Legal News

COA: Mentally disabled man belongs in work release, not prison

October 31, 2016
Olivia Covington
A Greene County man whose home detention was revoked in favor of imprisonment will now be sent to a work-release facility after the Indiana Court of Appeals found that the man’s financial situation and documented mental illnesses were  mitigating factors in his sentencing.
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ACLU challenges Bedford sign ordinance limiting political expression

October 31, 2016
IL Staff
A Bedford man who was told he faced fines of $300 a day because of political signs he posted on his property has filed a federal lawsuit against the city with the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.
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Supreme Court gives new chance to 5 Arizona inmates

October 31, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court is ordering Arizona judges to reconsider life sentences with no chance of parole for five inmates who were convicted of murder for crimes they committed before they turned 18.
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Justices sympathetic to girl suing school over service dog

October 31, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States appears sympathetic to a 12-year-old Michigan girl with cerebral palsy who wants to sue school officials for refusing to let her bring a service dog to class.
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Volunteer judges needed for Teen Court

October 31, 2016
IL Staff
For any lawyers interested in taking a turn on the bench, a nonprofit that provides services for troubled teens needs attorneys to serve as volunteer judges for its Teen Court programs in the Indianapolis area. The judges oversee the proceedings and counsel the first-time offenders.
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COA: Police lawfully entered home; battery conviction upheld

October 31, 2016
Olivia Covington
A Richmond man’s request to have his conviction for battery against two police officers overturned was denied Monday by a panel of the Indiana  Court of Appeals, which found that the officers had lawfully entered the man’s home because they suspected him of being armed and dangerous.
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Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to FBI fitness test

October 31, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear a dispute over whether a physical fitness test for FBI special agents is biased against men.
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Justices dismiss Texas case over deaf driver education

October 31, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court has dismissed a case it took up earlier this year involving deaf people in Texas who had trouble getting drivers licenses.
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Justices reject appeal from Alabama death row inmate

October 31, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected an appeal from a death row inmate in Alabama who said evidence withheld by prosecutors entitled him to a new court hearing.
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US justices will consider deportation law for sex offenders

October 28, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States will decide whether the government can deport people who are not U.S. citizens if they are convicted in certain states of sexually abusing a minor.
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SCOTUS to rule in Virginia transgender case

October 28, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court will take up transgender rights for the first time in the case of a Virginia school board that wants to prevent a transgender teenager from using the boys' bathroom at his high school.
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Seymour attorney with Alzheimer’s suspended for disability

October 28, 2016
IL Staff
A Seymour attorney who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and who is facing a felony fraud charge has been suspended from the practice of law in Indiana because of his mental disability.
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COA awards custody to father, orders assets redivided

October 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
After a couple’s contentious battle in court over custody of their children and possession of their home, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Friday their marital estate had not been correctly divided. However, the appellate court affirmed the decision to award custody of the children to their father.
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State approves 6th e-filing provider

October 28, 2016
IL Staff
As electronic filing begins in Marion County Friday, Indiana state courts this week approved a sixth e-filing service provider, which is also the third to offer services free of charge.
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Judge pro tem appointed in Morgan County

October 28, 2016
IL Staff
A senior judge will preside as a judge pro tem in Morgan County effective Monday, the Indiana Supreme Court ordered this week.
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Jury awards more than $70M to woman in baby powder lawsuit

October 28, 2016
 Associated Press
A St. Louis jury on Thursday awarded a California woman more than $70 million in her lawsuit alleging that years of using Johnson & Johnson's baby powder caused her cancer, the latest case raising concerns about the health ramifications of extended talcum powder use.
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Oregon case jury delivers blow to government in lands fight

October 28, 2016
 Associated Press
A jury delivered an extraordinary blow to the government in a long-running battle over the use of public lands when it acquitted all seven defendants involved in the armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge in rural southeastern Oregon.
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7th Circuit affirms jury verdict in injured railroad worker's suit

October 27, 2016
Olivia Covington
A jury correctly ruled against an employee of the railroad company CSX Transportation Inc. who sued his employer after an on-the-job accident that resulted in severe back pain, citing evidence that proved the pain existed before the accident, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Thursday.
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COA affirms woman’s involuntary commitment despite moot appeal

October 27, 2016
Olivia Covington
Although the term of her commitment in an Indiana mental health facility had already expired, the Indiana Court of Appeals chose Thursday to hear a woman’s moot appeal of her commitment and affirm it, writing that the case needed to be heard as a matter of great public importance.
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Mistrial declared in Indianapolis murder-for-hire case

October 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A mistrial has been declared in a double-homicide case of an Indianapolis man who was charged in a murder-for-hire scheme that authorities say led to the fatal shootings of four men in early 2014.
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Indiana congressional candidate sues over arrest

October 27, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana congressional candidate has sued a police officer who accused him of assault during a traffic stop last month.
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Lawyer argues girl hurt in stage collapse put self at risk

October 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A student injured in a stage collapse last year during a musical at an Indiana high school put herself at risk by participating in the show, the school said in court records countering a lawsuit from the student's parent.
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State brief cites religion in defending fetal-remains statute

October 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
The state is continuing to defend Indiana’s fetal-remains statute that a federal judge blocked after a U.S. Supreme Court decision this year reinforced prohibitions against laws restricting a woman’s right to abortion. The state is relying in part on “astonishing” religious practices to make its case.
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Vaidik re-elected chief judge of Court of Appeals

October 26, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik will serve another three-year term leading the court beginning Jan. 1 after the court’s 15 judges re-elected her Wednesday.
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COA will not allow specialized driving privileges for man with 27 traffic violations

October 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
An Indiana man now living in Mississippi whose Indiana driver’s license was suspended for life after more than two dozen traffic violations cannot receive special Indiana driving privileges that would enable him to obtain a license in Mississippi.
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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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