Legal News

State proved man forced his way into apartment, COA holds

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of three crimes stemming from the robbery of an apartment could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he did not force his way into the apartment because someone inside opened the door first.
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Indiana fish farm loses lawsuits over unpaid bills

May 26, 2015
 Associated Press
A central Indiana fish farm that last year won approval for a $30 million expansion faces more than $200,000 in court judgments after lawsuits filed by businesses who say the company owes them money.
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Gay marriage challenges cost Indiana $1.4M in attorney fees

May 26, 2015
 Associated Press
The state of Indiana had to pay more than $1.4 million in fees to plaintiffs' attorneys in its unsuccessful attempt to maintain a ban on same-sex marriages, the attorney general's office says.
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COA reverses felony conviction for lack of evidence

May 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The state did not prove that a St. Joseph County man intimidated another person when the man pulled out a knife after being confronted about stealing water, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The dissenting judge believed there to be no distinction between the defendant being “caught” stealing water and “confronting” the defendant about stealing it.
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Man’s appellate arguments challenging misdemeanor convictions waived

May 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the state that a man waived his arguments on appeal because he did not raise a relevant objection at trial, he did not make a cogent argument on appeal, and because his arguments are otherwise meritless.
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Jury awards $32.5M to victim of 2006 traffic accident

May 22, 2015
 Associated Press
A jury awarded $32.5 million to a Dyer, Indiana, woman who suffered brain damage and was left partially paralyzed in a traffic accident.
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Judge dismisses bulk of Christ Church suit against JPMorgan

May 22, 2015
Greg Andrews
A federal judge on Thursday dealt a major blow to Christ Church Cathedral’s lawsuit charging JPMorgan Chase & Co. caused $13 million in losses in trust accounts endowed decades ago by Eli Lilly Jr. via “intentional mismanagement” and “self-dealing.”
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Indiana man faces more charges in Facebook threat case

May 21, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal grand jury has issued a second indictment with more charges against an Indiana man accused of threatening to blow up a courthouse and kill judges in a Facebook posting.
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Bankruptcy lawyer’s unruly conduct draws warning

May 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Terre Haute lawyer’s behavior at a bankruptcy court proceeding last week so alarmed parties involved that U.S. marshals were called, according to an order warning he could face discipline for his conduct.
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Certified question regarding Patient’s Compensation Fund dismissed

May 21, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has dismissed as moot a certified question sent to it from the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana regarding a claim the Patient’s Compensation Fund sought to pursue against an insurer.
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FBI special agent to speak at Indiana Bar Foundation’s Fellows Dinner

May 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The 2015 class of Fellows will be inducted during the Indiana Bar Foundation’s Fellows Dinner at 6 p.m. June 13 at the historic Allen County Courthouse.
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ESPN to appeal Indiana judge's ruling on Notre Dame police

May 21, 2015
 Associated Press
ESPN will appeal a northern Indiana judge's ruling that the University of Notre Dame police department is not subject to the state's open records law.
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Magistrate chides ‘bloated filings’ in long-running gun dispute

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal magistrate judge in a protracted trademark dispute over the design of competing firearms took aim Tuesday at lawyers he said were slowing the case.
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Savings clause of 2014 criminal code revision not unconstitutional

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that the savings clause of the 2014 criminal code revision violates the Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Indiana Constitution.
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Fuel company settles claims over air emissions in 3 states

May 20, 2015
 Associated Press
Marathon Petroleum Corp. will pay a fine of nearly $3 million and spend another $2.8 million on pollution controls at its distribution terminals in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.
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Judge approves $200M settlement in 2012 meningitis outbreak

May 20, 2015
 Associated Press
Victims of a 2012 meningitis outbreak caused by a now-closed Massachusetts compounding pharmacy will have access to a $200 million compensation fund, following approval Tuesday by a federal bankruptcy judge.
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COA: Trial court properly admitted drug evidence

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a trial court acted within its discretion when it admitted evidence found after executing a search warrant of a large quantity of marijuana in a defendant’s backpack, which led to the revocation of the defendant’s probation.
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Woman’s theft, check deception convictions affirmed

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday that a defendant did not establish that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing her proffered jury instruction or in the admission of pretrial identification evidence.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of railroad disability benefits

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A railroad worker treated in Indiana for years for back injuries and pain failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals he was entitled to federal disability benefits.
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Justices find nature of murders supports death penalty

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Gary man who shot and killed his wife and her two children at close range will remain on death row, the Indiana Supreme Court concluded Wednesday.
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Man’s life without parole sentence upheld

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
There is sufficient evidence to affirm a Fulton County man’s sentence of life without parole for his connection in the murder of an elderly woman during a home invasion, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
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Double jeopardy requires reversal of 1 of prisoner’s convictions

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An inmate in the Miami Correctional Facility scored a partial victory before the Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday. The justices reversed one of his convictions for battering a correctional officer, but declined to reduce his eight-year sentence.
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7th Circuit again denies Notre Dame’s request for injunction in contraception suit

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A month after rehearing the University of Notre Dame’s request for a preliminary injunction that it need not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals again affirmed the denial of the school’s request.
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Pressure on PACER

May 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
On May 1, protestors across the country launched their ire on the federal judicial branch. They were not maligning the judges or their decisions, but rather they were imploring the courts to upgrade and improve the online Public Access to Court Electronic Records system.
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Ruling clarifies, broadens admissibility of social media content as evidence

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
Donnell Wilson’s murder convictions for shooting and killing two gang members in Gary relied in part on Twitter posts shown to a jury in which he bragged about having a gun and threatened to shoot rival gang members.
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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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