Laws

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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Cold beer lawsuit fails in federal court

June 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A challenge to state law prohibiting convenience, grocery and drug stores from selling cold beer failed Monday when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana denied the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and granted the state’s motion for summary judgment.
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Mother’s argument crushed by precedent

June 13, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld precedent in finding a mother who made sporadic child support payments over several years did fail to provide assistance for one entire year as outlined in state statute.
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Legal snags kill Community-Eskenazi hospital merger

June 13, 2014
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
Community Health Network and Eskenazi Health quietly called off their engagement months ago, when they found out federal laws effectively prohibited their marriage.
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Justices take certified question regarding dependents

June 12, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will determine what exactly the phrase “dependent upon such person” modifies. The high court accepted a certified question on the matter from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Judges order protective order extension recalculated

June 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a 28-year extension of a protective order to be unreasonable, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the trial court to determine a “reasonable extension.”
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Dairy Queen did not discriminate against blind employee

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a firm that operates Dairy Queens in Indianapolis on a former employee’s claim the employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Court must consider man’s motion to prohibit release of criminal record

May 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man filed his motion to prohibit the release of his criminal record before the Indiana Legislature repealed the relevant statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the Hancock Superior Court to consider the motion.
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Attempted child seduction case exposes gap in law

May 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court is considering whether a teacher took a substantial step toward the crime of attempted child seduction when he sent explicit Facebook messages to a 16-year-old student and proposed arranging to meet for sex.
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Prosecutor’s lack of objection allows judge to modify sentence

May 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a case where a woman sought modification of her sentence more than a year after it was imposed, the Indiana Supreme Court found that the prosecutor’s conduct satisfied the “approval” requirement of Indiana Code 35-38-1-17(b).
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Justices to decide if defendant was ‘annoying’

May 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether the portion of the public intoxication statute enacted two years ago that uses the term “annoys” is void for vagueness, as the Indiana Court of Appeals held earlier this year.
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Indy mayor wins redistricting battle

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in favor of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard Wednesday in a dispute between the mayor and Democratic members of the city-county council who challenged a redistricting plan passed in late 2011.
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Same-sex plaintiffs argue the governor enforces marriage statute

May 5, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Plaintiffs in Love v. Pence, the first lawsuit filed in March challenging Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, filed their response to the state’s motion to dismiss their complaint, arguing the governor has the power to order county clerks to issue marriage licenses.
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Court hears arguments in same-sex marriage case

May 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A same-sex couple fighting to have Indiana recognize their marriage returned to court Friday to convince a judge the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
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Justice Department outlines new clemency initiative

April 23, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. Department of Justice Wednesday announced its initiative to encourage qualified federal inmates to petition to have their sentences commuted or reduced by the president of the United States.
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Utica school preservationists win reversal, get day in court

April 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Clark County residents who sued township officials over how a former school in the Ohio River community of Utica was being used will get to plead their case, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday, reversing a trial court order for the township.
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Statute requires state to pay attorney fees on inmate’s appeal

April 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Code 33-37-2-4 requires the state to pay appellate attorney fees and expenses when an inmate commits a crime in a state correctional facility, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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St. Joseph County plans events to mark passage of crime victims’ legislation

April 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The 2014 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, a law that provides support services and compensation for crime victims.
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Official misconduct statute focus of Hardy appeal

March 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
Whether Indiana’s official misconduct statute is unconstitutionally vague was the question before an appeals court panel Monday that heard the state argue that criminal charges should be reinstated against the fired head of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
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IU Maurer professor argues ACA contraception mandate benefits women’s health and economic stability

March 25, 2014
IL Staff
Another battle over the Affordable Care Act goes before the Supreme Court of the United States today as the justices hear two cases challenging the contraception coverage mandate in the health care law.
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Justices affirm ‘safe harbor’ in Juvenile Mental Health Statute

March 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A juvenile sex offender’s statements in a polygraph test during probation that he molested two more children may not form the sole basis to prove delinquency, the Indiana Supreme Court held Friday in affirming a trial court and rejecting the state’s appeal.
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Agency collecting credit card debt not a creditor, COA rules

March 21, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A debtor’s counterclaim that a collection agency violated the Indiana Uniform Consumer Credit Code by not obtaining a license was rejected by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds that although the agency was trying to recover a debt, it was not a creditor.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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