Justices/Judges

Governor names two new trial judges

December 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels has chosen two new judges for the state’s trial bench roster, one of those to succeed the jurist elevated earlier this year to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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COA: Trial judges can't expand timetable on filing appeal notice

December 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State trial judges do not have the power to expand the appeal filing timetable outlined by Appellate Rule 9, the Indiana Court of Appeals cautioned today.
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COA: Trust not bound by ISTA employment arbitration clause

December 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that two former leaders in the Indiana State Teachers Association who served as trustees for a legally separate insurance trust can’t force the trust’s governing board to adhere to arbitration clauses outlined in their ISTA employment contracts.
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Panel criticizes late discovery introduction

December 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
While recognizing that the state’s practice of allowing late introduction of evidence basically rewards attorneys who don’t prepare for trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals looked beyond that practice in a recent decison to how the rules still protect a person’s right to a fair trial.
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Justices accept one criminal case

December 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has taken an Elkhart County appeal challenging three felony child molesting convictions and an 80-year aggregate sentence.
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Justice wants attorney suspended longer

December 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court couldn’t agree on the appropriate sanction for an attorney who engaged in an improper ex parte communication with a judge, leaving one judge to argue for at least a 90-day suspension.
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Court rules on artificial insemination issues

December 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals found that a man who donated sperm can be found to be the father of only one of the two children conceived by artificial insemination.
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Justices sharply split on insanity defense case

December 23, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Faults in the state’s mental health system can’t be used to justify an insanity defense being rejected in favor of a different sentence that will keep a person locked up, an Indiana Supreme Court majority ruled.
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New Tax Court judge 'honored and humbled' by appointment

December 23, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A longtime lawyer and tax specialist received an early Christmas gift this week, learning that she’ll be the state’s newest Tax Court judge and the first woman to hold a seat on that bench.
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Justices order refunds in estate planning UPL case

December 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is shaking its proverbial finger at a company it found had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, making it clear that the court’s orders must be followed or non-compliant litigants will be sanctioned.
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Tax judge denies state's motion to dismiss

December 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court has denied the state’s motion to dismiss a mother and daughter’s challenge to the jeopardy tax assessments made against them after the state found they didn’t pay taxes on their sales of puppies.
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Judge dissents in denial of rehearing

December 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Margret Robb has issued a lengthy dissent from her colleagues’ denial to rehear a case involving the state’s patient compensation fund. After reviewing the case, she believed the appellate court shouldn’t have applied Restatement (Second) of Torts Section 323.
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Retiring Lake Circuit judge marks 34 years on bench

December 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Lake Circuit Judge Lorenzo Arredondo didn’t set out to make history when he took the bench more than three decades ago. But thanks to what he describes as an array of “historical accidents” over the course of his life, the 69-year old has cemented his name in the history books.
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State says goodbye to its first tax judge

December 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Retiring Indiana Tax Court Judge Thomas G. Fisher received a warm goodbye at a send-off ceremony Dec. 17, as the state recognized the solid and nationally recognized body of caselaw that Indiana’s first appellate tax judge created during his 24 years on the bench.
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Court examines statute about paternity, child support

December 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on a matter of first impression today, analyzing a specific state statute relating to how a court can cancel child support arrearage after a man’s paternity is vacated based on new genetic testing.
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Justice's first ruling affirms murder convictions, life sentence

December 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David issued his first decision as a member of the state’s highest court, affirming a life without parole sentence in a murder case out of Hamilton County.
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High court denies rehearing

December 20, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A split Indiana Supreme Court has denied rehearing a case involving faulty workmanship being covered under a commercial general liability policy.
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Judge donates SCOTUS items to law school

December 20, 2010
IL Staff
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge has found a new home for his extensive collection of United States Supreme Court memorabilia: Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
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Justices split over IHSAA athlete eligibility ruling

December 20, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana’s justices couldn’t agree on whether they should even rule on a case involving an athlete’s eligibility in high school when the girl is now playing college basketball.
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Judges: DNA admittance was harmless error

December 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed for the first time today the admissibility of DNA evidence when a defendant can’t be excluded from a possibly infinite number of people matching the crime-scene DNA.
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Dinsmore sworn in as magistrate

December 17, 2010
IL Staff
Mark J. Dinsmore took the oath today to become the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana’s newest magistrate judge. Magistrate Judge Dinsmore was sworn in by Chief Judge Richard L. Young at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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PCR 2 not available for probation revocation orders

December 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Post-Conviction Rule 2 is not available for belated appeals of probation revocation orders, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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Justices vacate adoption decree

December 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ordered the adoption decree granted to paternal grandparents be vacated because they didn’t perform a diligent search for the biological mother.
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Unsuccessful Medicaid applicants aren't entitled to in-person hearing

December 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
People whose applications have been denied for Medicaid disability benefits do not have a constitutional right to an in-person administrative hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Judges split on approving high-cost retraining tuition

December 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals couldn’t agree on whether a laid-off man’s request for training at an expensive college should be approved.
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  2. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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