Courts

Woman agrees to testify against others in Indiana explosion

January 21, 2015
 Associated Press
A woman charged in a deadly 2012 house explosion in Indianapolis agreed Tuesday to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit arson and testify against at least two other people in the fiery natural gas blast that damaged dozens of homes.
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Indiana diocese asks judge to toss jury's in vitro verdict

January 21, 2015
 Associated Press
A Roman Catholic diocese wants a federal judge to throw out a jury's verdict that it discriminated against a former teacher fired for trying to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization.
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House committee to hear magistrate bills

January 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Bills that would provide magistrates for three circuit courts in Southern Indiana are scheduled to be considered Jan. 21 by the Indiana House of Representatives Courts and Criminal Code Committee.
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Court of Appeals modifying opinion and order format

January 20, 2015
IL Staff
Beginning Monday, opinions and orders issue from the Indiana Court of Appeals will look different.
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Woman loses claim for additional retroactive retirement benefits

January 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A retired teacher is not entitled to an additional six months of retroactive retirement benefits from the Indiana Public Retirement System, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday. Indiana law limits an INPRS member to only six months of retroactive retirement benefits.
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US Supreme Court rules for bearded Muslim inmate

January 20, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court is siding with a Muslim prison inmate in Arkansas who sued for the right to grow a short beard for religious reasons.
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Meijer tax ruling may reverberate statewide

January 20, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
Big-box retailers could see their Indiana property-tax bills slashed in half because of a recent court decision that favored Meijer over Marion County.
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Menard accused of witness tampering

January 19, 2015
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
The gritty legal battle between hardware store titan John Menard Jr. and Indianapolis power couple Steve and Tomisue Hilbert now includes this accusation: trying to buy off a witness.
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US Supreme Court sets stage for historic gay rights ruling

January 19, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court is getting back in the marriage business. The justices agreed Friday to decide a major civil rights question: whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution.
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Defendant in deadly Indiana explosion agrees to plea deal

January 19, 2015
 Associated Press
One of three people charged in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion has reached a plea agreement, prosecutors said Friday — something an outside defense attorney said could mean a stronger case against the other two.
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Strong smell of marijuana makes strip search justified

January 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the man was arrested for a misdemeanor, the strong odor of marijuana that engulfed him gave law enforcement officers justification to conduct a strip search and did not violate his constitutional rights.
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Nativity lawsuit brings new county ordinance

January 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Franklin County Board of Commissioners approved a “public forum ordinance” this week in response to the ongoing lawsuit over a nativity scene displayed on the county’s courthouse lawn during the holiday season.
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Appeals panel affirms CHINS adjudication

January 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two children were properly adjudicated in need of services, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded in affirming a trial court.
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Federal courts warn of threatening jury duty scam calls

January 16, 2015
IL Staff
Federal courts are warning residents of scam phone calls threatening prosecution for failure to comply with jury service, according to an alert released Thursday by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Justices uphold convictions in second trial after partial deadlock

January 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday upheld the convictions of a man involved in a fatal drunken-driving crash. The defendant was retried on all charges after a jury convicted him on some counts and deadlocked on others.
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$1.8M verdict against Walgreen for pharmacist’s data breach stands

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected Thursday several claims raised by Walgreen Co. on rehearing, holding that the company and its pharmacists are liable for damages sustained by the plaintiff after the pharmacist divulged her prescription records to a third party.
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Counsel’s ‘risky’ trial strategy is not considered ineffective

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial attorney who decided to pursue a trial strategy in a theft case that did not request a jury instruction on the lesser-include offense of criminal conversion did not provide ineffective assistance of counsel, the Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA reverses sentence based on a ‘suspect enhancement’

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a judge was clearly influenced by a jury’s not-guilty decision on another drug charge when he sentenced a defendant for cocaine possession, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the man’s sentence reduced.
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Full 7th Circuit declines to rehear right-to-work appeal

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An even split among all of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judges as to whether to rehear an appeal challenging Indiana’s right-to-work law means that its previous affirmation of the law will stand.
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Defense wants statements omitted at Indiana fatal fire trial

January 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Defense attorneys for an Evansville man accused of starting a deadly March fire have asked a judge to keep statements he made to police from being used at trial.
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Lawmakers: Longer sentences, more police will deter crime

January 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Harsher sentences and an increased police presence can help fight crime in Indiana, Republican state senators said Wednesday.
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Rush proposes business court, makes pitch for e-filing funding

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
In her first State of Judiciary speech, Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush on Wednesday said the judiciary is “currently working on the development of a business court model focused on complex commercial litigation,” and urged the General Assembly to help fund the courts’ electronic filing initiative.
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7th Circuit upholds use of GPS unit on car in 2011

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that his motion to suppress drugs and guns found by police at a storage locker through the use of a GPS unit should have been granted because attaching the device to his car for purposes of gathering information was a search under the Fourth Amendment.
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Court orders termination of spousal maintenance following ex-wife’s remarriage

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who remarried and now has substantial income and assets as a result of that marriage is no longer entitled to spousal maintenance, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Teen injured in stage collapse loses challenge of tort liability

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Cincinnati girl who was injured when a concert stage collapsed in 2011 at the Indiana State Fair and later declined to settle with the state lost her challenge that the tort claim caps are unconstitutional, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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  1. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

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