Courts

Court of Appeals rules that blinking turn signal not enough to support drug conviction

October 19, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding that the continuous use of a turn signal without turning does not justify a traffic stop, the Indiana Court of Appeals threw out a conviction for possession of marijuana.
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Prosecutor error insufficient to reverse murder conviction

October 19, 2012
Dave Stafford
A prosecutor improperly presented facts that were not in evidence and inflamed the passions and prejudices of jurors in a murder trial, but his improper conduct didn’t rise to the level of reversible error, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Lake County judge: RTW suit may proceed

October 19, 2012
IL Staff
A challenge to Indiana’s right-to-work law will proceed after a Lake County judge this week rejected the state’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by United Steelworkers.
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Suit to be filed over meningitis outbreak

October 19, 2012
Dave Stafford
Attorneys for a Columbus woman who has developed symptoms of fungal meningitis after being treated with steroid injections are suing the drugmaker at the center of a widening outbreak blamed on tainted shots.
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Bisard asks Supreme Court to rule on blood-draw admissibility

October 19, 2012
IL Staff
Attorneys for Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer David Bisard have asked the Indiana Supreme Court to determine whether blood evidence may be admitted in his drunken driving and reckless homicide trial. Bisard was charged after driving his police cruiser into three motorcyclists who were stopped at an intersection, killing one.
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Unslated candidate files suit against Marion County Election Board

October 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Democratic candidate for state representative for Indiana’s District 100 who was not slated by his party is suing the Marion County Election Board after the board ordered his election materials seized before the primary election for violating Ind. Code 3-14-1-2.
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5th annual Southern District Court history symposium Nov. 16

October 18, 2012
IL Staff
7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judges John Tinder and David Hamilton – both former judges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, are two of the featured speakers at the fifth annual Court History and Continuing Legal Education Symposium in the Southern District.
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Bankruptcy local rules to change Dec. 3

October 18, 2012
IL Staff
Five local rules of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana will be amended effective Dec. 3.
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Judges order habitual offender enhancement vacated

October 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A post-conviction court erred when it denied a defendant’s request for post-conviction relief to vacate a habitual offender enhancement, finding a case decided after the man’s direct appeal applies retroactively.
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10 schools to schedule girls’ basketball on Friday, Saturday nights

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
By the 2016-2017 school year, boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball games at one high school will be equally scheduled on Friday and Saturday nights, according to a consent decree entered Monday in federal court. The agreement comes after a lawsuit challenged that girls’ games are typically scheduled on school nights or other non-preferred times.
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Justices uphold denial of benefits for fired employee

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Justice Steven David authored a unanimous opinion Wednesday in which the court held “when the facts of a case support more than one statutory ground for discharge, we are not confined to narrowly review the [Indiana Department of Workforce Development] Review Board’s decision when the facts point to the Review Board’s ultimately correct conclusion.”
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COA affirms $55k judgment for couple who purchased wind turbine

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that a St. Joseph Superior judge applied the correct legal standard in determining that a company breached a contract with a couple that purchased a wind turbine that failed to live up to the company’s claims.
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Judges uphold family has no right of access through neighbor’s property

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A family claiming that for more than 50 years they had an easement to access portions of their land through a neighbor’s property lost before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Pyle takes oath at robing ceremony

October 16, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s newest Court of Appeals judge also holds the distinction of being the only official appointed twice by Gov. Mitch Daniels.
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Court upholds conviction for theft of water heater

October 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a man’s argument that he didn’t know he couldn’t take a water heater from an Indianapolis apartment complex to scrap, finding that the evidence supports his theft conviction.
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Justices rescind order amending administrative rules, issue new one

October 16, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has rescinded the Sept. 7 order that set out amendments to Indiana Administrative Rules 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10, and the justices have issued in its place a new order. The changes include the use of senior judges, records that need to be microfilmed, and what court records are excluded from public access.
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ISBA members approve of appellate judges up for retention

October 16, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association has released results of its 2012 Judicial Retention Poll. None of the six appellate judges up for retention in the Indiana Supreme Court or Court of Appeals received less than 81 percent of “yes” votes.
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New Marion County Small Claims rules a ‘change in atmosphere’

October 16, 2012
Dave Stafford
A new set of rules for Marion County’s nine township Small Claims courts will make the forums more transparent and put important court information online for the first time, according to the judge overseeing reform efforts.
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Indiana justices accept 2 cases

October 15, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will weigh in on whether communications during mediation can be used as extrinsic evidence.
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Legislative groups to look at surrogate attorneys, funding for correction programs

October 15, 2012
IL Staff
Legislators this week will study a variety of issues, including preliminary drafts on surrogate attorneys and probate court authority.
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Survey says: retain 2 Lake County judges

October 15, 2012
IL Staff
Respondents to a recent survey conducted by the Lake County Bar Association on two judges up for retention this year have recommended the judges be retained.
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Bankruptcy court seeks comment on local rules

October 15, 2012
IL Staff
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana is seeking public comment on proposed changes to Local Rule B-7056-1, Motions for Summary Judgment.
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Weinberger sentenced to 84 months in prison

October 12, 2012
Dave Stafford
A judge on Friday rejected former Merrillville "nose doctor" Mark Weinberger’s request to be released from federal prison for time served and instead ordered him to spend almost another four years behind bars for fraud.
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Martin selected as U.S. magistrate judge in Hammond

October 12, 2012
IL Staff
John E. Martin will succeed Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Rodovich in the Northern District of Indiana’s Hammond Division, the court announced. Rodovich is retiring from the bench.
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Court orders BMV to hold hearing on whether felon can get ID

October 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has found a convicted felon’s due process clause claim “has teeth” and that the Bureau of Motor Vehicles must determine whether to issue the man an identification card even though his last name on his birth certificate and Social Security card do not match.
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  1. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  2. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  3. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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