Government

Civil forfeiture defendants file motion to dismiss

April 6, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Defendants in a civil forfeiture complaint lodged earlier this year in Marion Superior Court have filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds the plaintiffs and the court lack standing.
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7th Circuit: State immune from FLSA suit

April 6, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit affirmed that Indiana was immune from a Federal Labor Standards Act lawsuit brought by two Department of Child Services Employees. The court said the state did not give consent for the suit, and thus had 11th Amendment immunity under the U.S. Constitution.
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Cost to shield Indiana lawmakers over emails hits $160,000

April 5, 2016
 Associated Press
The legal fight to shield Indiana lawmakers from having to release email correspondence with lobbying groups has cost taxpayers at least $160,000.
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COA dismisses improperly filed preliminary injunction motion

April 5, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a motion for preliminary injunction against the state’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit filed by Pain Medicine and Rehabilitation Center and Anthony Alexander after it found PMRC’s motion in the trial court was not procedurally correct.
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Panama lawyers at center of offshore scandal make odd couple

April 5, 2016
 Associated Press
The lawyers at the center of an uproar over the hidden financial dealings of the world's wealthy are an odd pairing of a German-born immigrant and a prize-winning Panamanian novelist whose books sometimes mirror the seedy world of politics he's come across in his work.
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How a spy probe wound up as a child pornography prosecution

April 5, 2016
 Associated Press
At issue in the case is how the government uses evidence derived through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and under what circumstances that information should be made available to defendants, particularly when it winds up repurposed for a routine criminal prosecution that has nothing to do with national security.
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Class-action suit challenges US government's no-fly list

April 5, 2016
 Associated Press
On Tuesday, a Muslim civil rights group filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Alexandria on behalf of thousands of Americans who have been placed on the terror watch list. The suit seeks unspecified monetary compensation.
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High school student wants to change Indiana Constitution

April 5, 2016
 Associated Press
As Megan Stoner prepares for high school graduation, she is focused on finding a way to "begin her legacy" by working with legislators to author a bill that would lower the age that people are eligible to run for office from 25 to 21 in the Senate and 21 to 18 in the House of Representatives.
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National group recognizes Indiana for criminal justice reform

April 4, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana is getting a little love on social media Monday for efforts in recent years to reform its criminal justice system. The U.S. Justice Action Network is including the Hoosier state in its national campaign “30 States, 30 Days” to prompt Congress to pass legislation reforming the federal justice system.
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Indiana mandates concussion training for public coaches

April 4, 2016
 Associated Press
New Indiana law requires coaches to complete a course on spotting the symptoms of concussions. Coaches who finish the training will be granted civil immunity from being sued for student injuries.
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Major overhaul to city's zoning code takes effect

April 1, 2016
IBJ Staff
The city’s long-awaited update to its decades-old zoning code, known as Indy Rezone, went into effect on Friday.
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Mississippi governor gets bill allowing denial of service to gays

April 1, 2016
 Associated Press
The Mississippi House is sending Republican Gov. Phil Bryant a bill that would let government employees and private businesses cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples who want to marry.
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Lawsuit: Fort Wayne cleanups violate rights of the homeless

March 31, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana's second-largest city faces a federal lawsuit alleging that it is violating homeless residents' constitutional rights by destroying tents, coats, blankets and other property seized during sweeps of homeless camps.
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South Bend council votes in favor of expanded smoking ban

March 30, 2016
 Associated Press
The South Bend Common Council has voted in favor of an expanded smoking ban, which may lead to a lawsuit if signed by the mayor.
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States look to provide lawyers for the poor in civil cases

March 30, 2016
 Associated Press
A flood of poor defendants representing themselves — often ineffectively — in dire cases involving eviction, foreclosure, child custody and involuntary commitment has led to a push in legislatures to expand rights to free lawyers in certain civil proceedings.
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US drops Apple case after getting into terrorist’s iPhone

March 29, 2016
 Bloomberg News
The U.S. said it has gained access to the data on an iPhone used by a terrorist and no longer needs Apple Inc.’s assistance, marking an end to a legal clash that was poised to redraw boundaries between personal privacy and national security in the mobile Internet age.
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Garland holding first meeting with Republican senator

March 29, 2016
 Associated Press
Merrick Garland was set to meet Tuesday with Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, marking the U.S. Supreme Court nominee's first courtesy call on a senator whose party leaders have vowed to hold no hearings or vote until a new president is chosen.
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Report: Prosecutors rarely disciplined for misconduct

March 29, 2016
 Associated Press
Prosecutors are rarely held accountable for misconduct and mistakes that have left innocent people imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit, according to report Tuesday by a nonprofit group that investigates possible wrongful convictions.
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Special prosecutor probes donations by Monarch Beverage affiliate

March 29, 2016
Greg Andrews, IBJ Staff
A special prosecutor is investigating whether the big Indiana beer wholesaler Monarch Beverage and an affiliated company broke state law by making more than $1.47 million in campaign donations since 2002.
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Indiana to resume vanity plate program after court battle

March 28, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana motorists will have the option of getting a personalized vanity license plate for the first time in nearly three years this week when the Bureau of Motor Vehicles resumes the program.
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Donnelly meets with SCOTUS nominee

March 28, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
As Senate Republicans continue to block President Barack Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court of the United States, Indiana Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly met with the nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, Monday on Capitol Hill.
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State bills to allow fantasy sports could hurt smaller firms

March 28, 2016
Smaller companies in the exploding fantasy sports industry say they could be shut out of doing business in some states by legislation that is actually intended to recognize the games' legality.
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Fired Anderson workers who won lawsuit want city jobs back

March 28, 2016
 Associated Press
Some former Anderson city workers who won a federal lawsuit after they were fired when a new mayor took office want their old jobs back.
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VW buys time to reach agreement in U.S. on diesel cheat fix

March 25, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Volkswagen AG was given four more weeks to reach an agreement with regulators for getting 600,000 diesel vehicles off U.S. roads as it faces hundreds of lawsuits for rigging pollution control systems to cheat emissions tests.
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Staples judge slams FTC on Amazon testimony in merger case

March 25, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A federal judge criticized the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for attempting to elicit false information from an Amazon.com Inc. executive to support its lawsuit to block Staples Inc.’s takeover of rival Office Depot Inc.
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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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