Courts

President picks Judge Tinder for 7th Circuit seat

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Indianapolis is poised to be the first Hoosier jurist appointed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago in 20 years.The White House announced late Tuesday afternoon that President George W. Bush is nominating U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder to the Circuit Court. He'd replace retiring Circuit Judge Daniel A. Manion, who came from South Bend after being appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.A lifelong Indianapolis resident and a graduate of Indiana University School...
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Justices grant transfer, will hear 2 arguments this week

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
 The Indiana Supreme Court has granted one transfer and is hearing two other cases this week involving trade secrets and claims of negligent infliction of emotional distress. Justices late last week granted transfer of Steven Hollin v. State, 69A01-0609-CR-401, which was an unpublished memorandum ruling from the Court of Appeals in March. The case stems from a conviction and sentencing appeal involving conspiracy to commit burglary and a habitual offender charge. Hollin claimed it was fundamental error for the trial court...
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Court reverses insurer's summary judgment

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today reversed a summary judgment award in favor of an auto insurance company, holding that an uninsured-motorist claim was not barred by state statute and language of the insurance policy. In Mary Lou Smith, et al. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 84A01-0611-CV-516, the appellate court had to decide whether Smith's claim for uninsured motorist coverage against her policyholder, Auto-Owners, was allowed based on her policy and Indiana Code 27-7-5-4.Smith and several family members were involved in a...
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Sheriff's deputies can hold elected office, court rules

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A sheriff's deputy has the right to hold an elected position and in doing so isn't violating state law against holding dual, lucrative offices, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.In Walter Thompson v. Mark Hays http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/06060701mgr.pdf, 72A01-0607-CV-294, the court upheld a Scott County ruling last year dismissing a claim filed by local resident Walter Thompson, who filed a complaint against Mark Hays following the November 2002 general election. Thompson accused Hays of holding the dual offices and sought an order...
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Governor chooses next Court of Appeals judge

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The governor announced today that Marion Superior Judge Cale Bradford will be the newest jurist on the Indiana Court of Appeals.Judge Bradford will replace Judge Patrick D. Sullivan, who is retiring Aug. 1 as a result of reaching mandatory retirement age of 75. He will represent the second judicial district, which encompasses 19 counties in central Indiana.Gov. Mitch Daniels got nominations from the Judicial Nominating Commission May 18 and by law was required to make a decision within 60 days. Judge...
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Appeals court upholds arbitration award

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an arbitration award against Citizens Gas & Coke Utility today, ruling the arbitrator did not exceed her power in determining an employee was unjustly terminated and his widow was entitled to his life insurance policy through the collective bargain agreement. In Citizens Gas & Coke Utility v. Local Union No. 1400, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 49A05-0612-CV-751, Citizens appealed the trial court's denial of its verified complaint and application to vacate arbitration award, or in the...
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COA rules on fireworks wholesalers' challenge

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals ruling today that firework wholesalers have an administrative process to determine whether Indiana Code section 22-11-14-5 requires fireworks wholesalers to obtain certificates of compliance for each location reinforces an earlier Supreme Court decision on the matter. In Roger Johnson, as Indiana State Fire Marshal v. Patriotic Fireworks, Inc. et al., the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's denial of the fire marshal's motion to dismiss the consolidated complaints of Patriotic Fireworks and other fireworks wholesalers and remanded...
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Law library closing extended through June

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Don't expect to be able to use the Indiana Supreme Court Law Library as soon as planned.The library on the second floor of the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis will be completely closed starting today through June 25 for restorative painting, according to librarian Terri Ross. The library has been open intermittently throughout May for an ongoing building-wide heating and air conditioning renovation, she said.Originally, the plan was for closing between April 30 and June 11; now the closing will continue for...
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Court rules on underinsured motorists coverage

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today on when injured claimants in an automobile accident can seek to recover more money under a single Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist policy.In Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. David Eakle, et al., the court used previous cases Allstate Ins Co v. Sanders 644 N.E.2d 884, 887 (Ind. Ct. App. 1994) and Grange Ins. Co v. Graham 843 N.E.2d 597, 599 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006) to determine the trial court erred in denying Auto-Owners judgment on the...
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Court orders new sentence for child support nonpayer

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel found itself today determining the legislature's intent in revising a statute on nonpayment of child support, an issue it describes as having little to no precedent.Though its analysis ended with little answer, the appellate court applied the doctrine of amelioration to conclude a defendant should receive a lower class of felony on nonpayment of about $13,000 in child support from Class C to Class D.The decision released today is Bobby Lee Turner, Jr. v. State...
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Report includes 3 court-specific ideas

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Three recommendations made today by the Commission on Local Government Reform focus specifically on courts and the state's legal community.Court-specific recommendations impacting all Indiana counties include transferring the local court clerk responsibilities to the courts themselves and transferring trial court system funding - including probation and public defenders - to the state. A third recommendation is focused solely on Marion County, where all township small claims courts duties would be transferred to the county's Superior Courts.Headed by former Gov. Joe Kernan...
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Justices split on decision to allow a third try for death penalty

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
 A split decision by the Indiana Supreme Court today allows the state to seek the death penalty a third time against a man convicted of shooting a Gary police officer in a robbery gone bad in 1981.The 3-2 decision came late this afternoon with Justices Theodore Boehm and Robert Rucker dissenting in separate opinions. Justice Frank Sullivan authorized the majority's 22-page opinion. The ruling in State of Indiana v. Zolo Agona Azania, No. 02S03-0508-PD-364 (http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05100701fsj.pdf), reverses a trial court decision and...
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Court orders damages to Lake County in bail bond case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has remanded a bail bond case it considers filed in bad faith, with instructions that the trial court judge calculate damages for the Lake County sheriff, Superior Court Clerk, and the Criminal Justice Section of the Lake County Bar Association.In Smith and Zacek v. Lake County, et al., the appellate court ruled today that the two bail bondsmen filed a complaint in 1999 alleging that bail statutes included in the Indiana Code were unconstitutional under the...
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Appeals judges to hear annexation case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals will consider a case Tuesday that asks whether a county can establish a special economic development area that includes land a municipality has already started to annex.Arguments are set for 2 p.m. in Brenwick Assoc. et al v. Boone Co. Redevelopment Commission, 06A04-0611-CV-682. The case arose in July 2006, when Whitestown began the process of annexing unincorporated land in Boone County. After the annexation process had started, but before being complete, county officials adopted a resolution...
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Court: Death sentence stands

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court today upheld the death sentence against a man condemned for murdering a college student, though the authoring justice disagreed and his writing could offer a key for another execution to be tossed out.In Michael Dean Overstreet v. State of Indiana, 41S00-0306-PD-249, the court affirmed the post-conviction judgment of Johnson Superior Judge Cynthia Emkes, who'd first sentenced him to death in 2000. The case involves the September 1997 disappearance, rape, and strangulation of Franklin College freshman Kelly Eckart. Overstreet has...
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Justices to hear 2 cases Thursday

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider two cases Thursday morning. One looks at the line between estate plans and wills, while the other involves a motorist's lawsuit against a county for not removing a tree in the road after a storm.Justices will first hear arguments at 9 a.m. in the case In re Guardianship of E.N., Adult, which comes out of the Washington Circuit Court. The trial court approved an estate plan submitted by a protected person's adult children in their...
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Defendants can speak during allocution before sentencing

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Criminal defendants who plead guilty have the right to make statements in allocution prior to sentencing, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled.The unanimous opinion authored by Justice Robert D. Rucker came late Wednesday in Nicholas Biddinger v. State of Indiana, No. 49S05-0608-CR-305.Biddinger was arrested and charged with various felonies, including murder, in 2004; he pleaded guilty to aggravated battery during the trial in October that year. The agreement provided that parties could argue positions on sentencing, but the executed range could...
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GAL/CASA program teams with retired educators

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
Children in the Indiana court system are about to have many more allies thanks to the Indiana Retired Teachers Association. The organization announced this morning it has chosen the Indiana Supreme Court's GAL/CASA program as its new volunteer project. Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana Retired Teachers Association Executive Director Ralph Ayers, and others involved in the project were on hand in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom to explain the project and thank the IRTA for becoming involved....
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SCOTUS won't hear free-speech cases

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has decided against taking two Indiana cases that involve free-speech issues.At its conference last week when the high court decided to examine Indiana's two-year-old voter identification law, justices also declined to hear James G. Gilles v. Bryan K. Blanchard, et al., 06-1617, and Deborah A. Mayer v. Monroe County Community School Corp., et al., 06-1993. The court posted an order denying the cases Monday.The denials mean the previous decisions from the 7th Circuit Court...
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Pastor who ministers to death row inmates to speak at Notre Dame

January 1, 2007
Rebecca Berfanger
The Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty will sponsor "Death Row Ministry and Indiana ;s Upcoming Execution of David Woods" from noon to 12:50 p.m. Wednesday in the University of Notre Dame Law School ;s courtroom, Room 121. The event is open to the public.The speaker is Wanda Callahan, a pastor of the Church of Brethren in Goshen. She has counseled death row inmates for more than 30 years, both in Florida and Indiana. Callahan will speak about the death penalty,...
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No duty owed to attacked restaurant patron, judges rule

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis fast-food restaurant didn't owe a patron the duty of protecting him from attack just because it had placed a table on the sidewalk outside, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.A three-judge panel issued a decision David Schlotman v. Taza Café, d/b/a Gyro Joint , 49A05-0608-CV-475. The judges heard arguments in the Marion County case May 22.This case addressed whether the carryout restaurant Gyro Joint had a common-law duty to protect patron Scholtman, who was harassed and hit in...
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Court vacates summary judgment

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated an Indiana District Court's grant of summary judgment and remanded the case so the court could determine what right a company has to receive compensation for its vandalized railroad cars. In CSX Transportation Inc. v. Appalachian Railcar Services Inc., No. 06-3430, CSX brought suit in the Southern District to recover payment it made to Appalachian Railcar Services (ARS) for damaged railcars. CSX believed the 13 railcars derailed on CSX-owned track, making them liable for any...
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Commission discusses technology, hardship license

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Commission on Courts - the legislative interim study committee that considers issues instrumental in court operations - gathered Tuesday to hear about technological initiatives under way in the state courts and expanding the jurisdiction of courts issuing driver's licenses because of hardship.Mary DePrez, director and counsel of trial court technology for the Supreme Court's Judicial Technology and Automation Committee, told the commission about new initiatives launched recently on a protective order registry and e-traffic citations, all of which will eventually...
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Justices rule on competency for pro se representation

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The federal constitutional right to self-representation requires a defendant who is competent to stand trial be allowed to proceed pro se, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled. Justices granted transfer and issued a unanimous decision Thursday afternoon in Ahmad Edwards v. State of Indiana, No. 59S02-0705-CR-202. Justice Theodore Boehm wrote the 10-page opinion summarily affirming the Indiana Court of Appeals' rationale in a September decision that reversed the convictions for attempted murder and battery with a deadly weapon and now means...
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Justices hear IMPD arresting-authority case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana's highest jurists today questioned attorneys about whether any arresting authority exists for those who didn't take an official oath for the recently created Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.Justices' pointed questions go to the heart of State v. Cheryl Oddi-Smith, 49A05-0708-CR-445, a drunk driving case that Marion Superior Judge Rueben Hill ruled on in early August, throwing out a woman's arrest because of the oath-taking issue. The Indiana Attorney General's office filed a petition in August to appeal the case directly to...
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  1. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  2. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  3. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  4. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  5. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

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