Courts

Insurer on the hook for nearly $64,000 in home repairs following storm

November 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An insurance company, based on the terms of its policy, is required to cover storm damage to the home of a northern Indiana couple, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday. The insurer argued deteriorated shingles were the cause of the water damage in the home.
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COA affirms South Dakota law applies to personal injury case

November 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior Court did not err when it decided that the location of an accident involving a drowsy driver – South Dakota – should be the applicable law in a case brought in Indiana.
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Appeals court weighing Indiana strip club dispute

November 5, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court is now considering whether northeastern Indiana city officials acted properly when they prevented a strip club from opening.
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Teen gets Marion County summons to serve on jury

November 5, 2014
 Associated Press
A Speedway High School freshman on Monday received a summons in the mail to serve on a jury in Marion County.
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Second chance law needs a second look

November 5, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys say Indiana's expungement law still has issues that the Legislature needs to fix.
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Defendant argues jury erred by disregarding experts

November 5, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A Steuben County man convicted of attempted murder by a jury of his peers is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to take the rare step of reversing the verdict on the grounds the jury ignored evidence that he was delusional on the day he committed the crime.
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Serving those who served

November 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
More veterans courts are popping up around the state, with a focus on individual treatment and establishing mentorships.
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Group challenges Marion County Criminal Justice Complex bed plan

November 5, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
A grassroots, church-based organization is trying to stir up voter interest in Marion County’s plan for a new criminal justice complex and questioning the need to expand jail capacity.
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Technology helps aid non-English-speaking litigants but has limits

November 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
Remote connections for interpreting services are becoming more common in courts and legal proceedings. Speakers of Arabic, Mandarin, Punjabi and countless other languages and dialects are entitled to understand proceedings and communicate, but there isn’t always a qualified interpreter who can show up in person.
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Disciplinary Actions - 11/5/14

November 5, 2014
IL Staff
Read who has received a public reprimand, been suspended or resigned from the bar.
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New judge takes Lake County bench

November 4, 2014
IL Staff
Bruce D. Parent has taken his seat on the Lake Superior Court bench.
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Justices take trio of criminal cases

November 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court added three criminal cases to its docket last week.
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Judge: Heroin use is driving explosion in CHINS filings

November 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
More than 25,000 Marion County youths have been referred to juvenile court this year for adjudication as children in need of services, an increase of more than 35 percent compared to last year.
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DCS supervisor testimony did not sway case against father

November 3, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Allowing a child services supervisor’s hearsay testimony about a father’s fitness to retain his parental rights was, at most, a harmless error, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Judge rejects bid for injunction in Indianapolis judicial elections

November 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge last week denied a request from Democratic candidates who sued to be placed on Tuesday’s general election ballot for Marion Superior judge.
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Southern District opens comment period on proposed rule changes

November 3, 2014
IL Staff
The federal court for the Southern District of Indiana will accept comments through the end of November on proposed rule changes pertaining to filing under seal and non-electronic filing.
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Summary judgment inappropriate in light of pending discovery

October 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Noting a pending discovery may still turn up answers, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a summary judgment and allowed a feud between former business partners to continue.
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Treatment facility that released patient information not entitled to summary judgment

October 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who says he is suffering negative repercussions after a mental health facility released his medical information to a family member will be able to move forward with his case in court.
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COA: Insurance agent did not have duty to advise

October 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of an agent and an insurance company after the owner of a pub sued them believing they owed a duty to advise that the policy the pub chose would be insufficient to cover the replacement cost of the building.
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Judges affirm county commissioners can sue attorney for legal malpractice

October 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court did not err in denying an attorney’s motion to dismiss a legal malpractice claim brought against him by Clark County’s Board of Commissioners and Aviation Board, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Trial court lacked authority to order dad to pay for child’s college

October 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Tackling an issue of first impression involving a request for payment of post-secondary education expenses, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that a child support order under I.C. 31-16-6-6 refers to the parties’ most recent order concerning support.
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7th Circuit will hear killer’s appeal en banc

October 31, 2014
IL Staff
The full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether an Arkansas man on death row should die for killing a Texas woman nearly 20 years ago. The judges decided Wednesday to grant Bruce Carneil Webster’s petition for rehearing en banc.
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COA dismisses appeal as moot since inmate has been released

October 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man who was sent to the Department of Correction after his community corrections placement was revoked has been released from prison, his appeal is moot, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Judges dismiss appeal of small claims judgment as untimely

October 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding an auto dealer untimely appealed the denial of his motion to correct error regarding a judgment in favor of a buyer, the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal.
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Trial of surgeon in murder plot may be moved

October 31, 2014
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana surgeon accused of plotting to kill his ex-wife and make it look like suicide could get a change of venue for his upcoming trial.
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  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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