Legal News

Family did not follow statutory remedies before suing bank

December 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal court properly dismissed a family’s lawsuit against an Indiana bank and employee alleging they breached a fiduciary duty to a veteran in managing his benefits, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Monday. The family is required to seek review of the fiduciary appointment as outlined under statute.
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7th Circuit upholds bank robbery conviction despite errors

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although a federal court in Indianapolis committed some errors in admitting certain evidence at a man’s bank robbery trial, those errors were harmless based on DNA evidence and the defendant matching the robber’s description, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Tax Court invalidates contract distinction in administrative regulations

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In ruling for a national home improvement chain on whether it had to collect sales tax from customers who used its contractor services, the Indiana Tax Court invalidated a distinction contained in Department of Revenue administrative regulations regarding the type of contract a contractor uses.
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COA affirms 100-year sentence for 2 murders

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man with a history of mental illness was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his 100-year sentence for his role in the murder of two market employees in Elkhart is inappropriate.
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COA cuts down man’s claims grass ordinance unconstitutional

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Bloomington man who opposes treating or cutting his lawn for environmental reasons could not convince the Court of Appeals that a city ordinance is unconstitutional or void for vagueness.
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Marion County sheriff sued for illegal detentions

December 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit from defendants who were jailed in some cases for days after being found not guilty, posting bond or being ordered released by a judge.
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Jury awards Indiana teacher nearly $2M in firing over IVF

December 22, 2014
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A federal jury awarded a former teacher nearly $2 million Friday after finding that a northern Indiana Roman Catholic diocese discriminated against her by firing her after church officials learned she was trying to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization.
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Gov. Pence hasn't issued single pardon in 2 years

December 22, 2014
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence, who has said he wants Indiana to be a leader in giving criminals who've served their time a second chance, hasn't granted a single pardon during his first two years in office.
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Disputed Nativity scene will stay up until Dec. 26

December 22, 2014
 Associated Press
A county in southeastern Indiana reached an agreement Friday with a group suing to force the removal of a Nativity scene on the courthouse lawn that will allow the decades-old display to remain in place through Christmas.
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Sugarland, promoter settle with state fair victims

December 22, 2014
 Associated Press
Country duo Sugarland, concert promoter Live Nation and 16 other defendants have agreed to pay $39 million to settle claims stemming from the deadly 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse, lawyers for the victims and their families announced Friday.
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T-Mobile settles ‘mobile cramming’ suit

December 19, 2014
IL Staff
For the second time in three months, Hoosiers who have a mobile phone may be eligible for a refund after T-Mobile USA Inc. settled a national lawsuit over “cramming” practices.
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Judges reverse 2 convictions based on double jeopardy violations

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the state relied on the same evidence to convict a man of three charges after he fired a gun at police while fleeing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered one of those convictions vacated and the other reduced.
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COA finds woman owes friend $800 more for unauthorized use of his money

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that a woman improperly spent her friend’s money on repairs to a property he conveyed to her but found the trial court miscalculated how much she owes.
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Woman committed UPL, forgery in divorce filing

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County woman who forged a name and attorney number on a divorce filing had her criminal convictions upheld Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The woman gave false attorney information because she didn’t want the litigant to have to watch a video about filing pro se.
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Fired IDEM employee entitled to unemployment benefits

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a 25-year state employee did not breach a duty reasonably owed to her employer when she failed to meet monthly quotas because she thoroughly reviewed cases instead of quickly approving expenses.
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Justices suspend Muncie City Court judge

December 19, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court issued an order Thursday suspending Dianna L. Bennington, the Muncie City Court judge who faces 13 counts of misconduct.
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Judge delays hearing on Indiana Nativity scene

December 19, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge has delayed a hearing on a bid to remove a Nativity scene that's been erected each winter for more than a half-century on a southeastern Indiana county's courthouse lawn.
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COA: Terminating guardianship is in child’s best interest

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a contentious guardianship case involving a child’s father and her former stepgrandmother, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the guardianship should be dissolved and the father should have custody of the child.
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COA affirms convictions despite erroneously admitted testimony

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a man’s convictions, including forgery and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, after finding the errors by the trial court in admitting certain testimony were harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.
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Grandparents lose second challenge of parental custody

December 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Grandparents who largely were the sole caregivers of a child until about age 3 lost a second custody challenge and bid to regain visitation with the child.
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Whistleblower’s claim ‘sufficiently specific’ to continue with lawsuit

December 18, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A woman who claims she was fired after she blew the whistle about alleged accounting violations by her boss can move forward with her lawsuit against her former employer.
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New trial ordered after expert testimony improperly excluded

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A couple who brought a products liability claim against a ladder manufacturer and the store that sold the ladder are entitled to a new trial after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the magistrate judge should not have struck their expert witness’s testimony. The couple lost their case as a result of the judge’s decision.
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COA affirms East Chicago judge’s request for more money

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An East Chicago City Court judge carried her burden to establish that the $65,000 in requested funds were reasonably necessary, the Court of Appeals held Thursday in affirming the grant of her mandate request. The appellate judges also decided the city court is entitled to appellate fees and expenses.
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Public intoxication statute constitutional, but ‘annoying’ man’s conviction vacated

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court vacated a man’s public intoxication conviction after finding his agitation does not rise to the level that would annoy a reasonable person. But the justices did find that the statute is not unconstitutionally vague.
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Conour victim settles suit naming Doehrman

December 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Victims of convicted fraudster and former attorney William Conour have settled a lawsuit that named a one-time Conour associate as a defendant.
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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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