Courts

Permanent retroactivity applied to crack-cocaine sentence reductions

July 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Thousands of federal inmates nationally and more than 200 from Indiana could get time shaved off their prison terms for crack-cocaine convictions, after the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to make reductions retroactive starting later this year.
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Appeals court reverses District Court on overtime pay

July 1, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a District Court’s finding that a tow truck driver was not entitled to overtime pay.
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Hammond traffic judge faces misconduct charges

June 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Hammond City Judge Jeffrey A. Harkin faces three misconduct charges for operating an illegal traffic school deferral program and dismissing cases without assessing required fees, as well as dissuading one litigant from contesting a seatbelt violation in court.
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Court orders new arson trial

June 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for a man convicted of arson because the trial court erred in letting the state amend the charging information after it had read the original charges to the jury.
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COA turns to dictionary in contract dispute

June 30, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Citing Black’s Law Dictionary’s definitions of “solicit” and “induce,” the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s finding that a software company did not violate terms of its contract with another business.
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Lawmakers discuss scope of police entry case

June 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Bedford lawyer-legislator says a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision on resisting police entry has resulted in more feedback from attorneys and residents statewide than he’s experienced since the daylight saving time debate.
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Justices split on recovery of attorney fees under Adult Wrongful Death Statute

June 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court issued three opinions June 29 dealing with what fees are recoverable under the Adult Wrongful Death Statute, holding that attorney fees, litigation expenses, and loss of services can be recovered. Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and Justice Robert Rucker dissented in each decision, believing that those fees aren’t allowed under the statute.
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High court divided on revising molester's sentence

June 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Two justices dissented from their colleague’s decision to reduce a child molester’s sentence more than 50 years, believing the opinion “blurs the guidance” given in a 2008 opinion regarding sentence reviews.
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Justices: Child placement statutes are constitutional

June 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In a much-anticipated ruling, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled three statutes relating to juvenile judges’ authority on out-of-state placement cases are constitutional and that the Department of Child Services has statutory power to consider costs when considering those placements.
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Hearing officer finds in Carl Brizzi's favor in disciplinary action

June 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A hearing officer recommends that disciplinary charges be dismissed against ex-Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, and now it’s up to the Indiana Supreme Court to consider the case.
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High court divided on public intoxication charge

June 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In deciding that a woman’s public intoxication conviction should stand, four Indiana Supreme Court justices declined to reverse her conviction on public policy grounds and found the conviction didn’t violate any constitutional right.
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Court: Man may be classified as sexually violent predator

June 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled 4-1 that classifying a man as a sexually violent predator due to an amendment to the Sex Offender Registration Act doesn’t violate Indiana’s prohibition of ex post facto laws or the doctrine of separation of powers.
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Attorney general appealing Planned Parenthood decision

June 29, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed a notice of appeal regarding the recent decision by U.S. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt to halt enforcement of a new law which withholds funding from abortion providers.
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Justices reduce molester's sentence to 110 years

June 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court found that an enhanced sentence for a man convicted of nine counts of molesting his girlfriend’s young daughter is warranted, but reduced the man’s 324-year sentence to 110 years.
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Court of Appeals dismisses termination-order appeal

June 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Because the parents of six children who were removed from their home did not timely initiate the appeal of termination of their parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed their appeal.
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Recount commission rules in favor of secretary of state

June 28, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White will remain in office. The Indiana Recount Commission voted 3-0 in favor of White, finding the Indiana Democratic Party didn’t provide sufficient evidence that White wasn’t eligible to take office.
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Justices take certified question on railroad issue

June 27, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted a certified question posed by the United States Court of Federal Claims regarding railbanking and interim trail use.
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High Court accepts 7 transfers

June 27, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has taken seven cases on transfer, including a case in which the lower appellate court was split on a construction manager’s duty to an injured worker.
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Judge: Man did not knowingly waive right to counsel

June 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge raised six points in a dissent Monday as to why he disagreed with his colleagues’ decision to affirm the revocation of a man’s probation based on the conclusion that the defendant knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived his right to counsel.
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Appellate court divided over trust liability

June 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split Monday in a probate suit involving whether trustees failed to distribute a portion of the trust corpus in a timely manner. The majority upheld finding the trustees liable, but ordered a re-evaluation of compensatory damages and attorney fees.
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Judges halt enforcement of challenged laws

June 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Two federal judges issued preliminary injunctions June 24 preventing parts of two new controversial laws regarding immigration and funding of Planned Parenthood of Indiana from being enforced.
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Women accused of operating 'puppy mill' file lawsuit

June 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The mother and daughter who were accused of running a “puppy mill” and had animals removed from their homes as a result of tax law violations are now suing the Indiana attorney general and others involved in the removal of the dogs.
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COA: filing of commitment report is a procedural requirement

June 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide whether the timely filing of a doctor’s report in an involuntary commitment is a jurisdictional prerequisite or a procedural requirement.
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Justices rule on cases using 3-step test seeking records

June 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court tackled the issue of requests for production of information to private third parties in two opinions Thursday – one dealing with records sought that fall under the victim-advocate privilege and the other dealing with unprotected information.
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Justices discuss jury unanimity in molestation cases

June 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court addressed the issue of unanimous jury verdicts in child molesting cases Thursday, and adopted reasoning from the California Supreme Court when dealing with the “either/or” rule in cases where multiple instances are mentioned but the defendant faces only one charge.
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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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