Courts

Court affirms valuation of hoof trimming business

January 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering an ex-husband to pay a portion of an expert’s fee for valuating his hoof trimming business upon the dissolution of his marriage, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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COA affirms Notre Dame not responsible for treatment unrelated to work injury

January 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed on Thursday the decision by the Worker’s Compensation Board that a University of Notre Dame employee had reached maximum medical improvement from her work-related injury.
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Construction manager owed no duty to injured independently contracted employee

January 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Based on the contracts between Ivy Tech Community College, the contract manager it hired and an independent contractor, no duty of care existed between the contract manager and the employees of contractors, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Campaign finance protest, hidden camera disrupt high court

January 22, 2015
 Associated Press
For the second time in 11 months, opponents of the Supreme Court of the United States rulings lifting limits on money in political campaigns briefly disrupted proceedings in the courtroom and embarrassed the court by managing to get a camera past court security.
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ESPN sues Notre Dame over police records involving athletes

January 22, 2015
 Associated Press
ESPN has filed a lawsuit against University of Notre Dame, alleging the school is violating Indiana's public record laws by withholding police incident reports about possible campus crimes involving certain student-athletes.
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New Albany attorney named part-time magistrate judge

January 21, 2015
IL Staff
A senior partner with Kightlinger & Gray LLP has been selected as a part-time magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Court dismisses 11 property tax exemption appeals for lack of jurisdiction

January 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Tax Judge Martha Wentworth dismissed the challenges brought by 11 cooperatives regarding the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s denial of their appeals after their property tax exemptions were revoked. The judge found the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear the cases.
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Renovation bids open for Vanderburgh County courthouse

January 21, 2015
 Associated Press
Vanderburgh County officials have begun reviewing bids for the renovation of the third floor at the 126-year-old courthouse in downtown Evansville.
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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
Indianapolis Business Journal, Kathleen McLaughlin
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
Indianapolis Business Journal, 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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  1. 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.

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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