Indiana Supreme Court

Indiana justices deny 8 cases, plus associational standing appeal

March 26, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court declined to take eight cases last week, and the court also reversed a prior decision to hear an electric utility’s appeal based on an associational standing question.
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Governor: Mark Massa 'superb choice' for Supreme Court

March 23, 2012
Michael Hoskins
On Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard's final day as a member of the Indiana Supreme Court, Gov. Mitch Daniels named Mark S. Massa, a former state and federal prosecutor, as the state’s newest justice.
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Mark Massa named Indiana Supreme Court justice

March 23, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels has chosen Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Director Mark S. Massa as the state’s newest Supreme Court justice.
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Justices uphold probation revocation for child support non-payment

March 23, 2012
Michael Hoskins
A trial judge was correct in revoking a man’s probation based on his failure to pay weekly child support as a condition of his probation, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled.
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Divided Supreme Court orders new murder trial

March 23, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Three justices have tossed out a murder conviction, ordering a new trial on the grounds that the trial judge should have given the jury the option to consider a lesser offense of reckless homicide.
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Court rules FSSA notices are unconstitutional

March 22, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held that the notices sent by the state Family and Social Services Administration to inform applicants they were denied Medicaid, food stamps, or family assistance benefits are unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment’s due process clause because they do not sufficiently explain the reasons for being denied.
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Supreme Court examines Indiana's blacklisting statute

March 22, 2012
Michael Hoskins
In declaring precedent from 1904 bad law, the Indiana Supreme Court has determined that individuals who’ve voluntarily left employment can pursue a claim against their former employers under the state’s blacklisting statute.
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Justices disagree on pollution exclusion coverage

March 22, 2012
Michael Hoskins
A divided Indiana Supreme Court has held that the pollution exclusion contained in a general commercial liability policy is ambiguous and should be construed to provide coverage rather than in favor of the insurance company trying to deny coverage.
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Justices rule on construction manager's duty for jobsite safety

March 22, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held that a construction manager on the Lucas Oil Stadium construction project didn’t have a legal duty to ensure jobsite safety to a subcontractor’s employee either by contract or individual actions, and as a result, cannot be held liable for workplace negligence.
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High court upholds stalking conviction

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
It’s up to a trier of fact to determine if someone’s conduct involved repeated or continuing harassment to qualify as stalking, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled, since there is no statutorily determinate timeframe required for this type of conviction.
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Majority upholds finding of contempt

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Three Indiana justices affirmed a trial court order finding a business owner, his attorney and an environmental firm in contempt for doing work on a site with possible environmental issues after a temporary restraining order had been issued.
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Supreme Court declines to set aside tax deed

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has reversed a trial court’s decision to set aside a tax deed, finding the Marion County auditor’s office satisfied the due process requirement articulated by the United States Supreme Court.
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Justices explain opinion in IBM case

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Last month, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Mitch Daniels doesn’t have to testify in the dispute between the state and IBM regarding a cancelled contract to modernize the state’s welfare system. On Wednesday, the justices explained their reasoning.
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Justices affirm ruling in dispute between health care facility and FSSA

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed the outcome of a case between Family and Social Services Administration and a decertified intermediate care facility, in which the net result was a wash for both sides.
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Justices disagree on whether jury instruction requires new trial

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The majority of Indiana justices ordered a new trial on liability for a school corporation being sued for wrongful death, finding one of the jury instructions could have misled the jury about a key issue regarding liability.
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Justices rule on underinsured motorist coverage case

March 20, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held that a tortfeasor’s vehicle was underinsured according to state statute because the benefit amount actually paid to a woman was less than the per-person limit of liability of the underinsurance endorsement of an insurance policy that applied to all the family members involved in the accident.
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Supreme Court rules on habitual-offender filing issue

March 20, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has found that a man convicted of helping to rob a restaurant did not preserve the issue of whether the trial court properly determined he was a habitual offender that could receive an enhanced sentence.
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Justices base ruling on level of intent

March 20, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has determined that not enough evidence of intent existed for a judge to grant summary judgment for a bank alleging a business owner committed fraud.
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Justices rule on railbanking certified question

March 20, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has issued an answer to a certified question about how state law plays into a federal railroad right-of-way case that involves property owners who want their land rights back for easements that once belonged to a railroad company.
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Court may consider SSI in restitution order

March 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court sided with the federal courts that have concluded courts may consider one’s Social Security income when determining how much a person may pay in restitution.
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Supreme Court upholds refusal to give jury instruction

March 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has adopted the full opinion of the Indiana Court of Appeals, which upheld the decision by a trial court not to give a defendant’s tendered instructions on lesser-included offenses of murder.
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Justices take 5 cases

March 19, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted transfer to five cases last week, including a challenge to the school voucher program.
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Supreme Court rules AOL required to pay online use taxes

March 16, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held that companies purchasing online promotional materials from outside the state must pay a use tax when those materials are distributed within Indiana.
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Judges and prosecutors to receive 2.2 percent salary hike

March 16, 2012
IL Staff
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard has approved a 2.2 percent pay increase for judges and prosecutors that will take effect July 1, following the governor’s similar action for executive employees at the start of the year.
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Comment needed on proposed rule changes

March 16, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure is seeking comment on several proposed rule amendments, including revisions to change of venue in civil and criminal cases and continuing legal education.
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  1. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  2. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  3. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  4. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  5. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

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