Legal News

COA affirms habitual offender enhancement

July 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
A habitual offender failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that an amended statute, which took effect July 1, 2014, should have been applied to enhance his dealing cocaine conviction.
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Law firm mergers and acquisitions hit record in first half of 2015

July 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
In another active year of law firm mergers and acquisitions, Indiana attorneys’ offices are, so far, remaining on the sidelines.
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Law sending low-level offenders to counties raises questions

July 6, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana counties are expecting to see increases in their inmate populations under a new law that will send low-level offenders to county jails, work release or home detention instead of to prison, the South Bend Tribune reported Sunday.
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Indiana Supreme Court weighs case on custody, mental illness

July 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court is weighing an emotionally charged case in which a man lost custody of his daughter after spurning child-welfare officials’ suggestions that he leave his mentally ill wife based on their fears that she might harm the girl.
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Indiana among 9 states contesting EPA water rule

July 6, 2015
IL Staff
Indiana will join eight other states that have challenged an Environmental Protection Agency rule redefining streams, creeks, ponds and wetlands as waters of the United States.
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Despite rebuke, Court of Appeals tosses default judgment

July 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant who consistently failed to appear for scheduled hearings in small claims court gained a reprieve, but with an admonishment, from the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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ICJI crime victim grant application process now open

July 6, 2015
IL Staff
Organizations that assist victims of crime now may apply for grants from a larger-than-ever pool of available money, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute announced.
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Convenience stores win one, lose one in property assessment battle

July 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
In a pair of decisions, the Indiana Tax Court has upheld two rulings that found different valuations for the same property.
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In 3-2 decision, justices reinstate molestation conviction

July 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A 3-2 decision of the Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday reinstated a Class A felony child molestation conviction that the Court of Appeals reversed because the defendant was denied opportunities to admit evidence.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling for Emmis in unpaid-dividend suit

July 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A ruling in favor of Emmis Communications in a federal lawsuit brought by owners of preferred shares in the company was affirmed Thursday by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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AG announces settlement in dollar store merger

July 6, 2015
IL Staff
Indiana has joined 16 states in a Federal Trade Commission settlement as Dollar Tree Inc. prepares to acquire rival deep-discount store chain Family Dollar Stores Inc.
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7th Circuit rejects second challenge at ACA contraception mandate

July 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has again rejected a college’s argument against having to give notification that it does not want to provide coverage for contraceptives as required under the Affordable Care Act.
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Firefighter allegedly targeted with noose sues ex-official

July 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A black Marion firefighter whose wife belongs to the family of a lynching victim has filed a federal lawsuit against an assistant fire chief who allegedly tied a rope into a noose.
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Key Indianapolis home blast witness tells of failed tries

July 2, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis woman whose house exploded, killing two people, testified Wednesday during her former boyfriend's trial in South Bend that he was determined to burn the home down for insurance money and became angry when the first two attempts failed.
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Notebook found in car falls under Fourth Amendment exception

July 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A notebook taken from a vehicle during an investigation of an identity-theft scheme was admissible at trial even though police did not have a search warrant, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Appeals court reverses denial of Fortville annexation

July 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The town of Fortville’s effort to annex more than 600 acres was wrongly blocked by a trial court, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, sending the matter back for further proceedings.
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7th Circuit slams lawyer, sets new law on fees

July 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis attorney who appealed a class-action lawsuit seeking a share of his clients’ compensation on top of a statutory award of fees was called out by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which denied his appeal and affirmed the judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Unambiguous contract means lower commission for employee

July 1, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals tossed a jury’s award of $1.5 million, finding the terms of the employee’s incentive plan were unambiguous and the trial was unnecessary.
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Divided justices deny State Fair stage collapse appeal

July 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
Victims who contested a settlement after the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse failed to persuade a majority of Indiana Supreme Court justices to hear their appeal.
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COA upholds attorney’s criminal trespass conviction

July 1, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl

An attorney’s attempt to overturn his criminal trespass conviction by arguing the state statute is unconstitutional as applied to leased property was rejected by the Indiana Court of Appeals as failing to convince even a “person of ordinary intelligence."

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Woman convicted in baby’s death seeks visitation with daughter

July 1, 2015
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana woman who spent more than five years in prison for battering her infant who eventually died of the injuries has filed court document seeking visitation time with her other daughter.
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Indiana federal wiretaps plunge in 2014

July 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
Wiretaps authorized by federal judges in Indiana fell by 70 percent in 2014, according to court statistics released Wednesday.
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Kristine Bunch’s malicious prosecution suit stayed

July 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman whose murder conviction was overturned after she spent 17 years in prison may proceed with a malicious prosecution lawsuit against fire officials she claims framed her, a federal judge ruled Monday.
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$6 million Indy jail fail

July 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
The city of Indianapolis spent more than $6 million on a justice center proposal that died last month on the floor of the City-County Council. Law firms collected nearly 80 percent of the total.
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Local efforts to limit Fourth of July festivities fizzle

July 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
Not everyone is having a blast over the explosion of fireworks use in Indiana in recent years. But local attempts so far to curb the concussions have bombed.
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  1. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

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