Laws

Court declines to review drug sentence based on new criminal code

September 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to dealing in oxycodone couldn’t convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his sentence should be reconsidered based on the revised criminal code that took effect July 1.
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Justices hear constitutional challenge to right-to-work law

September 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s right-to-work statute is clearly anti-union, one state Supreme Court justice said Thursday, but all five justices seemed dubious of arguments that it violated the state constitution.
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State can exclude fuel ethanol plants from ‘chemical process plant’ classification

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the decision by state environmental agencies to no longer consider fuel ethanol plants to be a “chemical process plant” under the Clean Air Act. By removing fuel ethanol plants from this classification, those plants may not be subject to stricter regulations.
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Divided 7th Circuit affirms dismissal of RTW challenge

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A split panel on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision by a federal judge in northern Indiana to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a union challenging Indiana’s right-to-work law. The majority concluded the law does not violate the union members’ rights under the U.S. Constitution nor is it preempted by federal labor legislation.
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Fee cap provision in Med Mal Act does not reduce fund’s liability

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has sided with an estate in a dispute over whether the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act's cap on attorney fees from a Patient Compensation Fund award also applies to reduce the fund’s liability. The issue is one of first impression in Indiana.
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Journey’s Account Statute applies to proposed medical malpractice complaint

August 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday affirmed that the Journey’s Account Statute applies to revive a proposed medical malpractice complaint filed on behalf of a woman’s granddaughter as her guardian.
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7th Circuit declines to overturn mine’s fine for safety violation

August 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the petition for judicial review filed by a company that runs a southern Indiana mine, finding sufficient evidence supports fining the company for violating federal regulation requiring a protective mound along an elevated roadway.
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Second court knocks out Indiana's labor law on constitutional grounds

August 13, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Two years after Indiana’s right-to-work law fought its way out of the Statehouse, the measure has suffered another knockout blow in a state court. Plaintiffs have successfully convinced two courts that the Indiana Constitution has given the controversial statute a glass jaw.
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Tough anti-abortion laws examined in federal court

August 8, 2014
 Associated Press
Even with legislatures in summer recess, there's no lull in the battle over state anti-abortion laws as several federal courts decide whether to uphold or strike down some of the most sweeping measures.
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Court clarifies ‘known claim’ exclusion applies in insurance coverage dispute

August 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted rehearing to a case involving a dispute over coverage for environmental contamination and found that the "known claim” exclusion applies, not the known loss doctrine.
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Supreme Court committee studying alternatives to bail

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Committee to Study Evidence-Based Pretrial Release was established by Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson in December 2013. The Supreme Court wants a study and evaluation of the risk-assessment tools that are available to determine when pretrial release is appropriate and under what conditions.
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Same-sex couples ask Social Security Administration to recognize their Indiana marriage

July 28, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A pair of Indiana same-sex couples who were married in June have asked the U.S. Social Security Administration to recognize their marriages.
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Lake Co. judge strikes down Indiana right-to-work

July 24, 2014
 Associated Press
A Lake County judge struck down Indiana's right-to-work ban on certain union fees in a second legal blow to the contentious law passed in 2012.
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Statute does not allow for deferral of dealing marijuana charge

July 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that I.C. 35-48-4-12 would run afoul of double jeopardy or collateral estoppel if the court defers his marijuana possession charge but not his charge of dealing marijuana.
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Ice cold beer? Not here

July 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The challenge to Indiana cold beer regulation continues in state court and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit: Indiana's marriage solemnization statute violates Constitution

July 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding that Indiana’s statute specifying who many solemnize marriage “discriminates arbitrarily among religious and ethical beliefs,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state must allow certified secular humanist celebrants to perform wedding ceremonies.
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Kentucky gay marriage ban nixed, but no weddings yet

July 3, 2014
 Associated Press
Gay marriage advocates nationwide heralded the ruling striking down deeply conservative Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage as a significant milestone, though matrimonies won't begin in earnest there anytime soon.
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Counties worry about cost of criminal code changes

July 2, 2014
 Associated Press
Sweeping changes to Indiana's criminal code took effect Tuesday that will send more low-level, nonviolent criminals to community corrections programs and jails instead of state prisons, causing concern by some about the financial burden it will put on counties.
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Transition period starting as new criminal code takes effect

July 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Criminal court judges in Indiana have now begun instituting the most comprehensive overhaul to the state’s criminal code in more than 30 years.
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Drunk man who ran into woman rightfully convicted

July 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday affirmed the public intoxication conviction of a man who showed signs of being drunk and walked into a woman as he left an Indianapolis nightclub, prompting a response from nearby police.
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New Indiana laws in 2014

July 1, 2014
IL Staff
Many new laws take effect July 1. View a complete list of the laws enacted during the 2014 legislative session.
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Marriage ruling brings Indiana same-sex couples to the courthouse

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl, Dave Stafford
Together more than eight years, Craig Bowen and Jake Miller finally got to say “I do.” The men made history June 25 when they became the first legally wed same-sex couple in Marion County. The pair went to the Marion County Clerk of the Court’s office shortly after a federal judge ruling the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
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Indiana same-sex marriage ban overturned

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Federal Judge Richard Young has overturned Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, finding the law violates the 14th Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses.
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Judge: Library did not comply with public notice requirements

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Tuesday upheld the decision by the state to reject appropriations and levies associated with the Speedway Public Library’s 2011 budget because proper public notice regarding the budget wasn’t given.
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In mad dash by state lawmakers, errors can happen

June 23, 2014
Associated Press analysis
When Indiana's legislative leaders called the General Assembly back for one day last week, it was because they had discovered a handful of mistakes made earlier this year that just couldn't wait until the next session to be fixed.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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