforcement during appeal

December 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Balancing free speech rights with the public interest in preventing automated political calls from out-of-state entities, U.S. Judge William Lawrence in Indianapolis denied the state’s request to continue enforcing Indiana’s auto-dialer statute while a higher court is considering his ruling from two months ago that blocked enforcement.
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  1. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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