Government

7th Circuit warns attorneys about complianceRestricted Content

October 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals chastised the U.S. Attorney's Office in Indiana's Northern District to "get its act together" to comply strictly with a statute that imposes a mandatory life sentence for a defendant convicted of a drug offense with two prior drug convictions.
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Study: Taxing services could yield state $6.8B

October 12, 2009
The non-partisan Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute this morning released a new study exploring the ramifications of expanding the state's sales tax to include services.
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First impression in utility fee case

October 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to determine whether the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission properly reviewed the rates and fees charged by a regional sewage district at the request of a campground owner.
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Committee ponders DCS authority of juveniles

October 2, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An interim legislative committee is deciding what it should do about a last-minute, special session addition giving the Department of Child Services even more control over juvenile justice decisions that judges have historically been entrusted to make.
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Lawsuit alleges city violated Fair Housing Act

October 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The United States has filed a lawsuit against the city of Columbus accusing it of violating the Fair Housing Act because it refused to grant a permit to a nonprofit group that wanted to operate a group home for men recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.
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National Guard attorney settles with firm

October 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Evansville attorney and Indiana National Guardsman is settling a federal lawsuit against the Indianapolis law firm he previously worked for and sued for wrongfully refusing to re-employ him as a staff attorney when he returned from serving active duty in Iraq.
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E-Ticket program wins 2 awards

September 30, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court's electronic ticketing program has won awards from two safety associations.
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Court erred in ordering DCS to pay costs

September 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of Child Services isn't responsible for the costs of a minor's secure detention because it never entered into a written agreement with the juvenile court to cover the costs, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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High court grants transfer Thursday

September 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Thursday to a case questioning whether the Indiana Department of Transportation is liable for the death of an employee of an independent contractor working on a highway project.
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Religion, race, and the law

September 25, 2009
IL Staff
The intersection of religion, race, and the law will be discussed from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Indiana State Capitol Building.
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Justice praises court-technology support

September 24, 2009
IL Staff
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. praised Gov. Mitch Daniels' administration's support for improved court technology during a speech Wednesday in Denver. Justice Sullivan addressed a plenary session at the National Court Technology Conference, which is sponsored by the National Center for State Courts.
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City agrees to comply with Clean Water Act

September 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Faced with hefty fines of more than $27,000 a day for violating the federal Clean Water Act, the city of Jeffersonville has reached a settlement with the federal and Indiana governments, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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COA says voter I.D. law unconstitutional

September 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has tossed out the state's 4-year-old voter identification law as unconstitutional, bringing new attention to a statute that has been upheld by the nation's highest court.
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Reforms urged to prevent mistakes

September 16, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Indiana explores what revisions to make to its criminal justice system.
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Symposium focuses on law, energy policy

September 14, 2009
IL Staff
The 2009 Program on Law and State Government Fellowship Symposium will address state law and energy policy Oct. 2 at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis.
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Lawmaker wants additional judge for Indiana

September 10, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A bill proposed this week would add a new federal judgeship to the Southern District of Indiana, a recommendation that's been pitched for years but has failed to garner enough legislative support.
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Indiana funds want SCOTUS review

September 4, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Three Indiana pension and construction funds are asking the Supreme Court of the United States to reconsider their objections to the Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings that earlier this year resulted in the sale of most of the American automaker's assets to an Italian company.
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Governor appoints public access counselor

September 3, 2009
IL Staff
Carmel attorney Andrew J. Kossack has been appointed state public access counselor, Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Wednesday.
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Amendment doesn't affect sentence

September 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Even though the terms of a defendant's plea agreement didn't prevent him from filing a motion to reduce his sentence, he is ineligible for the reduction under 18 U.S.C. Section 3582(c)(2) because his sentence wasn't affected by an amendment to the sentencing guidelines, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed today.
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Justices deny sex offender park ban case

August 21, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has declined after nine months to accept a case asking whether registered sex offenders can be banned from parks and recreational areas.
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IDEM could fire employee for ethics violation

August 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The state's Ethics Commission correctly concluded an Indiana Department of Environmental Management employee violated a provision of the ethics code when he bought gas with a state-issued credit card at a gas station he partly owned.
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No Brady violation in sex-sting case

August 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant failed to show there was a Brady violation in his trial for enticing who he thought was an underage girl he met on the internet, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Judges: amendment not retroactive

August 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that an estate's interpretation of a 2003 amendment to Indiana Code would threaten the fiscal health of governmental entities and that the amendment isn't retroactive.
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Court upholds out-of-state juvenile placement

August 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the placement of a juvenile delinquent in an out-of-state shelter care facility over the objection of the Indiana Department of Child Services, finding the trial court complied with statutes that allow it to place the juvenile in a non-Indiana facility. A recent change to one of those statutes now shifts the burden of payment to out-of-state facilities from DCS to the counties.
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District Court erred in drug sentence

July 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a man's sentence for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine because the District Court failed to figure out the quantity of the drug reasonably attributable to the defendant.
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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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