Courts

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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Indiana students fight to display pro-abortion rights sign

May 3, 2017
 Associated Press
Students at a suburban Indiana high school who were told they couldn't hang a pro-abortion rights sign in the cafeteria are turning to the courts, arguing that another student group was allowed to put up an anti-abortion sign last year.
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Indiana city court burdened with large caseload

May 3, 2017
 Associated Press
A northwestern Indiana city's municipal court is facing a caseload that far exceeds the combined number of pending cases for the rest of the city and town courts in its county.
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Groth's attorney not surprised by Supreme Court's denial of transfer

May 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court’s decision to deny transfer to an open records case involving former Gov. Mike Pence did not come as a surprise to those involved in or who had followed the case closely.
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Judge approves $227M in FedEx driver suit settlements

May 3, 2017
Dave Stafford
FedEx Corp. will pay more than $227 million to settle some of the long-running lawsuits brought by drivers in Indiana and 18 others states who claim they were undercompensated because the company classified them as independent contractors rather than full-time workers.
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7th Circuit dismisses juvenile’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction

May 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a juvenile’s appeal of an order that he submit to a psychological examination, finding that the court does not yet have jurisdiction to hear the case.
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Magistrate Judge Baker appointed to federal board

May 3, 2017
IL Staff
United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has appointed Magistrate Judge Tim Baker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to the board of directors of the Federal Judicial Center, making him the only magistrate judge to hold a board position.
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Justices affirm life sentences for Richmond Hill mastermind

May 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
The man convicted as the architect of a November 2012 home explosion that left two people dead and dozens of others injured will spend the rest of his life in prison after the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed his murder convictions and life without parole sentences on Tuesday.
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Holcomb to choose next Supreme Court justice from trio of trial court judges

May 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
The three people Gov. Eric Holcomb is considering as the next Indiana Supreme Court justice are a repeat-finalist former Gov. Mike Pence considered for the same position last year; a candidate who is a decade younger than the rest of the court; and a southern Indiana trial court judge elected to the bench as a Democrat.
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Unique Indy merit-selection system replaces voided elections, faces likely challenges

May 3, 2017
Dave Stafford
Judges in Indianapolis won’t have to worry about running for election in the future, but they will face up-or-down retention votes under a bill signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb April 27. The system to replace the current one ruled unconstitutional was adopted by lawmakers despite warnings that the new system also is spoiling for a fight in court.
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Mediators seeing a rise in attorneys arriving unprepared

May 3, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The rustling of papers and the sight of attorneys sifting through documents to find information has led Vanessa Lopez Aguilera to conclude attorneys increasingly are arriving unprepared for mediation.
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Pro bono reporting results draw mixed reaction

May 3, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The first round of data collected from Indiana’s new pro bono reporting rule invoked opposing reactions among the members of the Coalition for Court Access who recently reviewed the numbers. Some thought the amount of time and money lawyers donated to legal aid was shameful, while others were thrilled with the level of giving.
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Disciplinary Actions -5/3/17

May 3, 2017
IL Staff
Read who has recently been suspended.
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Trucking company target of several lawsuits

May 2, 2017
Indianapolis Business Journal
At least 16 law firms, most of them based in New York City, have issued press releases in recent days saying they have filed lawsuits against an Indianapolis-based trucking company or are investigating doing so.
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Supreme Court hears INDOT case during Rucker’s final oral arguments

May 2, 2017
Olivia Covington
In his last oral arguments on the bench of the Indiana Supreme Court, Justice Robert Rucker and three other justices considered the public standing doctrine and the concept of parens patriae as they weighed granting transfer to a case involving a dispute between a state agency and a local municipality.
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Indiana woman pleads guilty in abuse death of daughter, 3

May 2, 2017
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana woman has pleaded guilty in her 3-year-old daughter's abuse death and injuries suffered by the girl's older sibling.
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Common Cause, NAACP sue over Marion County early voting

May 2, 2017
Dave Stafford
Marion County’s single location for early voting provides unequal access to the ballot, argues a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by Common Cause and the NAACP. Plaintiffs in the case allege Indianapolis’ sole early voting precinct is discriminatory and constitutes voter suppression.
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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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