Courts

Court rules Notre Dame must allow dismissed student to take final exams

May 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
A senior at the University of Notre Dame will sit for the last two final exams of his undergraduate career this week after a federal judge ruled the university could not prevent him from taking the exams even though he was dismissed from the campus after a disciplinary action.
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Trump moves to get more conservatives on federal bench

May 9, 2017
IL Staff
The Trump administration Monday named 10 judges and other law professionals it plans to nominate for key posts as President Donald Trump works to place more conservatives on the nation’s federal courts.
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Appeals court hears arguments on Trump's revised travel ban

May 8, 2017
 Associated Press
After a series of stinging legal defeats, President Donald Trump's administration hopes to convince a federal appeals court that his travel ban targeting six Muslim-majority countries is motivated by national security, not religion.
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Supreme Court celebrates Rucker’s service at retirement ceremony

May 8, 2017
IL Staff
Justice Robert Rucker’s retirement ceremony in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom Monday included compliments, honors, well wishes and singing.
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Indy car dealers must pay $590,000 in unpaid sales tax

May 8, 2017
IL Staff
Two Indianapolis car dealers were ordered Monday to pay $590,437 in restitution to the state for failing to pay taxes on auto sales, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced.
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Reports: Trump to nominate Notre Dame professor to 7th Circuit

May 8, 2017
IL Staff
President Donald Trump reportedly plans to nominate Notre Dame Law School professor Amy Coney Barrett to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Charges dropped against wife in judge-threat case

May 8, 2017
IL Staff
The wife of an Indiana Court of Appeals judge is no longer facing criminal charges for allegedly making threats against the judge that she told police were made by their son-in-law.
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7th Circuit considers allowing TV coverage

May 8, 2017
 Associated Press
The Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is looking into allowing TV cameras to cover some of its proceedings.
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COA corrects erroneous conclusion in footnote in post-conviction case

May 8, 2017
Olivia Covington
After granting rehearing to correct an error in a footnote of an earlier opinion, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed its March decision to give a Franklin County man a second chance at post-conviction relief.
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Supreme Court remands 1995 murder case for new trial

May 5, 2017
A man convicted of murder more than 20 years ago will have a new trial after the Indiana Supreme Court held Friday that his trial counsel performed deficiently and his appeal was not barred by the doctrine of laches.
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Indianapolis man sentenced to prison in grandmother's death

May 5, 2017
 Associated Press
A judge has sentenced an Indianapolis man to 30 years in prison for the 2015 slaying of his 78-year-old grandmother.
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J&J loses $110M verdict over talc cancer-link claim

May 5, 2017
 Bloomberg News
Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a St. Louis jury to pay more than $110 million to a Virginia woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on the company’s talcum products.
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COA rejects self-defense claim against battery charge

May 5, 2017
 Associated Press
A man who punched a racer at a southern Indiana racing track cannot claim self-defense to rebut his battery charge because the facts show that the man was the initial aggressor against the racer, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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7th Circuit affirms tax fraud convictions

May 5, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the convictions and sentence of a man convicted on three tax fraud charges, finding that the district court properly excluded evidence of his corporate “meeting minutes.”
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Anthem asks Supreme Court to review blocked Cigna deal

May 5, 2017
 Associated Press
Health insurer Anthem is not ready to give up its $48-billlion bid for rival Cigna and now hopes to find a favorable audience in the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Rucker farewell celebration Monday

May 5, 2017
IL Staff
A retirement celebration for Justice Robert D. Rucker, who will step down from the Indiana Supreme Court May 12, will take place at 12:30 p.m. Monday in the Supreme Court Courtroom.
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Justices create framework for determining admissibility of immigration status

May 4, 2017
Olivia Covington
After reversing a trial court’s decision to admit a plaintiff’s unauthorized immigrant status as evidence in his case for decreased earning capacity damages, the Indiana Supreme Court laid out a new framework Thursday for determining when immigration status can be admissible.
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COA recommends judge's recusal in remand of motion to contest adoption

May 4, 2017
Olivia Covington
In a 41-page opinion handed down Thursday, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a putative father’s motion to contest adoption, finding that the adoptive parents had caused delays in the court proceedings and also noting that the judge in the case should have recused himself to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
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Rumors surround Justice Kennedy exit, but he's not talking

May 4, 2017
 Associated Press
As one justice settles into his new job at the U.S. Supreme Court, is another about to leave?
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Uber's driverless car ambitions at stake in Waymo court clash

May 4, 2017
 Bloomberg News
Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick calls driverless cars an “existential” necessity for his company. If he’s right, Uber can’t afford to lose in its court fight with rival Waymo.
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COA affirms summary judgment to parents in family land dispute

May 4, 2017
Olivia Covington
After a yearslong dispute between northern Indiana parents and their daughter and son-in-law, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the grant of partial summary judgment to the parents, finding that a real estate contract between the two couples was unenforceable.
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Justices rule police may get cell location data without warrant

May 4, 2017
Dave Stafford
A criminal suspect had no expectation of privacy regarding the cellphone location information police obtained without a warrant before his arrest, a divided Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a 3-2 opinion issued Thursday.
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Indiana high court rejects appeal in malnourished teen case

May 4, 2017
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of a central Indiana woman who pleaded guilty to neglecting her 15-year-old granddaughter, who was found covered in feces and weighing only 52 pounds.
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Merrillville attorney convicted of mail fraud

May 4, 2017
IL Staff
A Merrillville attorney who was disbarred nearly two years ago for embezzling from a receivership has been convicted of mail fraud in federal court related to that theft.
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Court: Gay couple's suit against Kentucky clerk can proceed

May 3, 2017
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court says a gay couple's lawsuit seeking damages from a Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue them a marriage license can proceed. The ruling revives an issue that pulled the state into the center of a national debate over same-sex marriages following a historic Supreme Court ruling.
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  2. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  3. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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