Legal News

Indiana panel sidetracks US constitutional convention call

February 19, 2015
 Associated Press
The conservative cause asking states to call the first constitutional convention since the nation's founding is facing some skepticism among Indiana legislators.
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Greenfield seniors have identities stolen

February 19, 2015
 Associated Press
Two Indiana law enforcement agencies are investigating an identity theft ring that has made off with more than 100 identities and about $100,000.
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Justices affirm death penalty for man who killed 2 children

February 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Vanderburgh County man convicted of the murders of his girlfriend’s eight- and five-year-old children after setting fire to hishome in 2010 will remain on death row. The Indiana Supreme Court declined to reverse his convictions or revise his sentence.
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7th Circuit grants habeas relief for man on death row

February 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville man sentenced to death for the 2001 murders of his wife and two daughters is not entitled to habeas relief on his claim of intellectual disability, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. But his petition should be granted because the state courts unreasonably applied federal due process standards in adjudicating his competency to stand trial.
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Attorney fee lien invalid if filed before judgment entered

February 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An attorney who filed a lien for attorney fees prior to judgment being entered in a dissolution proceeding lost his case before the Court of Appeals after it determined Indiana statute requires the lien be filed after a judgment in the case is entered.
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6 central Indiana dental employees reach plea deals

February 18, 2015
 Associated Press
Prosecutors have struck plea agreements with six former employees of a central Indiana dental clinic in connection with a Medicaid fraud investigation.
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COA orders new trial for woman who shot and killed pastor

February 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a guilty but mentally ill verdict against an Indianapolis woman who killed the pastor at her church because she believed he was part of a cartel that was pitted against her. The judges held Lori Ann Barcroft’s due process rights were violated when the judge entered that verdict.
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Attorney general sues county auditor accused of theft

February 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is suing former Owen County Auditor Angie M. Lawson to recover more than $380,000 in embezzled taxpayer funds. Lawson also faces criminal charges stemming from the same theft of public funds.
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Tanker trailer manufacturer not entitled to sales tax refund on rehabbed tankers

February 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Delphi company that makes cryogenic tanker trailers as well as repairs and rehabilitates used ones could not convince the Indiana Tax Court that it should be entitled to a refund on the utilities it used to rehab used tankers.
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House Republicans block minimum-wage ballot question

February 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
Hoosier voters won’t have the opportunity to participate in a non-binding referendum on raising the minimum wage as most states have done.
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Federal judge stalls Obama's executive action on immigration

February 17, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge in South Texas has temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, giving a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit that aims to permanently stop the orders.
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Enhancement affirmed after man exaggerated mental deficits to delay trial

February 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although a defendant has a mental disorder, he tried to exaggerate his mental deficits in order to delay or prevent a criminal trial on a bank robbery charge. The federal court saw through his act and enhanced his sentence for obstruction of justice, which the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Friday in a case of first impression.
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Counterclaims against bank dismissed for failure to state actionable claim

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the decision to dismiss a woman’s counterclaims against her mortgage holder after it sought to foreclose on her home. None of her claims, which stemmed from the denial of modifying her mortgage under a new program, stated an actionable claim.
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Indiana same-sex couple files suit to get both names listed on birth certificate

February 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A married lesbian couple filed a complaint in federal court charging Indiana is violating their constitutional rights by not listing both their names on their child’s birth certificate.
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COA affirms admission of re-recorded videos in rape trial

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of raping his wife after drugging her – and recording several sexual encounters – could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the wife’s recordings of the videos she found on her husband’s cellphone should not have been admitted at his trial.
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Defendant waived right to confront victim by not attending Skype deposition

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s rights under the Indiana Constitution were not violated when the state admitted his victim’s deposition acquired through Skype because the man chose not to be present during the deposition, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA declines to rule on motion to compel due to lack of cogent argument

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A couple awarded more than $7,600 following a car accident did not provide cogent argument or legal authority to support their claim a trial court erred in denying their motion to compel, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Order to pay for rescued animals’ treatment OK under general restitution statute

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a Perry County woman relinquished her three neglected horses to a local rescue organization, she cannot be ordered to pay restitution based on the animal cruelty statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. But the general restitution statute supports the trial court order Julie Bickford pay nearly $700 in restitution.
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COA affirms denial of plaintiff’s request for deposition fee reimbursement

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A doctor named as a defendant in a malpractice lawsuit was not required to pay more than $2,000 toward the deposition fees of the plaintiff’s expert, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA upholds intimidation conviction of man participating in fake robbery

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A staged robbery between two friends to cover up stolen funds from an employer took an unexpected turn when a good Samaritan tried to catch the supposed robber. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s intimidation conviction for pulling a knife on the good Samaritan during a chase.
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Failure to file board record dooms claim for judicial review

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A company that did not file the board record or request an extension of time to file the record within 30 days as required by the applicable judicial review statute should not have been allowed to proceed with its request for judicial review, the Indiana Court of Appeals held. The judges reversed the denial of the town of Pittsboro’s request to dismiss Ark Park LLC’s claims.
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Denial of witness testimony was harmless error, COA rules

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court abused its discretion when it did not allow a person to testify on behalf of the defendant based on a separation of witnesses violation, the error was harmless, ruled the Court of Appeals in affirming a man’s felony convictions of vicarious sexual gratification and possession of child pornography.
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COA clarifies decision in reversed CHINS case

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted the Department of Child Services’ request for rehearing of an August 2014 decision in which the court reversed a child in need of services finding for a child whose father was in the Navy for the first few years of the child’s life. The judges clarified their reasoning but affirmed their decision in all respects.
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Justices: Previous ruling did not alter fundamental error doctrine

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court wants to clear up potential confusion involving the state’s fundamental error doctrine.
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Judge denies defense motions for Indy house blast suspect

February 12, 2015
 Associated Press
The defense of a suspect in a 2012 Indianapolis house explosion that killed two people and damaged dozens of homes has been dealt a setback after a judge denied two of its motions.
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  1. 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

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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