Courts

Drug court lawsuit certified as class action

September 5, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal magistrate has approved class-action status for a lawsuit accusing southern Indiana officials of violating the civil rights of dozens of drug court participants.
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Appeals court affirms all but 2 of Durham's convictions

September 5, 2014
Greg Andrews, IBJ Staff
A federal appeals court in Chicago has upheld all but two of the 25 felony convictions for Tim Durham and two other Fair Finance Co. executives found guilty two years ago of carrying out a $200 million Ponzi scheme.
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7th Circuit: Gay marriage bans in Indiana, Wisconsin unconstitutional

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed federal court rulings in Indiana and Wisconsin invalidating the states’ prohibitions of same-sex marriage.
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COA splits on reversal of child molesting conviction

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Thursday over whether a man’s Class A felony child molesting conviction should be overturned. The dissenting judge believed any error by the trial court was harmless, so the conviction should stand.
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COA re-evaluates public intox opinion in light of Thang, but still affirms

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Supreme Court decision regarding public intoxication has impacted a decision issued by the Court of Appeals three weeks earlier, but the judges still concluded a woman’s public intoxication conviction cannot stand.
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Defendant loses on ineffective counsel claim

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant did not show that he was denied the effective assistance of appellate counsel, so the court correctly denied his petition for post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Man cannot collect uninsured motorist coverage after accident on motorcycle

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man injured in an accident while riding a motorcycle cannot collect under his insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges rejected his claim that the exclusion of motorcycles violates public policy.
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Judge: Inevitable discovery rule could apply under state constitution

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals unanimously reversed a man’s convictions stemming from his alleged use of a stolen credit card at a gas station in Hancock County. But the judges on the panel didn’t agree whether the state’s argument of inevitable discovery is allowed under the Indiana Constitution.
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Justices order in camera review of report to determine if material is privileged

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court tackled two issues of first impression Wednesday in a dispute involving a family business and claims the company president caused a significant decrease in shareholder value.
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Court affirms bank lacks standing to appeal termination of trusts

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals that a bank’s appeal of the termination of two of its trusts must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The bank, as trustee, lacked standing to appeal in its representative capacity and did not appeal in its individual capacity.
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Justices hear constitutional challenge to right-to-work law

September 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s right-to-work statute is clearly anti-union, one state Supreme Court justice said Thursday, but all five justices seemed dubious of arguments that it violated the state constitution.
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Justices take first impression insurance case

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted three cases on transfer, including one that divided the Court of Appeals regarding a jury award to the widow of a motorcyclist injured in a crash.
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Justices reverse conviction and sentence enhancement related to handgun

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man’s firearm enhancement is based on the same behavior used to convict and sentence him for carrying a handgun without a permit, the Indiana Supreme Court vacated the conviction and five-year enhancement.
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COA sets aside auction of mobile homes

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the sale of several mobile homes through an auction in Hendricks County after finding the buyer did not comply with statutory requirements regarding timelines for conducting an auction.
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Court upholds 3-year sentence for assault on girlfriend

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that his decision to waive his right to a jury trial deserves some mitigating consideration when sentencing him. The judges affirmed Timothy McSchooler’s three-year prison sentence for strangling his girlfriend.
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State can exclude fuel ethanol plants from ‘chemical process plant’ classification

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the decision by state environmental agencies to no longer consider fuel ethanol plants to be a “chemical process plant” under the Clean Air Act. By removing fuel ethanol plants from this classification, those plants may not be subject to stricter regulations.
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Purdue still wants ex-chancellor report secret

September 3, 2014
 Associated Press
Purdue University is continuing efforts to keep secret a report about the ouster of the Fort Wayne campus chancellor, even though federal and state judges have ruled it isn't protected by attorney-client privilege.
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US prosecutors from across nation meeting in Indy

September 3, 2014
 Associated Press
Federal prosecutors from across the country are gathering in Indianapolis to discuss ways to reduce the number of guns in the hands of criminals and other violent crime initiatives.
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Steak n Shake can’t force arbitration with disgruntled franchisees

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed that Steak n Shake Enterprises Inc. cannot compel several of its franchisees to engage in nonbinding arbitration regarding claims brought by the franchisees in federal court. Steak n Shake tried to force arbitration after the restaurants already sued over the requirement all restaurants must adhere to company pricing and promotions.
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7th Circuit dismisses 3 Latin Kings gang members’ appeals

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because three Latin Kings gang members took plea deals with the government after they were charged with several counts – including conspiracy to participate in racketeering – that limited their ability to appeal, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out their appeals Friday.
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Divided 7th Circuit affirms dismissal of RTW challenge

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A split panel on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision by a federal judge in northern Indiana to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a union challenging Indiana’s right-to-work law. The majority concluded the law does not violate the union members’ rights under the U.S. Constitution nor is it preempted by federal labor legislation.
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Solo practitioner named to Lake County bench

September 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Merrillville attorney Bruce Parent has been named as a judge in the Lake Superior Court, Civil Division.
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Irsay pleads guilty to misdemeanor in drug case

September 2, 2014
 Associated Press
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay must submit to drug testing for a year after pleading guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated stemming from his arrest after a traffic stop in March.
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Tax Court reverses reduction in school corp.'s exempt debt service fund levy

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court on Friday overturned the decision by the Department of Local Government Finance to reduce the Gary Community School Corp.’s exempt debt service fund levy for the 2011 budget year. Judge Martha Wentworth found the state agency had no authority to reduce the levy.
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Supreme Court recommends abolishing Marion County township courts

September 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
A report from the National Center for State Courts recommends the nine township small claims venues in Indianapolis transition into a unified section of Marion Superior Courts. The Indiana Supreme Court is asking lawmakers to abolish the current system and unify them with the Superior Courts’ Civil Division effective Jan. 1, 2016.
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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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