Courts

SCOTUS accepts Indiana offender-registry case

September 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The nation's highest court has taken an Indiana case that asks whether someone can be criminally prosecuted under a federal sex-offense registry law if that defendant's underlying offense and move to another state predated the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act's passage.
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COA splits on cheek-swab requirements

September 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A split Indiana Court of Appeals ruled taking a cheek swab for DNA testing requires reasonable suspicion only, not probable cause, under federal and state constitutions.
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Judges dissent on search after 'knock and talk'

September 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues' view that a police "knock and talk" investigation didn't violate a man's rights under the Indiana Constitution, fearing the circumstances of the case could lead to a general distrust of law enforcement.
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Escaping execution

September 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Exoneree joins statewide campaign calling for a death-penalty moratorium.
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Recent changes impact state justice system

September 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
National and state advocates pushing for wrongful conviction reforms judged that Indiana was behind other jurisdictions in strengthening its justice system, but they emphasized that ongoing discussions were a good starting point for the Hoosier legal community.
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Court: Association has no standing to sue

September 29, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a landowners association lacked standing to sue over the rezoning of property despite the argument that its claim survives under the "public standing doctrine."
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7th Circuit discovery pilot program starts Oct. 1

September 29, 2009
IL Staff
The first phase of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals' Electronic Discovery Pilot Program kicks off Thursday.
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Longtime Owen County prosecutor dies

September 29, 2009
IL Staff
The longest consecutive serving prosecutor in Indiana died Sept. 26. Owen County Prosecutor Allan Fountain was 64.
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Court erred in ordering DCS to pay costs

September 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of Child Services isn't responsible for the costs of a minor's secure detention because it never entered into a written agreement with the juvenile court to cover the costs, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA: findings don't support attorney fees

September 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals remanded a case today involving attorney fees - the appellate court questioned whether the Indiana High School Athletic Association was trying to dissuade appeals by athletes - because the findings of the case currently don't support the judgment.
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Court split on if lab tech must testify

September 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The state's highest court was split in its ruling on whether the failure of a lab technician who processed DNA evidence to testify at a man's trial violated his Sixth Amendment rights.
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High court grants transfer Thursday

September 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Thursday to a case questioning whether the Indiana Department of Transportation is liable for the death of an employee of an independent contractor working on a highway project.
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Madison County judge resigns amid misconduct investigation

September 24, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A longtime Madison County judge who's been repeatedly sanctioned and even suspended in the past is resigning amid a new investigation into his alleged misconduct during a 2007 murder trial.
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Court remands custody case for new hearing

September 24, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Although all three Indiana Court of Appeals judges came to conclusion that the trial court should revisit its order to grant full custody of a child to her abusive father, the judges differed as how the trial court should have approached the matter.
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Justice praises court-technology support

September 24, 2009
IL Staff
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. praised Gov. Mitch Daniels' administration's support for improved court technology during a speech Wednesday in Denver. Justice Sullivan addressed a plenary session at the National Court Technology Conference, which is sponsored by the National Center for State Courts.
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Judges disagree as to athlete's eligibility

September 24, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
One Indiana Court of Appeals judge believed his colleagues strayed from the evidence of recruitment and instead focused the family's financial plight when they decided the high school athlete didn't transfer schools primarily for athletic reasons.
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Group criticizes foreclosure mediation programs

September 23, 2009
IL Staff
A report released today by the National Consumer Law Center examining foreclosure mediation programs believes states, including Indiana, need to make substantial changes before the programs can be effective.
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Court upholds injunction in easement case

September 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed judgment in favor of a homeowner who sued neighbors after telephone poles, fence posts, and other objects were placed along a disputed easement area to prevent people from driving along it.
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Supreme Court amends more rules

September 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has amended various rules of court, including admission and disciplinary, alternative dispute resolution, and appellate procedure rules.
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COA to hear institutionalization case

September 22, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments Wednesday in a case of two men being held in a state mental health institution until they are deemed able to stand trial.
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COA reverses judgment for Ford in liability suit

September 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment today in favor of Ford Motor Co. in a products liability lawsuit, but the judges disagreed as to whether the manufacturer breached its duty to warn of the dangers of children riding in the front seat with airbags turned on.
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City agrees to comply with Clean Water Act

September 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Faced with hefty fines of more than $27,000 a day for violating the federal Clean Water Act, the city of Jeffersonville has reached a settlement with the federal and Indiana governments, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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District Court seeks comment on rule changes

September 18, 2009
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana is now accepting comments on proposed local rule amendments.
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COA says voter I.D. law unconstitutional

September 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has tossed out the state's 4-year-old voter identification law as unconstitutional, bringing new attention to a statute that has been upheld by the nation's highest court.
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Couple not negligent in baby's death

September 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A couple did not breach their duty to protect a baby from a dangerous condition on their property in which a 2-month-old died after his mother smothered him while the two slept on a sofa at the couple's home.
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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