Legal News

ND improves but IU law schools fall in annual rankings

March 10, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Only one Indiana law school received good news with Tuesday’s release of the annual law school rankings.
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Indiana regulators revoke coal-gasification plant's permit

March 10, 2015
 Associated Press
State regulators have revoked an air permit for a proposed $2.8 billion coal-gasification plant in southwestern Indiana at the request of the plant's developer.
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Indiana high court won't review conviction in parent deaths

March 10, 2015
 Associated Press
The state Supreme Court won't consider an eastern Indiana man's appeal of his double-murder conviction in his parents' killings.
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Utah couple digitizing Vigo County probate records

March 10, 2015
 Associated Press
Vigo County is benefiting from a project that will digitize probate records dating back to 1818, the year the county was founded.
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Judge rejects diocese's bid to set aside in vitro verdict

March 10, 2015
 Associated Press
A jury was correct in finding that a Roman Catholic diocese discriminated against a former teacher by firing her for undergoing fertilization treatment, a federal judge has ruled.
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Appeals panel affirms East Chicago library board must repay insurance premiums

March 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly ruled for the state when it ordered East Chicago Library Board members to repay more than $136,000 in health, dental, vision and life insurance premiums since state law says those members serve without compensation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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More lawsuits filed in December Megabus crash in Indiana

March 9, 2015
 Associated Press
More lawsuits have been filed by Megabus passengers injured when a double-decker bus rolled onto its side in southern Indiana in December.
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SCOTUS to 7th Circuit: Review Notre Dame birth control case

March 9, 2015
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The Supreme Court is ordering the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to take another look at the University of Notre Dame’s lawsuit concerning the overhaul of federal health care rules on paying for contraceptives.
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Indiana judge admonishes abducted teens' sister at hearing

March 9, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis judge admonished the sister of two Indianapolis teenagers kidnapped and held for ransom after she allegedly stole from her ex-boyfriend.
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COA upholds $10,000 fine for failure to cooperate with discovery

March 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court that slapped a transportation company with a $10,000 sanction and ordered its president jailed if the fine was not paid did not commit an error, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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ISBA fund awards $100,000 to Conour victims

March 9, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association Clients’ Financial Assistance Fund Committee has given $100,000 to victims who suffered losses due to the dishonest acts of ex-attorney William Conour, the ISBA announced Monday. The money was divided among 24 victims.
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Federal judge fines abusive filer $1,200, bars future suits

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who’s filed nearly four dozen lawsuits against defendants from “Bobby” to President Barack Obama lost his federal court privileges this week.
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Failure to conduct indigency hearing results in remand

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court that imposed a $340 probation fee on a defendant sentenced on misdemeanor convictions must be revisited because the court failed to conduct a hearing on the defendant’s ability to pay.
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20-year sentence for $60 drug deal reduced as excessive

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
The 20-year executed sentence a Kokomo man received after pleading guilty to selling an undercover police officer 10 hydrocodone pills for $6 each was excessive, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Lawsuit over Covanta recycling center plan set for hearing

March 6, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
A lawsuit prompted by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s controversial recycling-plant deal is set for hearing March 10.
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State appeals ruling blocking fenced hunting preserve rules

March 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office is appealing a court ruling that state wildlife officials overstepped their authority in trying to shut down Indiana’s high-fenced deer-hunting preserves.
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Indianapolis man gets 37 years in Henry County killing

March 6, 2015
 Associated Press
A 35-year-old Indianapolis man has been sentenced to 37 years in prison for using a shotgun to kill another Indianapolis man in Henry County.
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Court affirms $100,000 in attorney fees to bank for defending groundless claim

March 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who claimed a bank acting as trustee breached its fiduciary duties by selling stock of JP Morgan Chase over the course of several years is still on the hook for more than $100,000 in attorney fees and costs to the trustee, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday. The COA agreed Susan Moeder brought a groundless claim against Salin Bank and Trust Co. after it sought to resign as trustee.
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Providing temptation to commit crime is not inducement, majority rules

March 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a man’s conviction of patronizing a prostitute, with the majority ruling the state rebutted his defense of entrapment by showing there was no police inducement.
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No new trial for Indiana woman convicted in deadly crash

March 5, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis woman convicted of killing six children and a man in a wrong-way, head-on collision along a state highway will not get a new trial, a judge has ruled.
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Class-action suit against Indiana BMV to go to mediation

March 5, 2015
 Associated Press
A class-action lawsuit that says the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles overcharged customers by millions of dollars is set to go to mediation.
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Courts closed in southern Indiana due to weather

March 5, 2015
IL Staff
Severe weather and emergency travel restrictions have closed several federal courts in southern Indiana. The Evansville and New Albany offices of the U.S. District and Bankruptcy courts for the Southern District of Indiana are closed Thursday. The Clark County Government Building, which houses the Circuit courts, is also closed.
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Patients sue Lilly, claim Cymbalta withdrawal hazards

March 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two federal lawsuits filed in Indianapolis allege Eli Lilly’s top-selling antidepressant Cymbalta caused almost immediate dangerous withdrawal symptoms when patients attempted to stop using the medication.
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Indy Land Bank trial could turn on government wiretaps

March 4, 2015
Cory Schouten
Reginald T. Walton is guilty of "very poor judgment" and "ethics violations," and also "did a pretty good job concealing" his involvement in private real estate partnerships during his tenure leading the Indy Land Bank, but he's not guilty of any crime, his attorney argued in federal court Wednesday.
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SCOTUS sharply divided over Obamacare subsidies

March 4, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States was sharply divided Wednesday in the latest challenge to President Barack Obama's health overhaul, this time over the tax subsidies that make insurance affordable for millions of Americans.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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