Courts

7th Circuit vacates plea, reverses 15-year sentence for illegal possession of a firearm

July 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana man’s 15-year sentence for possession of a firearm in violation of the Armed Career Criminal Act has been reversed after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined one of the man’s prior convictions did not constitute a violent felony and, thus, did not qualify him for a sentence above the 10-year statutory maximum.
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Supreme Court remands attempted murder case for reconsideration

July 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Bloomfield man convicted of felony attempted murder will not get a new trial after the Indiana Supreme Court decided his case instead warranted reconsideration by trial court.
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15 in Indiana face Medicaid fraud indictments topping $1M

July 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
Fifteen people around Indiana have been indicted on Medicaid fraud-related charges, Attorney General Curtis Hill’s office announced Thursday, as part of a national crackdown involving state and federal agencies. The indictments alleged more than $1 million in fraud to Medicaid resulting from illegal activities from false billing and prescription abuses to money laundering.
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Judge rules for National Lampoon, against fraudster Durham

July 12, 2017
Dave Stafford
National Lampoon will have to get in line with other victims who are owed millions after Indianapolis Ponzi scheme mastermind Tim Durham’s looted of more than $208 million from investors in Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. Any recovery by the comedy conglomerate following a Monday court ruling is likely to assist Fair Finance victims.
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COA rejects declaratory relief petition challenging molestation convictions

July 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
A southern Indiana man cannot seek declaratory relief after he was convicted on multiple counts of child molesting because the Indiana Court of Appeals found his challenge to be an attempt to circumvent Indiana’s established appellate procedures.
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State, DuPont both get partial victories in appeal of assessments

July 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Tax Court has granted partial summary judgment to the Indiana Department of State Revenue and a Delaware-based industrial, agricultural and manufacturing business after finding both parties erred in their filing and assessments of 2005 through 2007 tax returns.
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Agreement stops Marion County Sheriff from holding immigrants for ICE

July 12, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
An agreement between the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis will stop the Marion County Sheriff’s Department from detaining immigrants for the federal government.
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DCS caseworker must face damages trial in illegal search suit

July 12, 2017
Dave Stafford
A federal judge ruled against a Department of Child Services case manager who illegally searched an Indianapolis veterinarian’s apartment after receiving a report of suspected child abuse or neglect. The case manager now must face a damages trial in the vet’s civil suit against her.
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TV station challenging ban on airing court audio

July 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
A case currently before the Indiana Court of Appeals could have a precedential effect on the process judges must go through before prohibiting the broadcasting of court recordings, as a northern Indiana TV station argues for answers as to why it was banned from airing a court-provided recording of a sentencing hearing in a high-profile case.
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State appeals ruling that suspended death penalty

July 12, 2017
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Court of Appeals decision that suspended executions in the state violated the separation of powers and resulted in new, unintended burdens that could lead to “dysfunction” in carrying out executions, the state argues in seeking transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Fresh cases setting precedents in mental health law

July 12, 2017
Dave Stafford
Under what circumstances may someone be excluded from a hearing to determine whether they should be committed for mental health treatment? The Indiana Court of Appeals grappled with that question during oral arguments June 28, just one day after another panel ruled on another matter of first impression regarding involuntary commitment — the court itself noting scarce caselaw.
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Michigan sports doctor pleads guilty in child porn case

July 11, 2017
 Associated Press
A former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor pleaded guilty Tuesday to possessing child pornography, admitting he tried to get rid of the evidence last fall while police were investigating allegations that he had sexually assaulted young female athletes.
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Trump sued for blocking some of his critics on Twitter

July 11, 2017
 Associated Press
First Amendment advocates are suing President Donald Trump, saying some of his critics have been unconstitutionally blocked from following him on Twitter.
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Judgment for police affirmed despite ‘insufficient’ abuse response

July 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
Though an Indiana sheriff’s department’s response to a woman’s multiple domestic violence claims against her boyfriend, who was a sheriff’s deputy, may have been “insufficient,” the woman failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove her claims against the department should go to trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled.
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Mental exam ordered for Indiana mom who suffocated her kids

July 11, 2017
 Associated Press
A judge in Fort Wayne on Monday ordered a mental competency exam for an Indiana woman who pleaded guilty but mentally ill in the suffocation deaths of her two children last year and still faces charges in the fatal shooting of a neighbor.
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Ex-USA Gymnastics doctor to plead guilty to having child porn

July 11, 2017
 Associated Press
A former sports doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics is taking a step toward resolving one of four criminal cases against him in Michigan.
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Arguments set in Lake Michigan lakeshore rights case

July 10, 2017
IL Staff
Oral arguments in a case that could establish caselaw on a dispute between public and private claims to the shore of Lake Michigan will be heard Sept. 28.
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MI Supreme Court wants to hear more about lawyer's windfall

July 10, 2017
 Associated Press
The Michigan Supreme Court is digging deeper into the case of a lawyer and his sons who inherited millions of dollars from a client.
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Hawaii takes another shot at Trump's travel ban

July 10, 2017
 Associated Press
Hawaii has returned to federal court with a new motion in its challenge to Trump administration travel ban rules regarding citizens from six majority Muslim countries.
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Incomes up, bankruptcy filings down in 2016

July 10, 2017
IL Staff
Bankruptcy filings in Indiana slipped slightly in 2016 while average monthly income inched higher, mirroring a national trend highlighted in the annual report filed by the Judiciary with the U.S. Congress.
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Marion County courts seek comments on proposed bail rule changes

July 10, 2017
IL Staff
The Marion County courts are seeking comments from legal professionals and members of the public on proposed amendments to local rules dealing with bail.
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Supreme Court seeking comments on proposed rule changes

July 10, 2017
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Appellate Technology section is soliciting feedback on proposed changes to four areas of Indiana judicial procedure.
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3 Chicago officers plead not guilty in Laquan McDonald case

July 10, 2017
 Associated Press
Three Chicago police officers have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to cover up what happened the night a white officer shot a black teenager 16 times.
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Man found incompetent for trial in Lake Co. strangulations

July 10, 2017
 Associated Press
A handyman facing murder charges for fatally strangling two Lake County women has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.
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Reports: Plea in child porn case signed by ex-USA gymnastics doctor

July 10, 2017
 Associated Press
A plea deal could be in the works for a former doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics charged in federal court with obtaining and possessing child pornography.
More
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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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