Courts

Judges make it official: Indy courts moving to justice center

April 28, 2017
IL Staff
Judges of the Marion Circuit and Superior Courts formally announced Thursday that civil and criminal courts will move from the Indianapolis City-County Building to a proposed Criminal Justice Complex on the city’s near-southeast side.
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IU Health, HealthNet to pay $18M to settle false-claims case

April 27, 2017
Indianapolis Business Journal, John Russell
Indiana University Health and HealthNet Inc. have agreed to pay a total of $18 million to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit alleging they submitted claims to the government in violation of anti-kickback laws. Federal and state authorities announced the settlement agreement Thursday afternoon.
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Justices consider use of ‘dark box’ properties in assessments

April 27, 2017
Olivia Covington
Discerning the true meaning of the term “market value-in-use” is the central task now before the Indiana Supreme Court as it considers whether to accept review of a tax case that attorneys say will have a far-reaching effect on Indiana’s assessment system.
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COA: Vectren projects fail to meet TDSIC requirements

April 27, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has pulled the plug on a power company’s plan to hike rates without allowing the public to view and comment on the proposal.
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Trump repeats criticism of court that halted 1st travel ban

April 27, 2017
 Associated Press
President Donald Trump is once again taking aim at a federal appeals court district that covers Western states, saying he is considering breaking up a circuit that is a longtime target of Republicans and is where his first travel ban was halted.
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Justices seem to favor limits on revoking US citizenship

April 27, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States seemed ready Wednesday to impose limits on when the government can strip an immigrant of U.S. citizenship for lying during the naturalization process.
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OWI charge vacated on double jeopardy concerns

April 27, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed one count of operating while intoxicated against a Columbus man, finding that merging the two counts together for sentencing purposes does not satisfy double jeopardy concerns.
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Justices consider case involving rejected doctrine of res gestae

April 27, 2017
Olivia Covington
In a case that defense counsel warns could allow the concept of res gestae to be reintroduced into the Indiana judiciary, the justices of the Indiana Supreme Court considered whether a gun that was not brandished during a northern Indiana altercation was relevant evidence that led to the appellants’ convictions.
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COA reverses protective order on basis of res judicata

April 27, 2017
Olivia Covington
In a case that Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Rudolph Pyle described as a “prime example of forum shopping,” the appellate court has reversed the grant of a petitioner’s third petition for a protective order because the petition is barred by the doctrine of res judicata.
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7th Circuit affirms summary judgment to casino employees

April 27, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment for two security agents at a northern Indiana casino, finding the plaintiff’s argument that she never received a copy of the motion for summary judgment unpersuasive.
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Supreme Court: General contractor assumed duty to sub-subcontractor through contract

April 27, 2017
Olivia Covington
A general contractor assumed a non-delegable duty of care to the employee of a sub-subcontractor through its contractual language, the Indiana Supreme Court decided Wednesday, reversing summary judgment to the general contractor on the issue of duty.
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JNC sends letter to Holcomb about 3 justice finalists

April 27, 2017
Olivia Covington
The clock is now ticking for Gov. Eric Holcomb to select Indiana’s next Supreme Court justice after he received an official letter describing the three finalists for a seat on the bench from Chief Justice Loretta Rush and the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission.
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Law school dean placed on leave sues university

April 26, 2017
 Associated Press
The dean of the University of Cincinnati's law school is suing the university, saying she was illegally placed on administrative leave.
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Audit finds courts 'in disarray' after police killing

April 26, 2017
 Associated Press
An audit launched in the wake of unrest following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, found the city's court system "in disarray" and disorganized, according to a report released Wednesday by the Missouri state auditor.
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Michigan company's highway sign trademark ruled not harmful

April 26, 2017
 Associated Press
A federal judge has rejected an argument from state officials that a northern Michigan company's trademark of the highway sign M-22 violates federal law.
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Laid-off DOC teachers get partial victory in appeal challenging protocol

April 26, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Department of Correction followed appropriate protocol when it laid off several institutional teachers in 2009, a divided Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday. The court did find, however, the DOC erred in the process of selecting those employees for re-employment in other positions.
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COA reverses dissolution decree imputing potential income to mother

April 26, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the terms of a marriage dissolution decree, finding the trial court erred in imputing potential income to the mother based on the fact that she should now be able to work full-time because her children are older.
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Indiana Supreme Court denies death penalty statute appeal

April 26, 2017
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court has turned down the request of a Gary man accused of slaying seven women to look at the constitutionality of the state's death penalty statute before he goes to trial.
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Judge cites Trump's comment in 'sanctuary city' ruling

April 26, 2017
 Associated Press
For the third time in two months, a federal judge has knocked down an immigration order by President Donald Trump and used Trump's own language against him.
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Suit takes aim at Indiana religious-affiliated charter schools

April 25, 2017
Dave Stafford
A Monroe County nonprofit organization has sued the state and a charter school, seeking to block its funding because the group argues that taking tax dollars from public schools for the benefit of private religious institutions violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
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Clarksville man gets 35 years in abuse death of 3-year-old

April 25, 2017
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty in the child abuse death of his former girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.
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Divided justices: Statute provides immunity to firearms sellers

April 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
Holding that state statute immunizes firearms sellers from damages claims brought after a third party misuses a gun purchased from their stores, a divided Indiana Supreme Court has dismissed a series of damages claims against an Indianapolis gun store. The justices did allow a claim for equitable relief to continue.
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Republicans in position to reshape federal bench

April 24, 2017
 Associated Press
Republicans have put President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee on the bench, and they're now in a position to fill dozens more federal judgeships — and reshape some of the nation's highest courts.
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Gorsuch faced early test in court's life-and-death power

April 24, 2017
 Associated Press
Just 11 days on the job, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch had an early taste of the weighty power that sometimes comes to a member of the nation's highest court.
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Supreme Court turns away GM appeal over ignition switches

April 24, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday turned away an appeal from General Motors Co. seeking to block dozens of lawsuits over faulty ignition switches that one plaintiffs' attorney said could expose the company to billions of dollars in additional claims.
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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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