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Judge: More small claims reforms pursued

September 4, 2012
Dave Stafford
More reforms that could address “forum shopping” in Marion County Small Claims courts will be undertaken this month, the judge presiding over a review of township court operations said.
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COA orders judge grant motion for bail bond reduction

September 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Even though the severity of the 13 charges against a Knox County man for his role in several home invasions supports setting his bond at $25,000 cash only, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court should have allowed him to post a percentage of that to bond out.
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Judges disagree over whether car ad implied drivability

September 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided on whether an Indianapolis car dealership was entitled to summary judgment on a buyer’s lawsuit that made Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, Crime Victims Relief Act, and fraud claims.
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Worker’s Compensation Act doesn’t give board ability to decide contract construction issue

September 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a Hamilton Superior Judge erred in granting an injured worker’s motion to dismiss a company’s action on whether it was liable to pay workers’ compensation to the injured man, who worked for another company.
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Courts, DCS, Criminal Code Evaluation committees meet this week

September 4, 2012
IL Staff
The Commission on Courts holds its first meeting of the legislative interim Wednesday, and a common theme is the need for more judges.
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Convicted sex offender appeals requirement to register in Indiana

September 4, 2012
IL Staff
A Massachusetts man who pleaded guilty to rape and abuse of a child in that state in 1984 will argue before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday that he should not have to register in Indiana, where he now lives.
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Fishers company loses Marilyn Monroe court appeal

August 31, 2012
IBJ Staff
CMG Worldwide, an intellectual property licensing firm in Fishers, has lost a federal court appeal related to ownership of iconic images of Marilyn Monroe.
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Suit challenging construction of asphalt plant timely filed

August 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined that the Jeffersonville director of planning and zoning and the city building commissioner are public officers under Indiana Code 34-11-2-6. The judges discovered there is no state law defining public officer under this statute.
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Teen loses on appeal negligence suit filed for softball injury

August 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Wabash County YMCA proved it was entitled to summary judgment on a negligence claim filed by a 17-year-old teen injured while sliding into a base during a softball game on property owned by the YMCA, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Massa appointed chair of St. Joe judicial nominating commission

August 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson has appointed Justice Mark Massa chairman of the St. Joseph Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission. Massa is filling the vacancy left by former Justice Frank Sullivan, who recently left the bench to teach.
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Woman fails to prove animal fighting statute is unconstitutionally vague

August 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County woman failed to carry her “heavy burden” of proving that Indiana Code 35-46-3-10, which governs dog fights, is unconstitutionally vague, the Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Judges: employee discharged for just cause

August 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the finding by an administrative law judge and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that an employee of a funeral home was fired for just cause.
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DCS admits petition flawed; COA orders more proceedings

August 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Gibson Circuit Court committed fundamental error in terminating the parental rights of a mother and father over their young child, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The Department of Child Services admitted that it failed to comply with statute when filing the petition to terminate their parental rights.
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Pharmacy owner pleads guilty to $3.5M in Medicaid fraud

August 31, 2012
IL Staff
A West Lafayette pharmacy owner was sentenced to four years and 9 months in federal prison for defrauding the state’s Medicaid program. He was also ordered to repay Medicaid and pay taxes owed.
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Indiana will receive $4.5M in off-label marketing settlement

August 30, 2012
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Thursday that the state will get nearly $4.5 million from Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. to settle claims that the company illegally marketed its drug, Risperdal.
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Case arising out of molestation not reported by DCS divides court

August 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A lawsuit brought by parents against the Department of Child Services and Evansville Police Department for not informing them of their daughter’s molestation led each judge on the Court of Appeals panel to write his or her own opinion. The only thing the judges agreed on is that the police department is not a proper party to the case.
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Dismissed dental student loses suit against IU

August 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana University School of Dentistry student kicked out of the program because of failing grades and allegations of professional misconduct lost her lawsuit because of failure to state a claim.
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Trial court erred in land survey dispute

August 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Although a Starke Circuit Court correctly rejected a legal survey performed on land owned by a trust, the special judge did err by imposing two prior surveys to establish boundary lines of the property, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Mining company an insured under contractor’s policy

August 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The mining company that hired a truck company as a contractor is considered an insured under the truck company’s insurance policy with regards to an injured trucking employee, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Bankruptcy Court amends some rules, seeks comment on others

August 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The judges in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Indiana have amended local bankruptcy rules, with the changes taking effect Oct. 1. The court is also considering the addition of five local rules.
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Mom’s conviction due to child’s school absences upheld

August 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that an Indianapolis mother was not unlawfully denied a right to a jury trial on her Class B misdemeanor failure to ensure school attendance charge.
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7th Circuit vacates habeas petition, orders further proceedings

August 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Although a District Court’s grant of the habeas petition of a man claiming he didn’t have an impartial jury was reversed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the case was sent back to the lower court for the state to show that the jury was not prejudiced.
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New partnership sends McKinney faculty and students back to high school

August 30, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
They arrived on yellow school buses as visitors Wednesday afternoon but someday the high school students may come as law students. The Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy inked a partnership that will put McKinney faculty and students in Shortridge classrooms and bring Shortridge students to McKinney.
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Bad BP gas distributed widely in Indy, as far south as Corydon

August 29, 2012
Dave Stafford
Tainted BP gasoline that is the subject of two federal lawsuits in northern Indiana was delivered to and likely sold in at least 28 Indianapolis gas stations and as far south as Corydon and Lawrenceburg, according to information the company provided.
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Judges order new trial due to counsel’s deficient performance

August 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County man was prejudiced by his counsel’s error of not timely filing a request for a jury trial, so the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a new trial on his Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement conviction.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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