Courts

Judges affirm ex-wife’s cut of lottery winnings

April 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a woman’s contention that she should be entitled to more than 2.5 percent of her ex-husband’s lottery winnings based on his admission that 70 percent distribution would be “fair and equitable.”
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COA: Search of passenger not unconstitutional

April 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a woman’s claim that drugs found in her possession should not have been admitted at trial because a police search of her after a traffic stop violated the federal and state constitutions.
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SCOTUS upholds Michigan affirmative-action ban

April 23, 2014
IL Staff
The Supreme Court of the United States by a vote of 6-2 Tuesday upheld Michigan’s constitutional amendment banning the use of affirmative action by its public universities.
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Motions in marriage lawsuits attack non-recognition of same-sex unions

April 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Claiming they have a fundamental right to marry, same-sex couples married outside of Indiana have filed separate motions asking the court to grant summary judgment in favor of their challenges to Indiana’s marriage law.
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Court video project exposes problems

April 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Supreme Court wanted feedback on a pilot project using an audio-video record as the official appellate transcript in three Indiana courts. Lawyers at a recent discussion on the topic appear to favor pulling the plug.
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Rise of the zombie house

April 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
When a bank files a motion to set aside a foreclosure judgment, often the courts consider the filing good news, assuming the lender and the homeowner have reached a settlement. But things aren’t always what they seem, and courts can be at risk of being duped.
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Ruling may hint at future of Indiana's marriage law

April 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the plaintiffs’ attorneys and the Indiana attorney general both emphasize a federal judge’s temporary order that the state recognize the marriage of one same-sex couple is short-term and limited, the ruling has given gay marriage proponents hope that Indiana’s marriage statute will ultimately be ruled unconstitutional.
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From the principal’s office to the courtroom

April 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Stakeholders want educators and courts to collaborate to end the school-to-prison pipeline.
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Indiana Judges Association: Judging from the mountaintop

April 23, 2014
David Dreyer
If judges wore wigs in the United States, there might be a marked increase, I say, in public confidence in our courts. Hopefully, it would not be outweighed by any marked increase in public satire, but it could not be any worse than the judge shows now on daytime TV. The public always needs to understand that courts are serious and judges are different. More importantly, it is necessary to understand why.
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Disciplinary Actions - 4/23/14

April 23, 2014
IL Staff
Read who's been suspended recently by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Assertion of state’s rights may not support same-sex marriage ban

April 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana is contenting that states have the authority to define marriage, but the federal court and the ACLU of Indiana have given little merit to the state’s arguments for maintaining a ban on same-sex marriage.
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Defender’s trial strategy trumps inmate’s pro se early-trial request

April 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
A prison inmate who asked for a public defender then said at an initial hearing he wanted to “file for fast and speedy trial too” lost his appeal that argued the court erred by not ruling on his request and his trial counsel was ineffective.
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Hogsett: Machine gun case most ‘egregious,’ ‘dangerous’ he’s seen

April 22, 2014
IL Staff
Joe Hogsett on Tuesday announced the maximum penalty was warranted in a felony firearm case he called the most “egregious and dangerous” he’s seen during his time as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Government drops Conour sentence appeal

April 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
The U.S. attorney’s office will no longer seek a longer prison sentence for convicted legal fraudster William Conour, according to documents filed recently in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Conour’s appeal will move forward.
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Grandparents lose adoption appeal in first-impression case

April 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
Grandparents who filed late motions challenging a stepfather’s adoption of a 6-year-old are not entitled to relief based on their argument they didn’t receive legal notice, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a family law case raising two issues of first impression.
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Parallel parenting provision divides COA

April 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
In reversing a trial court’s modification of the custody agreement even though neither parent requested a change in custody, the Indiana Court of Appeals split over how much discretion a Parallel Parenting Time Order grants a court.
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Reversal: Neighbors may intervene in environmental cleanup case

April 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Businesses neighboring an Indianapolis industrial property that was forced to clean up hazardous chemicals were improperly shut out of litigation involving the city and state, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Utica school preservationists win reversal, get day in court

April 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Clark County residents who sued township officials over how a former school in the Ohio River community of Utica was being used will get to plead their case, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday, reversing a trial court order for the township.
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7th Circuit affirms Wisconsin’s limits on unions, Indiana RTW challenge remains

April 18, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
While still considering a challenge to Indiana’s right-to-work law, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed Wisconsin’s statute limiting the collective bargaining power of some public sector unions. 
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Brokers fear criminal justice complex could harm downtown Indianapolis

April 18, 2014
Indianapolis Business Journal, Kathleen McLaughlin
Creating a new criminal justice complex outside of downtown Indianapolis will mean big changes for the Mile Square, and some real estate brokers think the transition will be painful.
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Judges uphold custody award of non-biological child to stepfather

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an award granting a man primary physical custody of his child with his ex-wife, as well as her daughter from a previous relationship.
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Judge: Assessor waived objection

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court denied the Jefferson County assessor’s request that a couple’s appeal of the assessment of their residential real property be dismissed, finding the assessor waived her objection to the timeliness of the couple’s administrative record request.
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COA reverses award of attorney fees to couple

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court erred in awarding attorney fees to a couple that sued their insurer following a car accident. The trial court ruled that GEICO litigated the claim in bad faith.
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Employee defection sparks battle between brokerages

April 17, 2014
Indianapolis Business Journal, Chris O'Malley
Hylant Group says a former worker in its Carmel offices broke a non-compete agreement and poached clients for his new insurance-brokerage gig in Indianapolis.

 
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Judges disagree whether mother’s relocation is in good faith

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday couldn’t agree whether a northern Indiana mother’s decision to relocate with her two children was made in good faith. The majority upheld her request to relocate.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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