Courts

Judges affirm expungement of sheriff deputy’s arrest

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s decision to grant a sheriff deputy’s petition for expungement of his arrest record dealing with four counts of Class D felony theft. His employer argued that he received pay from the police force while working at other jobs.
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Sisters can’t prove brother unduly influenced mother in crafting estate plan

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the order by a trial court that the execution of an option contract by a woman to her son was enforceable. The woman’s daughters claimed the contract was a result of undue influence.
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Doctor’s statute of limitations defense in med mal claim rejected by justices

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A doctor who chose to perform just one biopsy instead of two on a woman who later was diagnosed with cervical cancer is not entitled to summary judgment on his defense asserting the medical malpractice statute of limitations, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
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Justices affirm judgment in favor of national fraternity in wrongful death action

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A national fraternity assumed no duty to protect local chapter pledges and is not vicariously liable for the negligence of local chapter officers and representatives, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. The justices affirmed summary judgment for Delta Tau Delta in a wrongful death action brought by a deceased pledge’s family.
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Court affirms Steuben County couple’s 2006 real property assessment

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Steuben County couple could not convince the Indiana Tax Court to find that the $292,800 land assessment of their residential property in 2006 was too high.
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Dairy Queen did not discriminate against blind employee

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a firm that operates Dairy Queens in Indianapolis on a former employee’s claim the employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Teen must pay for electronic monitoring device through community service

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the order by a juvenile court that required a teen who cut off her electronic monitoring device to make restitution for the device through community service.
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Judges reverse convictions due to Batson challenge error

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County trial court erred when it overruled a man’s Batson challenge contesting the state’s use of a peremptory challenge to strike an African-American juror, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The appeals court overturned Tyrece Robertson’s convictions and ordered a new trial.
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COA orders new hearing due to lack of proof notice was mailed

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a new evidentiary hearing on the merits of a woman’s application for unemployment benefits after holding that the Department of Workforce Development didn’t prove that it mailed notice of a hearing to the woman.
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Man’s expungement petition properly denied, COA rules

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a Marion County man admitted to violating the terms of his probation twice, he cannot meet the requirements of the expungement statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday, so the trial court properly denied his petition to expunge his conviction.
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Judge upholds 2009 tax year exemption

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court rejected the Hamilton County assessor’s claim that a for-profit limited liability company created to purchase office space for its nonprofit tissue donation company should not qualify for a charitable purposes exemption for the 2009 tax year.
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Court must consider man’s motion to prohibit release of criminal record

May 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man filed his motion to prohibit the release of his criminal record before the Indiana Legislature repealed the relevant statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the Hancock Superior Court to consider the motion.
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Court rules in favor of fraternity in lawsuit following assault

May 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment in favor of a fraternity whose members lived in a Terre Haute private residence where a man visiting for a party was assaulted. The victim claimed the fraternity should be liable because members of the college chapter lived at the home and had some chapter items at the residence.
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Court affirms woman is ‘gravely disabled’ requiring involuntary commitment

May 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to reweigh the evidence used to find a woman needed to be involuntarily committed because she was gravely disabled after claiming she was bitten by poisonous spiders in her home for the fourth time.
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Majority finds man entrapped to patronize prostitute

May 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a misdemeanor conviction for patronizing a prostitute, with two judges ruling the state was unable to rebut the man’s entrapment defense by showing he had a history of trying to buy sex.
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Supreme Court considering reducing timeframe for filing transcripts in appeals

May 23, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure wants to hear from the legal community and general public on a proposed amendment that would shorten the time court reporters have to file their transcripts.
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Judges reverse woman’s resisting law enforcement conviction

May 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Opening a police officer’s car door and refusing to place one’s feet inside the car are not acts constituting forcible resistance, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges reversed a Miami County woman’s conviction of resisting law enforcement.
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Prosecutor’s comments on defendant not testifying don’t require reversal

May 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, in addressing a defendant’s claims of prosecutorial misconduct, found that any misconduct committed was a harmless error and does not require criminal deviate conduct and sexual battery convictions to be overturned.
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Seizure of man’s clothing from hospital not unconstitutional

May 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson

A detective’s seizure of a bag of clothing worn by a man who was shot – and later considered a suspect in a murder – and the admission of that clothing into evidence did not violate the man’s federal or state constitutional rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday.

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COA rules Marion County had exclusive jurisdiction over custody of boy

May 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed an order out of Montgomery County regarding custody and parenting time of a boy because that court could not properly exercise jurisdiction. Marion County had exclusive jurisdiction over the custody of the boy.
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Kentucky ruling prevents Indiana court from addressing claim

May 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the principles of full faith and credit required a Clark Circuit court to consider the judgments of a Kentucky court involving the default of promissory notes on property in Kentucky and Indiana, there was no error by the Indiana court in granting a bank the right to foreclose.
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COA finds Yellow Book ad contract induced by fraud

May 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A heating and cooling company does not owe Yellow Book for a contract it tried to break after finding the publication didn’t change the terms of the contract as promised, the Indiana Court of Appeals held. But, the heating and cooling company is on the hook for two other contracts it had that it failed to fully pay.
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State courts to adopt e-filing in 2015

May 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana courts will switch to electronic filing beginning next year, according to an order issued Thursday by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Judges reverse convictions based on use of witness’s statement

May 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state called a witness solely to impeach her with a pretrial statement, and the jury may have relied on the witness’s testimony to convict the defendant, a majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed burglary and receiving stolen property convictions. 
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Lucas Oil vendor not entitled to summary judgment in dram shop case

May 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
It should be up to the trial court or a jury to determine whether a vendor in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis should be held responsible for serving alcohol to a man who later hit two children while driving home after a game.
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  2. 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.

  3. 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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