Courts

Failure to conduct indigency hearing results in remand

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court that imposed a $340 probation fee on a defendant sentenced on misdemeanor convictions must be revisited because the court failed to conduct a hearing on the defendant’s ability to pay.
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20-year sentence for $60 drug deal reduced as excessive

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
The 20-year executed sentence a Kokomo man received after pleading guilty to selling an undercover police officer 10 hydrocodone pills for $6 each was excessive, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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State appeals ruling blocking fenced hunting preserve rules

March 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office is appealing a court ruling that state wildlife officials overstepped their authority in trying to shut down Indiana’s high-fenced deer-hunting preserves.
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Indianapolis man gets 37 years in Henry County killing

March 6, 2015
 Associated Press
A 35-year-old Indianapolis man has been sentenced to 37 years in prison for using a shotgun to kill another Indianapolis man in Henry County.
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Court affirms $100,000 in attorney fees to bank for defending groundless claim

March 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who claimed a bank acting as trustee breached its fiduciary duties by selling stock of JP Morgan Chase over the course of several years is still on the hook for more than $100,000 in attorney fees and costs to the trustee, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday. The COA agreed Susan Moeder brought a groundless claim against Salin Bank and Trust Co. after it sought to resign as trustee.
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Providing temptation to commit crime is not inducement, majority rules

March 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a man’s conviction of patronizing a prostitute, with the majority ruling the state rebutted his defense of entrapment by showing there was no police inducement.
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Justices: Same-day audio for April 28 gay marriage cases

March 5, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments over same-sex marriage on April 28 and make audio of the proceedings available later that day.
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No new trial for Indiana woman convicted in deadly crash

March 5, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis woman convicted of killing six children and a man in a wrong-way, head-on collision along a state highway will not get a new trial, a judge has ruled.
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Class-action suit against Indiana BMV to go to mediation

March 5, 2015
 Associated Press
A class-action lawsuit that says the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles overcharged customers by millions of dollars is set to go to mediation.
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Courts closed in southern Indiana due to weather

March 5, 2015
IL Staff
Severe weather and emergency travel restrictions have closed several federal courts in southern Indiana. The Evansville and New Albany offices of the U.S. District and Bankruptcy courts for the Southern District of Indiana are closed Thursday. The Clark County Government Building, which houses the Circuit courts, is also closed.
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Patients sue Lilly, claim Cymbalta withdrawal hazards

March 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two federal lawsuits filed in Indianapolis allege Eli Lilly’s top-selling antidepressant Cymbalta caused almost immediate dangerous withdrawal symptoms when patients attempted to stop using the medication.
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Indy Land Bank trial could turn on government wiretaps

March 4, 2015
Cory Schouten
Reginald T. Walton is guilty of "very poor judgment" and "ethics violations," and also "did a pretty good job concealing" his involvement in private real estate partnerships during his tenure leading the Indy Land Bank, but he's not guilty of any crime, his attorney argued in federal court Wednesday.
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SCOTUS sharply divided over Obamacare subsidies

March 4, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States was sharply divided Wednesday in the latest challenge to President Barack Obama's health overhaul, this time over the tax subsidies that make insurance affordable for millions of Americans.
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Judges tweak offender’s amount of credit time awarded

March 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court incorrectly calculated the amount of credit for the time a man had served prior to the revocation of his probation as well as the sentence imposed after the revocation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Ex-IMPD officer’s convictions upheld in 2010 fatal accident

March 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer David Bisard, convicted of drunken-driving offenses after he struck three motorcyclists while responding to a non-emergency call, was not entitled to a mistrial based on juror misconduct issues, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Judge: No 2nd lawyer for defendant in Hartford City killings

March 4, 2015
 Associated Press
A Blackford County judge has denied a request for a second court-appointed lawyer from an eastern Indiana man accused of killing a father and daughter.
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Tsarnaev's lawyer admits client carried out Boston bombing

March 4, 2015
 Associated Press
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev went on trial for his life Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombing with his own lawyer bluntly telling the jury he committed the crime. But she argued that he had fallen under the influence of his older brother.
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Justices take environmental contamination appeal

March 3, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took just one case on transfer last week, a case involving a dispute over coverage for environmental contamination. The Court of Appeals ordered a trial on whether the known loss doctrine would bar insurance coverage, but later found that the “known claim” exclusion applies.
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COA finds man justly fired for violating sexual harassment policy

March 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by an administrative law judge that a nurse was not fired for just cause. The COA noted surprise that the man's claims he was joking when he made sexually inappropriate comments to co-workers led the ALJ to decide the actions did not amount to violation of his employer's sexual harassment policy.
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Man, not state, had priority in breeder’s award proceeds

March 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Marshall County trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Department of Revenue on a man’s attempt to collect breeder’s award proceeds owed to another man who had outstanding tax warrants.
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Cumberland ups ante in fight to save historic church

March 3, 2015
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
Cumberland officials are stepping up their efforts to stop a supermarket and convenience store chain from demolishing a historic church by hiring one of Indianapolis’ top real estate attorneys to argue their appeal.
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Judge's order adds Griffith, Hammond back into state tourney

March 3, 2015
 Associated Press
Two high school basketball teams kicked out of Indiana's state basketball tournament after a bench-clearing brawl have been allowed back in that tournament by a Lake County judge.
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US Supreme Court allows challenge to Colorado Internet tax

March 3, 2015
 Associated Press
A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that federal courts can hear a dispute over Colorado's Internet tax law, a decision that could lay the groundwork for future changes in how states can tax retail sales to companies outside their borders.
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CASA Day at Statehouse set for Monday

March 3, 2015
IL Staff
Hundreds of Indiana court-appointed special advocates will gather Monday for CASA Day at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. The event will be at noon in the north atrium.
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7th Circuit reinstates alleged racketeering lawsuit

March 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of a federal judge to dismiss a man’s lawsuit because it is barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. A man who had his gas station foreclosed upon claimed the defendants acted in cahoots to defraud him out of his business.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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