Courts

Tax court affirms CVS valuation, stands by prior retail rulings

November 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
A CVS store in Bloomington has won its case against what it said were inaccurate tax assessments after the judge of the Indiana Tax Court rejected the argument that her previous rulings were inaccurate.
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In fractious time, ‘courtesy’ prevails at Supreme Court

November 4, 2016
 Bloomberg News
The U.S. Supreme Court seems to be trying to hang together as the election campaign drives the rest of the country into feuding camps.
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Courts open comment period on online records access plan

November 4, 2016
Dave Stafford
Trial court orders and judgments in most non-confidential civil and criminal cases will be posted and universally available online, but attorneys and parties to cases initially will have far greater access to filings than the public, according to recommendations now open for public comment.
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COA affirms convictions of auto theft, resisting law enforcement

November 4, 2016
Olivia Covington
A man convicted of stealing a car and fleeing police will not have his convictions reversed after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Friday that there was enough evidence to infer he was guilty of the charges against him.
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2 former Christie allies convicted in lane-closing scheme

November 4, 2016
 Associated Press
Two former aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were convicted Friday of creating an epic traffic jam at the George Washington Bridge for what prosecutors say was political revenge, capping a trial that cast doubt on Christie's claims he knew nothing about the scheme.
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Ex-police supervisor accused of stealing drugs pleads guilty

November 4, 2016
 Associated Press
A former Columbus Police Department narcotics division supervisor accused of taking drugs from its evidence room has pleaded guilty to charges.
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Mental defect defense sought for woman in Amber Alert deaths

November 4, 2016
 Associated Press
Attorneys for an Indiana woman accused of abducting her two young children and smothering them are seeking a defense of mental disease or defect for her.
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Rule amended to exclude mental health cases from public access

November 4, 2016
IL Staff
Records in some mental health cases may now be kept from the public after the Indiana Supreme Court added an amendment to an existing rule dealing with access to court records.
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Marian University facing suit over professor's alleged sexual misconduct

November 3, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
Marian University is facing a lawsuit alleging the school acted with deliberate indifference while one of its professors sexually harassed a male student.
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Suit claims Jeffersonville landlord discriminated against kids

November 3, 2016
IL Staff
A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday claims a Jeffersonville landlord discriminated against families with young children and denied them the opportunity to rent apartments in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
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Woman’s wage suit against Indiana medical supplier goes forward

November 3, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has rejected an Indiana-based medical supplier’s effort to dismiss a former employee’s lawsuit seeking enhanced damages over withheld pay.
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DCS insists no right to sue over disclosed identity

November 3, 2016
Dave Stafford
A state attorney argued before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday that the Department of Child Services cannot be sued by a man who reported suspected child abuse but whose promise of confidentiality was violated when his identity was disclosed to those he reported.
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2 former Vigo County school officials face federal charge

November 3, 2016
 Associated Press
Two former western Indiana school officials each face a federal charge for allegedly taking kickbacks from a contractor over two years.
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2nd man pleads guilty in Harrison County couple's slayings

November 3, 2016
 Associated Press
A man has admitted to murder and felony murder charges in the 2013 slayings of a southern Indiana couple under a deal with prosecutors in which he'll avoid the death penalty.
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Muncie woman pleads guilty to felony in infant son's death

November 3, 2016
 Associated Press
A 21-year-old Muncie woman has pleaded guilty in connection with the death of her infant son.
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UK court brings Britain's Brexit plans to a screeching halt

November 3, 2016
 Associated Press
Britain's High Court brought government plans for leaving the European Union to a screeching halt Thursday, ruling that the prime minister can't trigger the U.K.'s exit from the 28-nation bloc without a vote in Parliament.
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Cities argue for dismissal of suit against human rights ordinances

November 3, 2016
Olivia Covington
During a nearly 4 ½-hour hearing in Hamilton Superior Court Wednesday, attorneys for the cities of Carmel, Indianapolis, Bloomington and Columbus argued before Judge Steven Nation that the lawsuit brought against their human rights ordinances should be dismissed because the case is not ripe for judgment and because the plaintiffs have no legal standing to bring the action.
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Greenfield police officer loses suit over discipline for profane texts

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Greenfield police officer has lost his federal lawsuit filed against the city after he was suspended for allegedly sending profane text messages that insulted and threatened his superior officers.
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2 Notre Dame players may avoid jail for marijuana arrests

November 2, 2016
 Associated Press
Two Notre Dame football players arrested on marijuana charges may avoid jail time and criminal records after reaching plea bargains with prosecutors.
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ISP officer loses whistleblower appeal

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
State workers alleging retaliation for whistleblower activities must first exhaust all administrative remedies before suing, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, affirming a trial court ruling against a 27-year Indiana State Police officer.
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Ex-coach’s defamation claim against Noblesville Schools continues

November 2, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The common interest privilege does not protect an Indiana high school from a defamation claim brought by its former boys basketball coach based on an altered press released the school sent out after an incident during practice in 2014, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA denies correction of sentencing order in dismissal

November 2, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Because the plain language of Indiana Trial Rule 41(B) states that a dismissal operates as an adjudication upon the merits, the Indiana Court of Appeals found there is no need to remand a man’s case to correct his sentencing order as he claimed.
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US Supreme Court wants government's take on copyright takedown case

November 2, 2016
 Bloomberg News
The U.S. Supreme Court wants to hear more about the legal issues underpinning a dispute over a takedown notice sent to a mother who posted a 29-second video clip on YouTube of her toddler dancing to Prince's 1984 hit, "Let's Go Crazy."
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8th Circuit upholds Warner Bros.' legal victory over 'Gone With the Wind' merchandise

November 2, 2016
 Bloomberg News
It might sound extraordinary, but a legal dispute over merchandise associated with The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind and Tom and Jerry has been raging for more than a decade. On Tuesday, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals revisited the dispute by affirming both a $2.57 million judgment and permanent injunction in favor of Warner Bros.
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Brexit challenge ruling to be released Thursday, court says

November 2, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A panel of senior judges will rule Thursday morning on a challenge to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan, putting the case on track to reach the Supreme Court before she begins Britain’s exit from the European Union early next year.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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