Courts

Appeals panel affirms sole custody for mother moving to China

August 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
A father lost his appeal Thursday of a trial court ruling granting sole custody to the mother of the divorced couple’s child, who will move with her to China for three years.
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No new trial for defendant who discovered pitfalls of proceeding pro se

August 15, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s request for a do-over after representing himself at trial and being found guilty was denied by the Indiana Court of Appeals with the admonishment “proceeding pro se is riddled with pitfalls.”
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Malpractice defense accused of ‘egregious mischaracterization’ of record

August 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
Defense attorneys who asked for a rehearing from the Indiana Court of Appeals panel that earlier affirmed a trial court medical malpractice jury verdict failed to sway judges who took the opportunity to call out their “egregious mischaracterization” of the record.
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Northern District judge tosses challenge to Indiana immigration law

August 15, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging portions of Indiana’s immigration law passed in 2011.
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Massa stays in Rockport power plant case over calls for recusal

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa on Wednesday denied a formal motion arguing that he should recuse himself from a pending case concerning the controversial Rockport power plant. The project is backed by a longtime friend of Massa and former aide to Gov. Mitch Daniels, whose administration championed the project.
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Community-caretaking duties permits warrantless search

August 14, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A warrantless search that led to discovery of marijuana and a handgun did not violate the Fourth Amendment because the police found the items as part of their “community-caretaking” duties.
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Charge dismissed in error negates felony DUI enhancement

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
The state’s errant dismissal of a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge in 2009 may not be corrected in order to enhance to a felony a defendant’s second such charge within five years, a divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Man still drunk despite change in public intoxication statute, COA rules

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
A 2012 change in Indiana’s public intoxication statute adding a required charging element of at least harassing, annoying or alarming another person doesn’t negate a conviction for a man who the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled did at least that much.
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Environmental groups ask Massa to recuse from Rockport case

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
Justice Mark Massa should recuse himself from hearing an Indiana Supreme Court appeal of a ruling that hindered a proposed multi-billion-dollar coal gasification plant in Rockport, several environmental and consumer groups argue in a brief filed in the case.
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State commission studying services for children sets first meeting

August 14, 2013
IL Staff
A commission created last year by the Legislature to better coordinate services for children will hold its first meeting Aug. 21.
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Shuai case resolved, thorny legal issues remain

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
A resolution that spared Bei Bei Shuai more jail time and dropped murder and attempted feticide charges filed after the death of her newborn daughter did little to clarify the state of the law under which she was prosecuted.
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Nigerian immigrant's religious discrimination suit carries cautions for employers

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
Sikiru Adeyeye had a mission when his father died in Nigeria three years ago. Letters to his employer asking to take one week of paid vacation and several weeks off without pay expressed the urgency of his obligation.
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Lawyer's report sounds latest alarm about Marion County Small Claims courts

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
Problems with Marion County’s Small Claims courts are by now well-documented. After the Wall Street Journal took note of forum shopping, creditors’ cozy relationships with some courts and other lax practices, Court of Appeals Judge John Baker and Senior Judge Betty Barteau issued a report advocating reform.
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Accused murderers likely to stay in jail awaiting trial

August 14, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
When the Indiana Supreme Court upended 150 years of precedent concerning murder defendants, it raised eyebrows and stirred debate but, in practice, the impact of the opinion is expected to be very limited.
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Blogger attorney Ogden grilled in public discipline hearing

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
Publicly resigned to the likelihood that action will be taken against his law license, attorney Paul Ogden was grilled for hours July 30 in a hearing before the Indiana Disciplinary Commission.  
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Weighing all the risks in a workers' compensation case

August 14, 2013
In A Plus Home Health Care Inc. v. Miecznikowski, the Indiana Court of Appeals confirmed that while the “positional risk doctrine” described by our Supreme Court in Milledge v. Oaks, 784 N.E.2d 926 (Ind. 2003), was defunct, the analysis of compensability of injuries under the neutral risk doctrine still applied. 983 N.E.2d 140, 143-144 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012) trans. denied, 985 N.E.2d 338 (Ind. 2013). When handling a workers’ compensation matter, practitioners need to be sure they conduct an appropriate analysis of all risk doctrines applicable to the claim.
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Pending petition for child support becomes applicable after Legislature amends statute

August 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court will have to reconsider its ruling in a child support dispute in light of a state law that was changed while an appeal of the case was pending.
 
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Observation and training provided 'reasonable suspicion' to conduct traffic stop

August 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A man’s voluntary confession that he was a habitual traffic violator is admissible even though he had not broken any laws when the sheriff’s deputy pulled him over.
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Man may be retried on sex charge, but state may not amend

August 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man acquitted on a rape charge but whose charge of sexual misconduct with a minor ended in a hung jury and mistrial may be retried, but not on a count the state sought to amend, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Speedway man charged with threatening judge, attorney

August 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Speedway man accused of posting online death threats against a judge, an attorney and others has been charged in federal court, according to a statement from the office of Joe Hogsett, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Teachers union could pay $14M to schools under settlement

August 13, 2013
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
The state’s largest teachers union and its national parent organization have agreed to pay $14 million under a tentative settlement announced Tuesday morning by Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson and Indiana Securities Commissioner Chris Naylor.
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Ex-IURC leader’s criminal charges dropped

August 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
The former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission won’t face trial on felony charges stemming from an ethics scandal at the agency, a judge ruled Monday.
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Ineffective counsel claim sufficient to overcome waiver in plea agreement

August 12, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite a man’s plea agreement in which he waived his right to challenge his conviction under 28 U.S.C. 2255, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled he can seek to have his conviction overturned because the 2255 waiver does not bar his claim that his trial counsel was ineffective.
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Tax Court: Miller Pipeline lacks support for summary judgment

August 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis pipeline company must proceed to trial in its bid to earn a refund of sales and use taxes, Senior Judge Thomas Fisher ruled for Indiana Tax Court.
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Conour, government agree to sale of assets

August 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
Convicted former attorney William Conour’s possessions in his foreclosed Carmel home, including original artwork and a collection of premium wine and champagne, could be sold with proceeds directed toward a court fund established for victim restitution according to a joint motion  filed in federal court.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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