Legal News

Legislative and judicial history settles feud over estate

June 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Sisters arguing over the family estate failed to provide the court with “clear and convincing evidence” that their father’s intentions were different from his actions.
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Justices uphold Arizona’s system for redistricting

June 29, 2015
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday upheld Arizona congressional districts drawn by an independent commission and rejected a constitutional challenge from Republican lawmakers.
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Indiana House hires attorneys to defend public records suit

June 29, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana House of Representatives has hired two outside attorneys, who bill an average of nearly $400 an hour, to defend itself from a lawsuit filed over its refusal to provide correspondence over a solar power bill under the state's public records law.
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Tim Durham fails to convince judge to reduce 50-year sentence

June 29, 2015
Scott Olson
Convicted Ponzi scheme leader Tim Durham failed Friday afternoon in his bid to get his 50-year prison sentence reduced.
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Man’s sentence affirmed despite misapplication of law

June 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A misapplication of Indiana law in setting a 10-year cap in a plea agreement for a man who admitted to multiple counts of child neglect and criminal confinement doesn’t require reversal, a divided Indiana Supreme Court held Monday.
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In case of conflicting evidence, high court defers to jury verdict

June 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Pike County man challenging the jury’s finding that he was not insane or mentally ill did not meet what the Indiana Supreme Court acknowledged was a “heavy burden” to overturn the guilty verdict.
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Justices affirm burglary conviction COA tossed out for perjury

June 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday affirmed a trial court burglary conviction that a Court of Appeals panel vacated on the basis that the prosecution used perjured testimony.
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Justices uphold use of drug implicated in botched executions

June 29, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the use of a controversial drug that has been implicated in several troubled executions.
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Justices allow new hearings in North Carolina capital cases

June 29, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has left in place lower court rulings ordering hearings over jurors in two North Carolina death penalty trials who reached beyond the jury room for biblical references to help their deliberations.
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Supreme Court will re-hear Texas affirmative action

June 29, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States will dive back into the fight over the use of race in admissions at the University of Texas, a decision that presages tighter limits on affirmative action in higher education.
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Judgment reserving funds for mechanic’s lien reversed

June 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court judgment that a mortgage company reserve money to satisfy a mechanic’s lien was reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday.
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Warsaw poker game operator’s conviction flushed

June 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
The operator of a fundraising poker game at a Warsaw veterans lodge won an appeal of his contracting conviction Friday at the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Display celebrates Tinder’s career

June 26, 2015
IL Staff
In honor of 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Daniel Tinder’s retirement, a display has been installed in the main hall of the first floor of the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Man deported after living in US since age 1 gets relief

June 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana man who was ordered deported after pleading guilty to federal marijuana charges will be allowed to return to the country, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Appeals panel reverses expungement denial

June 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court that rejected an expungement petition because the petitioner had not been arrested on an underage drinking charge got it wrong, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Comment sought on possible child support guideline changes

June 26, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court is considering altering the child support guidelines, which provide a measure for determining the amount of child support each parents owes.
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Minkler takes over as U.S. attorney in Southern District

June 26, 2015
IL Staff
Josh Minkler was sworn in as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana on Thursday by Southern District Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
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Supreme Court extends same-sex marriage nationwide

June 26, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. The decision was 5-4.
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Woman’s comments to police considered political speech, COA rules

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a woman's misdemeanor disorderly conduct conviction, which was based on her comments to police that she was pulled over because she was black, finding the comments were political in nature.
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Judges deny sentence modifications, but for different reasons

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday that neither of two men who petitioned in late 2013 to have their 1997 sentences modified are entitled to a modification, but the judges' reasoning for the denials differed.
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7th Circuit rules against Anderson mayor in suit following firings

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith lost his appeal of the finding that he is not entitled to qualified immunity regarding all of the fired government workers involved in a lawsuit alleging their discharges violated the First Amendment.
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7th Circuit rejects claim conviction is outside statute of limitations

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with a defendant who claimed the federal DNA tolling statute is unconstitutional as applied to him. The man was convicted in 2013 of attempting to rob an Anderson bank in 2003, thanks to a positive identification in 2010 using DNA collected at the crime scene.
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Judge rejects mistrial in Indianapolis house explosion case

June 25, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana judge has denied a mistrial in the case of a man accused of rigging a deadly Indianapolis house explosion. The defendant's attorneys raised concerns about miscalculations by a witness.
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Gibson County sued over jail inmate’s death

June 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
The estate of an inmate who died in the Gibson County Jail last year has sued the county in federal court.
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Housing-discrimination lawsuits backed by US Supreme Court

June 25, 2015
 Bloomberg News
The Supreme Court of the United States said people who file housing-discrimination lawsuits don’t have to show they were victims of intentional bias, in a blow to lenders and insurers and a surprise legal victory for the Obama administration.
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  1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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