Courts

Democrats push to be on Marion County judge ballot

October 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County Superior judge elections ruled unconstitutional this month should not proceed Nov. 4 as the current ballot is drawn, according to court pleadings from candidates who were left out of the general election.
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Alternate theories disallowed in trial on 4 deaths

October 23, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge is blocking testimony about other possible suspects during the trial of a man charged with killing four people in a southern Indiana home.
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Man suspected of killing 7 refuses to answer judge

October 23, 2014
 Associated Press
A man who allegedly confessed to killing seven women in Indiana refused to speak or even acknowledge his name to a judge Wednesday, and a sheriff explained later that the suspect was upset his hearing was in open court before dozens of journalists.
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Charges filed in 2nd case in Gary killings

October 22, 2014
 Associated Press
A man who told police he killed seven women in Indiana now faces charges in a second death.
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COA affirms seizure of gun from apartment without search warrant

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a man’s misdemeanor handgun charge after finding the police did not need a search warrant to retrieve the gun after the man placed it inside an apartment in view of the officers.
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COA: Bank should be allowed to intervene in foreclosure matter

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of JPMorgan Chase Bank’s motion to intervene in a homeowners association’s attempt to foreclose on a home to fulfill a judgment. The COA found that the bank did not have actual notice of a pending action against the homeowner in 2007, as the association argued.
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COA: Gas station did not commit spoliation regarding mat

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision to not instruct a jury in a personal injury action regarding the spoliation of evidence. Margaret Dawson, the injured party, had ample time to inspect the mat she tripped on before the store replaced it.
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Justices rule on ‘exhaustion rule’ issue

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court tackled issues of first impression Wednesday involving peremptory challenges and removing jurors for cause. The justices held that parties satisfy the “exhaustion rule” the moment they use their final peremptory challenge – regardless of whom they strike.
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Majority reverses termination of incarcerated father’s parental rights

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the state did not prove that the parental rights of a man – who learned he was a father while incarcerated pending trial – should be terminated, two of the three judges on a Court of Appeals panel reversed.
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Judges say Circuit split requires clarification from sentencing commission

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 117-month prison sentence on drug and weapons charges, but two judges believed the case should have been heard en banc based on the importance of a sentencing issue.
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Court reverses $1,660 attorney fee award in parenting time action

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because there is nothing in the record to show the court considered the resources of the parties when it awarded a guardian $1,660 in attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Wednesday.
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Daughter’s cheating negates father’s obligation to pay for college

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the “F” a Purdue University student received after her teacher discovered the student plagiarized comments from other students amounted to disciplinary action from the school, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision that her father no longer had to pay a portion of her school expenses based on a previous court order.
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Officers’ entry into home to chase bloodied dog unreasonable, justices rule

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that drug evidence obtained by police after they entered a home without a warrant to capture an aggressive dog should not have been admitted at the defendant’s trial. The justices held the search violated Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.
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Indiana man was violent long before 7 killings

October 22, 2014
 Associated Press
With hindsight, there were signs years ago of increasing violence against women by Darren Vann, who police say has confessed to killing seven women in northwestern Indiana and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
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Indiana responds to convicted ex-officer's appeal

October 22, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana has responded to a former Indianapolis police officer's appeal of his convictions in a fatal drunken driving crash.
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SCOTUS denial of cases opens door to new same-sex-couple issues

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Indiana, the courts will have to settle issues and questions that will arise in other areas, such as family law.
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Attorneys debate impact of reality crime TV shows on the judicial process

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The reality television show “Cold Justice” linked Earl Taylor to the 1975 murder of his first wife, Kathy Taylor. Dennis Majewski, Earl Taylor's attorney, said the TV program carried by the TNT cable network, and a follow-up newspaper article that told viewers the episode was available on YouTube, led him to doubt he could find an untainted jury in Vigo County.
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Lawmakers in no rush to fix Marion County’s judicial selection process

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County’s unique power-sharing judicial-election system won’t be fixed anytime soon, even though a federal judge has ruled the four-decade-old system is unconstitutional.
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Pharmacist’s snooping is a prescription for trouble

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
Walgreen’s appeal of $1.8M judgment in favor of customer raises patient privacy issues.
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Re-routing the school-to-prison pipeline

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Tippecanoe County is just one of a handful of sites across the nation participating in a special initiative designed to constrict the flow of minors into the juvenile justice system and give them a second chance.
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When municipal growth clashes with property owners, the result is annexation headaches

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A 644-acre swath of rural Hancock County land is at the heart of a contentious annexation battle that illustrates what municipalities say is the need to get control of property before development happens. The case also brings to light what may be a shift in the judiciary’s attitude toward remonstrators.
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Disciplinary Actions - 10/22/14

October 22, 2014
IL Staff
Read who recently resigned from the Indiana bar.
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Court hearing set for Gary man linked to 7 deaths

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
A Gary man who police say confessed to killing one woman, helped investigators find six other bodies and indicated there may be more is scheduled to make his first court appearance.
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Judge must face federal lawsuit over drug court detentions

October 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Clark Circuit Judge Jerome Jacobi must face a federal lawsuit from drug court participants who allege they were improperly detained or unlawfully arrested as participants in the problem-solving court he oversaw.
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Split COA reverses denial of post-conviction relief

October 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
A defense attorney’s failure to raise the consecutive sentencing limitation prejudiced his client, the majority of a Court of Appeals panel ruled, reversing denial of post-conviction relief for a man convicted of multiple burglaries. The court remanded for resentencing to trim six years off a 28-year prison term.
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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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