Legal News

COA tosses treble damages since access was not denied

April 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A feuding neighbor who twice entered the property next to hers to unplug a sump pump will not have to pay treble damages because the Indiana Court of Appeals found she did not commit criminal trespass.
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Appeals court affirms judgment for Valpo frat in student fight

April 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A fraternity fight between two Valparaiso University students who had clashed before is not grounds to hold the local or national fraternities responsible for one of the student’s injuries.
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Possession of precursors ruled lesser-included offense of greater crime

April 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who fled his car and left a “Nazi method” methamphetamine lab behind for police to find was able to get part of his conviction overturned because officers did not find any of the actual illegal drug.
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City will push criminal justice center proposal at next council meeting

April 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
The proposed Indianapolis criminal justice center plan was not placed on the agenda of Monday’s City-County Council meeting, but Mayor Greg Ballard will seek to gather votes to pass the divisive 35-year private-public partnership next month. Ballard’s statement drew a rebuke from council chairwoman Maggie A. Lewis.
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Disbarment order details lawyer’s profane, intimidating rants

April 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
Suspended Fort Wayne attorney R. Mark Keaton for years left profanity-laced voicemails and emails that threatened and harassed his daughter’s college roommate with whom he had developed an intimate relationship a decade ago. He was disbarred Tuesday.
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7th Circuit affirms sentence, vacates release conditions

April 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Gary felon who tried to force a woman at gunpoint to have sex with him was not improperly sentenced to a federal term of 92 months in prison on top of his state court conviction for pointing a weapon, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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SCOTUS: Energy companies must face price-fixing claims

April 21, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States says a group of energy companies can be sued under state antitrust laws for illegally manipulating natural gas prices more than a decade ago during California’s energy crisis.
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Senate deal may yield attorney general vote

April 21, 2015
 Associated Press
U.S. Senate leaders announced a deal Tuesday to move forward on a stalled human trafficking bill, clearing the way for a vote on President Barack Obama's attorney general nominee within days.
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Tax Court panel to review resources, performance

April 21, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Monday announced the establishment of a task force to review the Tax Court’s operations.
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Judge delays decision on NCAA concussion settlement

April 20, 2015
 Bloomberg News
A U.S. judge has declined to immediately approve the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s $75 million settlement of a lawsuit by college athletes who’ve suffered head injuries, giving a critic of the accord three weeks to file arguments opposing the revamped deal.
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Justices add 2 foreclosure cases to docket

April 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A challenge to a foreclosure judgment against a bank that was reinstated by a divided Court of Appeals panel will be heard by the Indiana Supreme Court. Justices granted transfer in two mortgage foreclosure cases last week.
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Judge: Notre Dame police aren't subject to open records law

April 20, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge in South Bend has ruled the University of Notre Dame’s police department isn't subject to Indiana’s open records laws, saying that is how the law has been understood for years and it would not be appropriate for the court to rewrite the statute.
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High court rejects terror victims’ claims against Chiquita

April 20, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected an appeal from relatives of thousands of victims of a guerrilla conflict in Colombia who want to sue Chiquita Brand International in U.S. courts.
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Racial retaliation claim against mover proceeds to trial

April 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A moving company that allegedly permitted an environment of open racial hostility toward two African-American employees must face a jury on a complaint alleging discriminatory retaliation, a federal judge has ruled.
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Landscaper’s attorney fails to explain fee

April 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A landscaping company’s award for attorney fees has been sent back to small claims court for reconsideration after the business and the attorney failed to submit documentation supporting the fee amount.
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Judgment for Planned Parenthood stands, but not for minor’s ID provider

April 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman who gave her son’s 17-year-old girlfriend another person's ID and posed as her mother to help her obtain an abortion was not properly dismissed from a lawsuit brought by the pregnant girl’s mother, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. Summary judgment in favor of Planned Parenthood of Indiana was proper, the court held.
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Lawsuit claims IU Health, midwifery practice risked lives

April 17, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal whistleblower lawsuit says IU Health and midwifery practice HealthNet defrauded the government of millions of dollars and put low-income pregnant women at risk.
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Death penalty sought in suspected serial killings

April 17, 2015
 Associated Press
Prosecutors in Crown Point are seeking the death penalty against a Gary man charged in the slayings of two women and suspected in the deaths of five others.
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Hope town marshal to spend 2 weeks in jail

April 17, 2015
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana town marshal will spend two weeks in jail after a jury in Columbus convicted him of felony misconduct and misdemeanor false informing.
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IU McKinney hosts summer program for undergrads to explore legal careers

April 16, 2015
IL Staff
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law is looking for current college students who have an interest in pursuing a legal career for its 2015 Summer Law and Leadership Academy.
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Chief Justice John Roberts not picked for jury duty

April 16, 2015
 Bloomberg News
It doesn't matter how high up you are: You'll still get called for jury duty.
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Court skeptical of challenge to Obama's climate change plan

April 16, 2015
 Associated Press
Two out of three judges on a federal appeals court panel are expressing doubts about a legal challenge to the Obama administration's far-reaching plan to address climate change.
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Court must consider man’s self-defense claim at new bail hearing

April 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant accused of murder must be allowed to present evidence and witnesses at a bail hearing in an endeavor to rebut the state's burden that the defendant likely committed murder, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday. Since that did not happen in James Satterfield's case, the judges remanded the matter for further proceedings.
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Judges order home invasion sentence lowered

April 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Noting that a defendant who broke in to an elderly couple's home and beat the husband would have received a lesser sentence if he had actually killed the victim, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered Jeffrey Hunt's 120-year sentence revised.
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Judge lets amputee's lawsuit against Indiana sheriff continue

April 16, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge has greenlighted a federal lawsuit brought against a central Indiana jail by an amputee who fell from an upper bunk and was injured when he damaged his prosthetic leg.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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