Legal News

Treatment facility sufficiently showed man was a danger to others

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 90-day involuntary commitment in a mental health facility because the treatment facility presented sufficient evidence that the man posed a substantial risk of harming others and was therefore dangerous.
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Ex-Chandler commission member’s lawsuit continues after COA ruling

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The member of a town’s advisory plan commission who was appointed to a four-year term, then unanimously recalled, will be allowed to go forward with his lawsuit stemming from his removal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Justices: Fisherman is off the hook in grouper-tossing case

February 26, 2015
 Associated Press
A Florida fisherman convicted of tossing undersized grouper off his boat is off the hook after a divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that he should not have been ensnared by a law targeting accounting fraud.
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Grant of judicial review following license suspension reversed

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because an Indiana driver did not take advantage of an available statutory method for challenging the suspension of her license before filing a petition for judicial review, the Court of Appeals reversed the grant of judicial review that ruled in her favor.
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COA ruling revives non-union subcontractor’s Antitrust Act claim

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A non-union subcontractor presented evidence establishing a genuine issue of material fact that the company awarded a contract to build a new school violated Indiana’s Antitrust Act by unlawfully restraining open and free competition for the public project, the Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Lack of post-verdict motion dooms fired employee’s appeal

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit court of Appeals quickly affirmed a jury verdict against a former employee in the Lake County Auditor’s Office who claimed she was unlawfully terminated for political reasons. The ex-employee failed to file any post-verdict motions, a necessary first step for the appeals court to review the case.
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COA interprets Uniform Premarital Act for first time

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A premarital agreement entered into by a pregnant teenage girl and her future husband who was twice her age was unconscionable when the agreement was executed in 1995, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday in an issue of first impression.
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Ex-con tells judge he robbed bank to get sent back to prison

February 26, 2015
 Associated Press
An ex-convict who robbed a bank hoping he'd be sent back to prison told an Indiana judge he wanted to plead guilty only if he received the maximum 8-year sentence.
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Allen County seeks to fill upcoming magistrate vacancy

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Allen Superior Court is conducting a statewide search to replace retiring Magistrate Judge Jerry Ummel. The court hopes to have the new magistrate on the bench in late April.
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Marion County small claims court bill passes Senate

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A proposal that would leave the long-criticized Marion County township small claims courts intact with modest changes has cleared the Indiana Senate. The bill would raise the limit on disputes from the current $6,000 to $8,000.
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COA rules lack of probable cause for warrant makes evidence inadmissible

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that a probable cause affidavit allowing police to search the home of a man suspected of manufacturing methamphetamine did not establish a confidential informant’s credibility and lacked probable cause. The majority also concluded that the good-faith exception would not be applicable in David Cartwright’s case.
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Legal aid agency chooses new leader

February 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic has tapped an internal candidate to be the agency’s next executive director.
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Inmate entitled to hearing on damages following public records request

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County court should have considered a Department of Correction inmate’s claims for civil penalties and court costs against the DOC instead of dismissing the case after the DOC produced the public records the inmate sought, the Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA affirms cutting off mother’s communication with daughter

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The court record is replete with evidence supporting a juvenile court’s decision that a teenage girl would be better off if communication and visits with her mother were terminated, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The girl, in foster care, often had detrimental visits with her mother.
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Judges rule counsel was not deficient, drug conviction stands

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana in excess of 30 grams after finding that the claims he wanted his attorney to raise at trial would not have prevailed.
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Lawyers arguing mental illness in murder conviction appeal

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court is set to hear an appeal of the conviction of a schizophrenic man serving a life sentence in the death of his mother.
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Senate to take up repeal of state construction wage law

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The leader of the Indiana Senate says it will take up a Republican-led push to repeal the state law that sets wages for public construction projects.
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Senate defeats proposed farming constitutional amendment

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Senate has defeated a proposal that would have added "right to farm" protections to the state's constitution.
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South Bend council urged to stop seeking police recordings

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
Two of the four South Bend police officers whose telephone recordings are at the center of a police wiretapping case want city council members to end their pursuit of those recordings.
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Rare emergency suspension issued by Supreme Court

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Merrillville attorney Robert E. Stochel spent a few nights in jail after a judge found him in contempt for his evasiveness, but so far he’s avoided criminal charges despite allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from clients and a former associate.
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Court of Appeals finds no standing post-adoption, suggests legislative remedy

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana appeals court empathized with a grandmother’s situation, but it ruled the law gave the court no choice but to strip her of visitation with her granddaughter, whose mother – the grandmother’s daughter – had died.
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Amended complaint: Marion County inmates held days after release ordered

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Released inmates in Indianapolis are subjected to a “standard operating procedure” of re-arrest and being held behind bars – sometimes for days – after being acquitted, freed by a judge or posting bond, alleges an amended federal complaint filed against the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.
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‘No relief’ for law school enrollment slump

February 25, 2015
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
After three down years for law school enrollment, Austen Parrish expected a rebound of applications and enrollment this year at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. But it isn’t happening.
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Bill would let Indiana businesses battle patent trolls in state courts

February 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill, authored by Bedford Republican Rep. Eric Koch, would prohibit a person from asserting a bad-faith claim of patent infringement and would enable the Indiana business accused of infringing to seek remedy in state court.
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Contingency fees still help to provide access to courts

February 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Twenty-five years later, a plaintiff’s attorney says changes to statutes have impacted awards, but the system remains necessary.
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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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