Courts

Judges disagree on statute's constitutionality

May 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue with great relevance given today's advances in technology and social networking, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded someone who uses a computer to download an electronic image and save it on a CD doesn't "create" a digitalized image under the child-exploitation statute.
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Cinergy trial ends with split verdict

May 20, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A federal jury returned a verdict that a major energy company violated clean-air rules at a coal-fired power plant along the Ohio River in southeast Indiana.
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Advisory sentence not sentencing starting point

May 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A man appealing his 15-year sentence for rape made a "novel" argument in his brief: the trial court should have started its calculation of his sentence using the advisory sentence of 10 years instead of using the midpoint of 13 years.
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Justices rule on Web IP issue

May 19, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a suit between a company and the marketing firm that created and hosted its Web site, the Indiana Supreme Court determined the Uniform Commercial Code doesn't apply and the marketing firm may collect for its work under principles of common law contract.
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Worker's entire service decides FMLA eligibilityRestricted Content

May 19, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression, the majority of Indiana Supreme Court justices ruled an employee filling multiple positions with the same employer is eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act if the employee's total service is sufficient to qualify, even if the service in either position alone doesn't qualify.
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Transfer granted to judicial review case

May 19, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer May 14 to a case involving the means for judicial review of final agency actions.
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Former city judge dies in accident

May 19, 2009
IL Staff
A former city judge and current mayor of Butler, Ind. died May 17 following a motorcycle accident.
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Sidewalk Six defendant settles with state

May 18, 2009
Michael Hoskins
What began a decade ago and became known as the Sidewalk Six paving-for-votes scandal is now nearing an end as one of the three remaining defendants in the civil racketeering case has settled with the state.
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COA clarifies emotional distress claims

May 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used an opinion today to clarify how to treat an independent action for emotional distress brought either in combination with the Wrongful Death Statute or as part of the Medical Malpractice Act.
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SCOTUS denies Indiana wine case

May 18, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States won't consider whether Indiana's wine shipping law is constitutional by requiring in-person contact before any direct delivery is allowed.
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Federal Circuit converges on Indianapolis

May 18, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has kept up with a trend of publishing more written opinions than any other federal court, and one of the most significant happenings in the past year is the recent resurrection of inviting lower trial judges to sit by designation on appeals panels.
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Judges differ in non-compete agreement case

May 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a legal dispute regarding a non-compete agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed as to whether the agreement could be enforced if the former employee's clients voluntarily left and contacted him to continue to be their accountant.
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Indianapolis judge's nomination vote set

May 15, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote next week on U.S. Judge David Hamilton's nomination for the 7th Court of Appeals.
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COA: Manufactured home subject to law

May 15, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined that manufactured mobile homes are subject to Indiana's common law warranty of habitability, so it reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of a manufacturer in a homeowner's property damage and personal injury complaint.
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Gov. appoints Madison Superior judge

May 15, 2009
IL Staff
Attorney David A. Happe is the new judge of Madison Superior Court IV.
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BMV policy needed to prevent identity theft

May 15, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The inconvenience of a few Hoosiers outweighs the very real threat of identity theft, so the trial court was correct in denying a preliminary injunction against the Bureau of Motor Vehicle's verification of records using Social Security Administration data, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Justices rule on uninsured motorist statute

May 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression, the Indiana Supreme Court had to decide whether an insurance company's uninsured motorist policy - which requires the bodily injury be sustained by an insured - violates the state's uninsured motorist statute and is unenforceable.
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COA: No preliminary injunction against casinos

May 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges agreed a city isn't entitled to a preliminary injunction to order riverboat casinos to make payments to the city, but the judges disagreed as to why the city didn't meet its burden to prove an injunction was necessary.
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Judicial merit-selection override a possibility

May 14, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The state's top executive has rejected the idea of scrapping merit selection in St. Joseph County, but it remains unclear whether lawmakers will attempt to override that veto during a special session.
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Family Court project grants now available

May 14, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court, Division of State Court Administration is accepting Phase V Family Court Project Grant Applications. The application includes information about the county's current judicial system, and a request for a family court grant in the amount of $10,000 to $40,000 per year, for a two-year period. Selected counties will begin operation in January 2010.
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COA: Just running red light not reckless

May 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on the issue for the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that not stopping at an intersection cannot, without more evidence, constitute criminally reckless conduct and establish a prima facie case.
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Statewide system debuts in City Court

May 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Greenwood City Court is the state's first city or town court to start using a tool that will eventually connect all of Indiana courts' case management systems.
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Jury instruction requires new damages trial

May 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A jury instruction the Indiana Court of Appeals found to incorrectly state the law required the court to remand for a new trial on damages in a negligence suit.
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Prosecutor faces disciplinary charges

May 12, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Delaware County Prosecutor Mark R. McKinney faces disciplinary charges that he violated four professional conduct rules stemming from his role as a private attorney on civil forfeiture matters related to the criminal defendants he handled as a deputy prosecutor on behalf of the state.
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COA reverses decree award of military benefits

May 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a portion of a divorce decree awarding some of the husband's military benefits and housing allowance to his wife because the separation agreement excluded granting the wife any rights to them.
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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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