Courts

Judges affirm sniff search in hotel did not violate guest’s constitutional rights

March 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court properly admitted contraband seized from a woman’s hotel room into evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. One judge on the panel departed from his colleagues’ need to discuss that the officers’ search was justified because they acted in good faith.
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Valparaiso attorney slapped with 5th felony charge

March 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
Valparaiso attorney Clark Holesinger, charged last month with four felony counts alleging he stole more than $1.6 million from clients, now faces a fifth count alleging theft from another client.
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Court of Appeals saw fewer cases in 2013

March 12, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals in 2013 received and decided fewer cases than in any of the five prior years, according to the court’s annual report released Tuesday.
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ADA violations in bar admission catch attention of Indiana BLE

March 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The U.S. Department of Justice has found Louisiana discriminated against bar applicants with mental health problems.
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Judge Tinder’s retirement plans leaked

March 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Tinder plans to retire from the 7th Circuit bench when he turns 65 next February – news that became public in early March after a clerk applicant shared a letter from Tinder with the legal blog Above the Law, which posted the letter.
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Copyright infringement spurs knife fight in Warrick County

March 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A copyright infringement dispute between two out-of-state companies has spurred criminal charges in Warrick County, a place where neither business has facilities, employees or quite possibly ever visited before these charges were brought.
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When non-competes don't fly

March 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
Aviation mechanic Joe Guinn lost a job when his former employer sought to enforce a non-compete clause, but he won an appellate ruling that the company may have engaged in tortious interference with his subsequent employer.
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Fort Wayne case may force SCOTUS to define who qualifies as a minister

March 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Since the Supreme Court of the United States weighed in on “ministerial exception” in January 2012, cases have been percolating across the country spurred by religious institutions claiming the exception as protection against employee discrimination lawsuits.
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Inside the Criminal Case: Can a defendant be convicted for being ‘annoying?’

March 12, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
In 2012, the General Assembly amended Indiana’s public intoxication statute to provide, in part, that a person was guilty of public intoxication if the individual is intoxicated “in a public place” and “annoys … another person.” Indiana Code §7.1-5-1-3(a)(4). But what constitutes “annoying?”
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Federal Bar Update: ND requires e-filing; SD launches hyperlink pilot

March 12, 2014
John Maley
Effective Feb. 24, all new complaints and removals in the Northern District of Indiana must be e-filed.
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Disciplinary Actions - 3/12/14

March 12, 2014
IL Staff
Read who's been suspended recently by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Supreme Court: Father’s consent not needed in adoption

March 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A father who had been incarcerated and failed to keep up with support payments wasn’t denied due process when the children’s mother remarried and her new husband adopted the children.
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Miranda warning given during police interview makes confession admissible

March 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s confession made during a police interrogation is admissible because while officers questioned the defendant in what they called a “pre-interview,” they Mirandized him before he confessed.
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Small-claims hearsay letter properly admitted

March 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A dentist’s letter that said a man suing him had never complained about the service he received was not improperly admitted in a small-claims collections action, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Justices: Inmate will serve longer term for punching prison worker

March 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Department of Correction inmate serving a 17-year sentence was improperly given credit time that reduced his sentence for punching a prison worker in the face.
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Medmal claim sent via FedEx before deadline was timely filed

March 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A medical malpractice complaint was timely filed when an attorney delivered it to Federal Express a day before the statutory deadline, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled, reversing lower court orders and remanding the complaint to the trial court.
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Judge: Case not made for airport justice center site

March 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
The judge who has authority over Marion County court facilities is casting doubt on the city’s preferred site for a Criminal Justice Complex at Indianapolis International Airport.
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Information used to obtain search warrant splits Court of Appeals

March 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the statements from three individuals were hearsay and initially led law enforcement to enter the wrong apartment, a split Indiana Court of Appeals found, collectively, the information supported probable cause.
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Appeals court: Requests for modification don’t nullify foreclosure

March 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a mortgage servicer despite the property owners’ attempts at modifying the mortgage.
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Divided Supreme Court reinstates parental termination order

March 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals impermissibly reversed termination of a father’s parental rights, a majority of the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Friday in reinstating a trial court order.
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Central American judge visits Indianapolis to learn about Indiana judicial system

March 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A member of Guatemala’s judiciary is making a two-day visit to Indianapolis to learn and exchange ideas with judges, attorneys and other dignitaries.
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Federal suit filed against Indiana marriage statute

March 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
While Indiana’s same-sex marriage amendment is on hold in the Legislature, a challenge to the state’s law banning same-sex marriage was filed March 7 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Institute analyzing proposed sites for Marion County criminal justice complex

March 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana University Public Policy Institute is analyzing proposed sites for a Marion County Criminal Justice Complex and may reveal its findings by the end of next week.
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Highway supervisor’s termination not subject to judicial review

March 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the decision by the Fayette County Board of Commissioners to not reappoint its county highway supervisor was a ministerial decision, the Indiana Supreme Court held it was not subject to judicial review.
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Judges order more proceedings in property distribution after divorce

March 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Citing inconsistencies and lack of information, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered more proceedings to determine issues of spousal maintenance and distribution of the marital estate in a divorce case.
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  2. 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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  4. 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.

  5. 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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