Latest News

Equal pay lawsuit heads to trial

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A $42 million class action lawsuit involving Indiana state employees is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 19 in Marion Superior Court. The lawsuit was brought by state employees who worked more hours than other state employees in comparable jobs. In Paula Brattain, et al. v. Richmond State Hospital, et al., No. 49D11-0108-CP-1309, the class seeks compensation from the state for an estimated 15,000 state employees who were required to work a 40-hour week while some employees in similar positions at...
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In vitro firing case one of first impression

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
In the first of its kinds for any federal appellate court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an Indiana woman who claimed she was wrongly fired for taking time off work to have in vitro fertilization.The 7th Circuit issued its decision on the Illinois case Wednesday in Cheryl Hall v. Nalco Co., No. 06-3684, a case that could have implications for women workers across the country. The appellate panel reversed a ruling from U.S. District Judge David...
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Judges differ on day-care credit, child support

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel disagrees about whether or not a parent who uses day care when he or she isn't working is entitled to a child-support tax credit.In Craig Cross v. Victoria Cross, No. 49A05-0802-CV-94, authoring Judge Elaine Brown and Judge Paul Mathias ruled the trial court erred in ordering father Craig Cross to pay $30 more a week to pay for Victoria Cross' work-related day care for their adult child with autism. At issue is whether or not the...
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Chief Justice's father passes away

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Within the Hoosier legal community, Richard S. Shepard may get the most recognition as the father of Indiana's chief justice.But the Evansville man's life stands out on its own, ranging from island-hopping invasions in World War II to being a franchiser who helped pioneer the fast-food revolution of McDonald's.The 87-year-old father of Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard died Sunday in Ft. Myers, Fla.Born in Chicago to Earle L. and Mary Schilling Shepard on May 11, 1921, Richard Shepard was part...
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Court: Records inspection needs testimony

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court decision to allow a couple to inspect a company's financial statements, finding the trial court relied only on an affidavit - and not testimony - to allow the inspection. In Bacompt Systems, Inc. v. Angelina Peck and David C. Peck, No. 29A02-0708-CV-646, the Pecks made separate written requests to view Bacompt's financial documents. The Pecks, who lived in Pennsylvania, owned approximately 25 percent of the company's stock. Prior to David C. Peck's termination...
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Supreme Court grants 4 transfers

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted four transfers yesterday in cases involving expungement of an arrest record, Indiana's prostitution statutes, a landlord/tenant dispute, and whether control or title is critical in determining whether the vendor in a land-sale contract owes a duty to third parties. In State of Indiana v. Chad Arnold, No. 49A02-0610-CR-961, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court order denying the state's motion pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 60(B), which requested relief from the order that Indiana State...
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Judge: Courts can't trim budget and function

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Faced with the possibility of cutting even more from the Carroll County's courts budget this year, that county's judges stood firm against Carroll County Council requests to again slash the court's budget. The judges sent a letter to the council stating if the Indiana Supreme Court would relieve the courts of some duties, then the court's budget could be further reduced. The letter was sent to point out the absurdity of the requested cuts, said Carroll Superior Judge Jeffrey Smith. Cutting...
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Post-conviction case gets transfer

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer June 26 to a case involving a summary disposition in favor of the state on a post-conviction relief petition. In Shawn E. Norris v. State of Indiana, No. 43A03-0708-CR-396, Shawn Norris filed for post-conviction relief alleging newly discovered evidence. Norris' stepsister told police that Norris had touched her daughter. Norris pleaded guilty to the charge of child molesting.After Norris was sentenced, he filed his petition for post-conviction relief and included an affidavit from his stepsister, saying...
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COA: Sex-offender registration still applies

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's convictions of failing to register as a sex offender, finding his argument "nonsensical" that his duty to register began before the statute was enacted.In Jesse S. McCown v. State of Indiana, No. 79A05-0710-CR-556, Jesse McCown appealed his two counts of failure to register as a sex offender, a Class D felony.McCown pleaded guilty in 1987 to child molesting and was sentenced to serve consecutive six- and two-year terms. In 1994, the General Assembly...
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Civil filing fees go up

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Attorneys who make civil filings are now paying for judicial salaries and future participation of magistrates in a state pension program.Civil filing fees increased slightly on July 1, raising the standard cost from $133 to $136 to pay for court administration and judicial salaries.The General Assembly increased the court administration fee from $3 to $5, and the judicial salaries fee went up from $17 to $18. Other fees remain unchanged.Some attorneys in Marion County have called the local clerk's office to...
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Justices: Jeans require new trial

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court vacated a judgment in favor of a plaintiff who claimed he was injured by slipping on diesel fuel at a gas station, because of a pair of jeans introduced as evidence on the first day of trial. Those jeans, which the plaintiff said he was wearing the day of the accident, were introduced by the plaintiff without communicating the discovery to the opposing party. In Speedway SuperAmerica, LLC v. Gerald and Madeline Holmes, No. 45S05-0711-CV-258, Speedway appealed the...
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Court: No public intox in private driveway

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a defendant's convictions of public intoxication and carrying a handgun without a license because there wasn't enough evidence to prove either charge. In Cahisa Jones v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0708-CR-658, police responded to a call about suspicious activity at a location in Indianapolis. When the officers arrived, they saw a car parked in a private driveway behind a vacant house. Inside, Jones was lying in the front passenger seat with empty whiskey bottles and beer...
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Court rules on 3 emotional distress cases

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court says that insurance policy language "bodily injury" includes emotional distress subject to its own damage limits, but only if those making the claim are directly involved in the underlying accident or incident.A trio of anticipated rulings came late afternoon on Feb. 28 from the state's highest court, with Justice Frank Sullivan authoring all three as they involve similar cases regarding insurance policy coverage of emotional distress. The cases are: State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Patricia Jakupko, et...
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Justices accept sex-offender registry cases

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is taking on three issues relating to sex-offender restrictions, from when juveniles can be placed on a statewide registry to whether someone can be placed on the list for life.Justices granted transfer in the past week for three criminal cases relating specifically to sex offenders and when people convicted of those crimes must have their names put on the online-accessible public registry.In J.C.C. v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0403-JV-266, the court is taking on a case that asks...
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Local courts seek public comment

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Courts in 16 Indiana counties are seeking public comment on proposed local rule changes, including caseload allocations and court reporter services and fees. The comments are due by the end of June or the middle of July, depending on the county.Cass, Daviess, Lake, LaPorte, Madison, Miami, Jasper, Porter, St. Joseph, Vanderburgh, and Wabash are seeking comment on their courts' caseload allocation plans. Jackson, Morgan, Perry, Ripley, and Warrick counties are seeking comment regarding court reporter fees.In addition to caseload plans, LaPorte...
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Supreme Court clarifies credit time rules

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A trio of opinions from the Indiana Supreme Court gives trial courts additional guidance about how to handle prisoner claims regarding how credit time is applied to sentences.The three-ruling package deal came down late Thursday, with the court simultaneously granting transfer and deciding Keith Neff v. State of Indiana, No. 49S02-0806-CR-362; and Charles Young v. State of Indiana, Nos. 27S02-0806-PC-363 and 27S02-0806-PC-364.Justice Frank Sullivan authored the decisions that are all designed to clarify a ruling the Supreme Court made in Robinson v....
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Former inmate files suit over medical care

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A former Indiana Department of Correction inmate has filed a federal suit claiming that county jail staff and contracted medical personnel didn't give him proper medical care and contributed to his development of cancer while he was behind bars.New Richmond resident Phillip Andrew Springer filed suit Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis seeking damages against the Putnam County Sheriff's Department, correctional authorities, and contracted medical providers for "deliberate indifference" to his medical needs while he was incarcerated. As a...
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Conference to address poverty, globalization

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
How the law and legal associations can lessen the impacts of poverty both at home and abroad will be the focus of a Law, Poverty and Economic Inequality Conference April 3 and 4 at Valparaiso University School of Law.Visiting professor Penelope Andrews organized the conference in response to the various ways globalization has affected poverty through job loss, diminishing labor rights, lower earnings, and an increase in private companies taking over the former responsibilities of governments. The event will consist of...
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Court officials chosen for juvenile justice program

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Indiana's largest county has been chosen to join six other states in a series of leadership-development workshops to study juvenile justice reform nationally.On May 13, the non-profit Annie E. Casey Foundation selected Marion Superior Juvenile Magistrate Gary Chavers and Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Chris Ball to participate in the program because of their work recently on juvenile detention alternatives. For the past two years, the county has been Indiana's only site participating in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiatives (JDAI), which has...
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D.C. attorney argues voter I.D. case

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
One of the most vocal civil liberties advocates battling Indiana's voter identification law won't make his pitch to the Supreme Court of the United States this week.When the nation's highest court hears the much-anticipated arguments Wednesday morning, Indiana Solicitor General Tom Fisher will argue for the state attorney general's office. But Ken Falk, who heads the legal department of American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, won't face the justices, nor will Indianapolis attorney William Groth, who represents the plaintiff, the Indiana...
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Court: Search invalid, statements admissible

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant did not have the ability to consent to a police search of the car he was riding in because the driver's consent to the search was invalid, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday. The court also ruled the defendant's recorded statements made in the back of a police cruiser were voluntary and admissible at his trial. In Sergio Campos v. State of Indiana, No. 45S03-0804-CR-199, Sergio Campos was the passenger in a car driven by Cesar Santiago-Armendariz, which was stopped...
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Overstreet granted stay of execution

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The man who was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a Franklin College student has been granted a motion for a stay of execution. U.S. District Judge Philip Simon of the South Bend Division issued the order granting Michael Dean Overstreet's stay of execution Monday. Overstreet, who was sentenced to death in 2000 for killing Kelly Eckart, filed the motion in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division May 9. In the motion, Michael Dean Overstreet v....
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Children's rights topic of ACLU discussion

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
"Children's rights: Who's responsible?" will be the subject of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana's next First Wednesday discussion. This is the final First Wednesday discussion of the spring 2008 series.The discussion will be from noon to 12:50 p.m. May 7 at the Indiana History Center, 450 W. Ohio St., Indianapolis. Panelists include Jackie Bowie-Suess, attorney for the ACLU of Indiana; Marion Superior Court Juvenile Division Judge Marilyn Moores; and Cindy Booth, executive director of Child Advocates.Indiana Lawyer has a...
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End of parental rights not based on disability

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the involuntary termination of a couple's rights to their children, ruling the final order was valid even without the presiding magistrate judge's signature, and the fact the mother has a hearing disability was not a reason why the mother's parental rights were ended. In R.W. Sr. (father) and D.B.W. (mother) v. Marion County Dept. of Child Services, et al., No. 49A04-0801-JV-64, married parents R.W. Sr. and D.B.W. challenged the court's decision to terminate their parental rights...
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Indy IP firm loses Monroe publicity rights case

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge's decision in California this week represents a significant legal loss for an Indianapolis intellectual property firm relating to the publicity rights of Marilyn Monroe.U.S. District Judge Margaret M. Morrow of the Central District of California in Los Angeles ruled Monday that Marilyn Monroe LLC and Indianapolis-based CMG Worldwide don't own rights of publicity, and that a studio and licensing company have the right to market and license images of the famous actress.The judge's action reversed a ruling from...
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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