Courts

Ruling goes against Indiana’s ‘strong public policy’ of enforcing contracts

August 3, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge ruled Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging the town of Fortville’s procedure for disputing unpaid water bills that class members’ constitutional rights to procedural due process trump the state’s public policy of enforcing contracts.
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Obama shortens terms for 214 prisoners

August 3, 2016
 Associated Press
President Barack Obama on Wednesday cut short the sentences of 214 federal inmates, including 67 life sentences, in what the White House called the largest batch of commutations on a single day in more than a century.
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Pokemon goes to court in backyard monster trespassing case

August 3, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A New Jersey resident with a pocket monster in his backyard filed what may be the first lawsuit against Niantic Inc. and Nintendo Co. for unleashing Pokemon Go across the U.S., claiming that players are coming to his home uninvited in their race to “catch ’em all.”
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Judge blocks release of Trump's video testimony

August 3, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal judge who has been a target of Donald Trump's repeated scorn on Tuesday denied a media request to release videos of the Republican presidential candidate testifying in a lawsuit about the now-defunct Trump University — images that Trump's attorneys had argued would have been used to tarnish the campaign.
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Defense attorney: Police botched investigation

August 3, 2016
 Associated Press
A man accused of killing an Indiana University student is the victim of a botched police investigation, his attorney told jurors on Tuesday, but prosecutors noted that the victim's blood and hair were found in his vehicle.
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Interactive files federal patent suit against competitor

August 2, 2016
Susan Orr, IBJ Staff
Indianapolis-based Interactive Intelligence Inc. has filed a federal patent lawsuit against Avaya Inc., a competitor with which Interactive Intelligence also had a long-standing patent license agreement.
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Indianapolis sues emergency dispatch provider for $8.3M

August 2, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
The city of Indianapolis is suing a North Carolina-based public safety software provider for breach of contract, saying it failed to adequately complete a job to install a new computer-aided dispatch system for police, fire and emergency use.
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Judges divided over sentence review under Appellate Rule 7(B)

August 2, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The majority on a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals declared Tuesday that Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B) requires only that the court “consider” the nature of the offense and the offender’s character, not that the defendant necessarily prove both of those prongs. This led to a separate opinion calling the decision “significant.”
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Statute, plea agreement do not preclude converting felony to misdemeanor

August 2, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision to reduce a man’s Class D felony conviction following a guilty plea to theft in 2000 to a Class A misdemeanor 15 years later.
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State won’t appeal order blocking abortion law

August 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge’s order blocking a divisive and restrictive abortion law signed this year by Gov. Mike Pence will not be appealed, Indiana Lawyer has learned. The decision not to appeal at this time effectively punts a decision on a possible future appeal to new state office-holders to be elected in November.
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Attorneys for Dylann Roof file death penalty challenge

August 2, 2016
 Associated Press
Attorneys for the man charged with killing nine people at a Charleston church are challenging federal prosecutors' intention to seek the death penalty against him.
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Defense attorney: Police took 1st suspect in student's death

August 2, 2016
 Associated Press
The attorney for a Bloomington man charged with killing an Indiana University student says her client is the innocent victim of an incomplete police investigation.
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Fort Wayne man gets 85 years in fatal attack with microwave

August 1, 2016
 Associated Press
A Fort Wayne man convicted of beating a mentally ill man to death with a microwave has been sentenced to 85 years in prison.
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Justices decline newborn blood sample case

August 1, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will not hear the appeal of an Indiana couple who wanted their child’s blood, taken when she was born, destroyed instead of being stored by the state.
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Uber in dare to judge says it’s ready to ditch driver settlement

August 1, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Uber Technologies Inc.’s message to the judge who must approve its $100 million settlement with drivers is clear: take it or leave it.
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E-filing mandatory in Franklin, Rush, Union counties Sept. 30

August 1, 2016
IL Staff
E-filing is now available in courts in Franklin, Rush and Union counties and will be mandatory in these courts beginning Sept. 30.
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Task force recommends expungement filings go online

August 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
A panel advising the Indiana Supreme Court on which trial court records should go online has recommended that petitions seeking to expunge criminal records eventually be posted on the state court’s website for public case information.
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7th Circuit denies rehearing in Conour creditor suit

August 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
The long road for some victims to recover any of the settlement money former attorney William Conour stole from them may be closer to an end. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied requests to reconsider the court’s decision putting Conour’s victims before a creditor who sued over a defaulted line of credit.
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Ex-Indianapolis high school coach sentenced on sex count

August 1, 2016
 Associated Press, IBJ Staff
A former Indianapolis private high school boys' basketball coach has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for trying to entice a 15-year-old student to have sex with him.
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COA: investors owed reimbursement

July 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a reversal in the Indiana Court of Appeals handed an investment firm a reimbursement, the amount of funds to be returned is unknown since the trial court was left to figure the sum.
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Court affirms suppression of drug evidence found in jail strip search

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court correctly granted the motion of a man arrested in Marion County to suppress drug evidence found in his buttocks after he was stripped search as a result of a misdemeanor battery charge, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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COA finds double jeopardy requires vacating criminal recklessness conviction

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide which of a man’s two convictions that violated double jeopardy prohibitions to vacate, and determined that his Level 6 felony criminal recklessness conviction should be vacated because it has the less severe penal consequence.
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Mother to be sanctioned for willfully denying parenting time

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A mother that has prevented her son from seeing his father since 2009 and purposefully disobeyed parenting time orders and contempt orders must be sanctioned, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA: Trial Rule 41(E) requires hearing on PCR petition

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court should have followed Indiana Trial Rule 41(E) and held a hearing before dismissing an inmate’s petition for post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Court orders reconsideration of petition for credit time

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Because the post-conviction court denied an inmate’s petition for credit time without considering whether he had exhausted administrative remedies, the Indiana Court of Appeals sent the case back for reconsideration.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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