Courts

Court affirms arbitration dismissal

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today upheld the dismissal with prejudice of a bank's application to confirm an arbitration award regarding credit card debt because the bank failed to follow the proper procedure outlined in the Federal Arbitration Act. In MBNA America Bank v. Aaron Kay, No. 49A02-0711-CV-961, MBNA submitted a purported dispute over credit card debt by Aaron Kay to the National Arbitration Forum. Kay objected to the arbitration. The arbitrator found in favor of the bank and entered the...
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Federal child support act trumps state act

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today that a federal act supersedes Indiana's statute regarding exclusive jurisdiction over two parties' child support order and affirmed the transfer of exclusive jurisdiction to a California court. In its ruling, the court had to decide whether or not the father still was a resident of Indiana in order to determine if the federal act applied to him. In In re the marriage of Mahmoud M. Basileh v. Arwa G. Alghusain, No. 29A02-0712-CV-1132, the Court of...
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COA reverses order of restitution to county

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A nurse practicing in Indiana without a license had her convictions of forgery and practicing nursing without a license upheld April 22, but the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court order that she pay restitution to the county where she worked. In Rebecca D. Lohmiller v. State of Indiana, No. 08A02-0710-CR-873, Lohmiller appealed her convictions and sentence for six counts of forgery and 21 counts of practicing nursing without a license. The court sentenced her to four years imprisonment with...
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Court interprets revised procedural statute

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found strong and compelling evidence to apply retroactivity to a procedural state statute lawmakers changed last year following a ruling from Indiana Supreme Court.In Mark Hurst v. State of Indiana, No. 64A03-0710-CR-490, the appellate court affirmed a Porter Superior judge's ruling that the court properly amended charging information 15 months after the original omnibus date, that sufficient evidence of seriously bodily injury existed to support a felony battery conviction, and that Hurst was properly sentenced to...
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High court affirms summary judgment for bank

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A bank that opened an account for a man who used it to fraudulently deposit checks wasn't required under Indiana Code to exercise ordinary care when opening the account, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court. At issue in Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Bank One, et al., No. 49S04-0701-CV-27 is whether Bank One violated Section 405 of the Indiana Uniform Commercial Code by not exercising ordinary care when it allowed Kenneth B. Wulf to open a fraudulent account. Wulf was a resident adjustor for...
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Northern District seeks comment on local rule

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for Northern District of Indiana is accepting public comment on the revision of Local Rule 72.1 - again. The Local Rules Advisory Committee recommended the revision of the local rule and had a period of public comment. Due to a clerical error, the revision of the rule wasn't completed. Now, the corrected proposed Local Rule 72.1 is available free of charge at www.innd.uscourts.gov or at the Northern District Court's divisional offices. Comments will be accepted through Sept....
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High court: 'Contact' must be clearly defined

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has determined what kind of "contact" a convicted child molester can have without violating probation.In the court's 4-1 decision April 2 in Theron W. Hunter v. State of Indiana, No. 69S01-0708-CR-332, the justices reversed Ripley Circuit Judge Carl Taul's 2006 ruling to revoke Hunter's probation. The case is remanded with instruction to reinstate the probation.Hunter was convicted in 2000 of felony child molesting and sentenced to eight years, with four years suspended. He was released in July 2006 and placed...
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Court: Company must pay for suit

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a company that brought a frivolous lawsuit to pay for the attorney fees and other costs of the defending party. In Natare Corporation v. Cardinal Accounts, Inc., 49A05-0704-CV-210, the Court of Appeals granted Natare's motion to tax costs regarding a suit against them brought by Cardinal Accounts. The trial court reinstated Cardinal's complaint, which sat in limbo for months because Cardinal made no action in the case. When Natare appealed the complaint, the Court of...
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Judges go back to school

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
If your local judge wasn't on the bench the latter part of the week, it may be that he or she took some time to go to judicial school. The 2008 Spring Judicial College was Wednesday through today, offering jurists statewide a chance to brush up on certain areas of law or particular issues of interest. An estimated 250 Hoosier jurists converged on Indianapolis, coming and going for some or all of the annual college, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard said."It's...
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Judges affirm juvenile adjudication case

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A 17-year-old male drove by the Indiana State Fairgrounds in a sports car last year with DVD-recorded nude and sexually explicit scenes playing on a video screen visible from the rearview window.Today, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his adjudication as a delinquent juvenile for disseminating matter harmful to minors, an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult. The court held that minors had visible access to the videos and that was sufficient evidence.In M.S. v. State...
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State must arbitrate with tobacco companies

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
States involved in a settlement agreement with certain tobacco companies to recover health care costs for smoking-related illnesses must participate in a single, national arbitration panel when arbitrating issues, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals today. In State of Indiana, ex rel., Stephen R. Carter, Attorney General of Indiana v. Philip Morris Tobacco Company, et al., No. 49A02-0706-CV-494, the state appealed the trial court order requiring Indiana to arbitrate with Philip Morris and other tobacco companies the decision of the independent auditor...
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Famous Civil War trial re-enactment March 4

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A famous Indiana Civil War trial that remains particularly relevant is being re-enacted on March 4, which is President Benjamin Harrison Day.About 250 middle and high school students are expected at the Indiana Statehouse for the educational re-enactment of the case, Ex Parte Milligan, 71 U.S. 2 (1866), which involved citizens and military tribunals. A resident of Huntington, Ind., Milligan was sentenced to death by a military tribunal for his outspoken opposition to President Abraham Lincoln's Civil War draft. Several famous...
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COA footnotes: more past delays found

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Examples are still surfacing about how files had been delayed in getting transmitted to the Indiana Court of Appeals, although the Appellate Clerk's office has been backlog-free for about a month and these instances only highlight what had happened in the past.Two opinions in the past week show cases that were not transmitted from the clerk's office for eight months and almost two years, respectively. Both included footnotes explaining the situation, recent reforms, and advice to counsel about keeping tabs on...
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Law firm pays $50,000, ending $18M nightmare

January 1, 2008
An Indianapolis law firm has paid $50,000 to the Indiana Department of Insurance in a deal that extricates it from an $18 million jury verdict stemming from the collapse of a health insurance trust. The department released Fillenwarth Dennerline Groth & Towe from the massive judgment that a Marion County jury handed down against the law firm two years ago. In return, the firm transferred to the department the bad-faith claims it is pursuing against its malpractice insurer, Alabama-based ProNational Insurance...
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St. Joseph County seeks judicial applicants

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Any St. Joseph County attorney who wants to be a trial court judge can now apply for that opportunity.The county's Judicial Nominating Commission is accepting applications until 5 p.m. Aug. 29 for the judicial vacancy when St. Joseph Superior Judge William T. Means retires Sept. 30. The commission, which will recommend candidates for consideration to the governor, met last week to set a schedule for the application process.Interviews for applicants will be Sept. 12 in South Bend.According to state law, the...
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Justices affirm search warrant, convictions

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court yesterday affirmed a defendant's convictions of dealing in cocaine and possession of marijuana because the initial search warrant was supported by sufficient probable cause. One justice dissented, fearing the logic used by the majority to affirm the search warrant would invite more searches by the government that could violate both the U.S. and Indiana constitutions. In Willie Eaton v. State of Indiana, No. 89S04-0802-CR-106, Willie Eaton appealed his drug convictions, arguing the initial search warrant wasn't supported by...
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Supreme Court grants 3 transfers

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Thursday to three cases that involve amending charging information after the omnibus date, police questioning about drugs during a routine traffic stop, and consolidating a preliminary injunction hearing with a trial on the merits without notice. In Michael Hill v. State of Indiana, No.49A02-0701-CR-110, the appellate court affirmed the trial court didn't err by allowing the state to amend the charging information to add the attempted sexual misconduct with a minor charge after the omnibus date....
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Court: media ban does not pass test

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a District Court grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, ruling there were genuine issues of fact as to why they denied death row inmates from giving face-to-face interviews with the media. In David Paul Hammer v. John D. Ashcroft, et al., No. 06-1750, Hammer sued Bureau of Prison officials, including then-Attorney General of the U.S., John Ashcroft, and former wardens of the federal prison in Terre Haute, Harley Lappin and Keith...
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Hoosier bankruptcy filings among highest

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Bankruptcy filings have increased so much in Indiana that some U.S. trustees handling Chapter 7 proceedings may want to add an extra session each month to hear new cases.Attorneys statewide are seeing more clients from an uptick in filings, and as a result are not surprised to hear that federal filings across the country surged 38 percent in 2007. Nor are they surprised that Indiana ranked fourth highest in the nation overall and top in the country for the number of...
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Morgan County Courthouse damaged, closed

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Morgan County Courthouse is closed today as a result of damage sustained by high winds from Tuesday's storm, and a courthouse disaster plan mandated by a new state rule has been kicked into gear for the first time.North and west sides of the courthouse's roof were heavily damaged in the storm. One half of the roof has been blown completely off, including the tresses and some of the brick wall it was attached to, said Jeff Neal, director of Morgan...
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Inmate matters, court provisions signed into law

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Bills about the discharge of long-term inmates, judges' pensions, and various provisions concerning courts were among the remaining 33 bills sent to the governor's office that were signed into law yesterday.SEA 258 deals with the discharge of long-term inmates, GPS monitoring of certain sex offenders, and the conditions for probation or parole of a sex offender.SEA 329 allows full-time magistrates on or after July 1, 2010, to become participants in the judges' 1985 benefit system; increases the court administration fee from...
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Evening visits don't count toward credit

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Overnight visits must take place overnight in order to be used in a claim for parenting time credit under the child support guidelines, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court Aug. 19. In Marla K. Young v. Timothy S. Young, No. 09S05-0803-CV-136, the high court addressed whether evening visits could be credited as overnight visits when calculating child support. Timothy Young was awarded 104 overnights, including 52 which were for two additional evenings per week he spent with their kids. But evening visits shouldn't...
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Courts weigh in on sex-offender restrictions

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A city's law prohibiting registered sex offenders from visiting parks or recreation areas is likely on its way to the Indiana Court of Appeals in what a civil liberties attorney said could be the first appellate case of its kind in the country.A ruling from Hendricks Superior Judge Robert Freeze March 14 upholds a Plainfield ban of sex offenders in parks and recreational areas, finding the six-year-old local ordinance constitutional and not in violation of any guideposts established by the state...
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SCOTUS sets date for second Indiana case

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States will hear its second case this term from Indiana on March 26, considering whether a defendant found competent to stand trial should also be allowed to represent himself.Justices granted certiorari in December for Indiana v. Edwards, No. 07-208, which follows an Indiana Supreme Court ruling in May 2007. The case stems from a July 1999 downtown Indianapolis incident in which Ahmad Edwards was caught on surveillance tape stealing shoes. He ultimately shot at police multiple...
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Justices grant five transfers

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted five new cases. At its weekly conference Aug. 28, justices granted transfer in two civil cases, two criminal cases, and a tax court case. • Brenda and Darren Wagner v. Bobbi Yates, et al., No. 22A01-0710-CV-474: An underinsured motorist policy case from Floyd County. The Court of Appeals in April affirmed the lower court's granting of a motion for summary judgment in favor of American Standard Insurance Company of Wisconsin, the Wagners' automobile insurer. The court ruled that American Standard can set...
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  1. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  2. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  3. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  4. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  5. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

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