Courts

Simon sues insurance companies over fatal escalator accident

June 27, 2014
Scott Olson
Simon Property Group Inc. has filed suit against two insurance companies in an attempt to recoup damages relating to an escalator accident at Circle Centre mall in 2009 that led to the death of a Texas FFA delegate.
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Deed provisions are not vague, COA rules

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the trial court erred in construing the provision of a plaintiff’s deed in a dispute over use of parking areas, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the finding of the existence of a prescriptive easement allowing dance academy customers to use portions of land owned by a neighboring company for ingress and egress from the academy’s property.
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COA: Bank could charge back account after check is lost

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man who withdrew nearly all of the money in a bank account is personally liable to pay back that money to the bank, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The bank had lost a check deposited into the account and the account holder was unable to help the bank identify the check writer to obtain a replacement check.
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10th Circuit ruling pushes gay marriage closer to Supreme Court

June 26, 2014
 Associated Press
The first ruling by a federal appeals court that states cannot prevent gay couples from marrying makes it more likely the Supreme Court of the United States will ultimately have to make a decision it has so far avoided — do states have the ability to prohibit same-sex marriage?
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Some Indiana clerks refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses

June 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge’s ruling declaring Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional doesn’t trump a clerk’s religious convictions in one county. Elsewhere, county clerks are being instructed that it’s up to them whether they issue licenses to gay couples.
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Landlords timely delivered itemized damages notice to former tenants

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The date a tenant provides her forwarding address to her landlord triggers the 45-day period the landlord has to deliver the itemized damages to the tenant, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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COA affirms order that child should remain in Indiana with father

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court erred in concluding that a Johnson County mother did not relocate to South Carolina for legitimate reasons, the court correctly ordered her son to remain in Indiana with his father, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Church lacks standing to appeal order preventing erection of crosses on city property

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville church that sought to display multiple six-foot-tall crosses along the city’s public Riverfront cannot appeal the court order that prevents the city from allowing the display, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Clark County loses request to impose excess property tax levy

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Noting that the Clark County Council made the conscious decision to not levy the maximum amount of property taxes allowed by statute for the 2008 budget year, it cannot now claim that decision is somehow a data error that the Department of Local Government Finance could later correct, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Wednesday.
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COA: Questions remain whether proper notice given after tax sale

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, citing several questions of fact in a case involving a tax sale, affirmed denial of summary judgment for a mortgagee that sought to set aside the issuance of a tax deed.
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Indiana attorney general appeals marriage ruling

June 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is fighting Wednesday’s decision that overturned the state’s marriage law.
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Indiana attorney general appeals marriage ruling

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is fighting Wednesday’s decision that overturned the state’s marriage law.
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Marriage ruling brings Indiana same-sex couples to the courthouse

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl, Dave Stafford
Together more than eight years, Craig Bowen and Jake Miller finally got to say “I do.” The men made history June 25 when they became the first legally wed same-sex couple in Marion County. The pair went to the Marion County Clerk of the Court’s office shortly after a federal judge ruling the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
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'Get a warrant' to search cellphones, justices say

June 25, 2014
 Associated Press
In an emphatic defense of privacy in the digital age, a unanimous Supreme Court of the United States ruled Wednesday that police generally may not search the cellphones of people they arrest without first getting search warrants.
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COA orders hearing to determine juror bias against plaintiff

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a trial court should have ordered an evidentiary hearing to determine whether a juror in an auto accident case was biased against the plaintiff instead of ordering a new trial regarding damages.
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Court correctly denied petition to expunge felony conviction

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, citing a recent expungement case involving a misdemeanor conviction, agreed with the rationale of that panel that if a person violates the terms of probation, that person did not successfully complete his sentence.
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Judges divided over whether city attorney could participate in demolition decision

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Two judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday believed that a Hammond resident didn’t have the benefit of an impartial decision maker in the proceeding that ordered demolition of his property. They believed the city attorney, whose office prosecuted the case, couldn’t sit on the city board that conducted the hearing.
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COA split on retroactive application of Transfer on Death Property Act

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed Wednesday that a trial court erred in concluding a promissory note executed between a mother and son is an asset of the mother’s estate, although the panel was split as to why the court erred.
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COA: Dispute with camp should be heard in White County

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The YMCA Camp Tecumseh’s quest to stay a zoning decision that allows a confined feeding operation to set up shop next to the camp’s property should be heard in White County, not Carroll County where the camp is located, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Indiana same-sex marriage ban overturned

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Federal Judge Richard Young has overturned Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, finding the law violates the 14th Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses.
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Judge: Library did not comply with public notice requirements

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Tuesday upheld the decision by the state to reject appropriations and levies associated with the Speedway Public Library’s 2011 budget because proper public notice regarding the budget wasn’t given.
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Houchin new chair of Indiana prosecutors group

June 25, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council has elected Washington County Prosecutor Dustin Houchin as chairman of its board of directors.
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Court must consider loss of use when determining damages in a replevin action

June 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday ordered a trial court to factor in the loss of use of a semi-tractor in a replevin action. It emphasized to the lower court that the amount of damages in a replevin action must be limited to a reasonable amount.
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7th Circuit, Bankruptcy Court seek comment on rule changes

June 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana want to hear from attorneys about proposed rule changes.
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7th Circuit denies convicted murderer habeas relief

June 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana man who was denied habeas relief, arguing his trial attorney was ineffective for not trying to suppress as evidence clothing he had given to police after his arrest, lost his appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday.
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  5. 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.

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