Legal News

Indiana woman pleads guilty in abuse death of daughter, 3

May 2, 2017
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana woman has pleaded guilty in her 3-year-old daughter's abuse death and injuries suffered by the girl's older sibling.
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Common Cause, NAACP sue over Marion County early voting

May 2, 2017
Dave Stafford
Marion County’s single location for early voting provides unequal access to the ballot, argues a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by Common Cause and the NAACP. Plaintiffs in the case allege Indianapolis’ sole early voting precinct is discriminatory and constitutes voter suppression.
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Indiana appeals order blocking abortion ultrasound mandate

May 1, 2017
 Associated Press
Indiana is appealing a federal ruling that blocks a state mandate forcing women to undergo an ultrasound at least 18 hours before having an abortion.
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Education panel says character matters more than scores

May 1, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Bar Association annual meeting and judicial conference started its first round of discussions by talking about a continuing source of anxiety in the legal profession – law school.
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Appeals court won't reconsider net neutrality ruling

May 1, 2017
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court said Monday it won't reconsider its ruling to uphold the government's "net neutrality" rules that require internet providers to treat all online traffic equally.
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Supreme Court says cities can sue banks under US housing law

May 1, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that cities may sue banks under the federal anti-discrimination in housing law, but said those lawsuits must tie claims about predatory lending practices among minority customers directly to declines in property taxes.
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Kansas judges back off effort to keep jurors' names secret

May 1, 2017
 Associated Press
Indiana is one of several states where courts don't have to release jurors' names.
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Man convicted in IU student's death appeals 80-year sentence

May 1, 2017
 Associated Press
A man serving an 80-year prison sentence for the beating death of an Indiana University student is appealing his sentence.
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Holcomb faces deadline on 'sanctuary campus' bill

May 1, 2017
Olivia Covington
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has just one day left to decide whether he will sign a controversial bill that would prohibit Indiana colleges and universities from adopting “sanctuary campus” policies.
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Charter school facing suit warns of potential ‘chaos’

May 1, 2017
Dave Stafford
An Ellettsville charter school affiliated with a religious institution warns that if a federal lawsuit targeting the school’s state funding is successful, similar charter schools statewide could face “chaos.”
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City court judge resigns same day Supreme Court issues reprimand

May 1, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a northern Indiana judge Friday convicted of felony battery against a public safety official after an altercation with a local police chief. As part of the agreement, the judge resigned effective immediately.
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Supreme Court rejects ‘dark box’ case, lets Tax Court ruling stand

April 28, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided Indiana Supreme Court has denied review to a tax case involving the use of vacant, or “dark,” retail store properties in determining tax assessments for similar-functioning retail properties, allowing the Indiana Tax Court’s ruling in the case to stand.
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Hoosier teams bring home We the People honors

April 28, 2017
IL Staff
Two Indiana teams triumphed at the We the People national finals this week in Washington, D.C.
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‘Purge’ shooter pleads guilty to murder, robbery

April 28, 2017
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A suspect in Indianapolis’ May 2016 “purge” killing has pleaded guilty to murder and felony armed robbery, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office announced Friday.
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Summary judgment for DCS on age, sex discrimination charges affirmed

April 28, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Department of Child Services did not discriminate against a former employee seeking to come out of retirement when it declined to move him through the interview process, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Friday.
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COA affirms closing of unsupervised estate

April 28, 2017
Olivia Covington
In a dispute between two northern Indiana sisters, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the trial court’s decision to close the unsupervised estate of the sisters’ father, finding that the trial court did not apply the wrong legal or statutory standards when closing the estate.
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Appeals court upholds decision to block Anthem bid for Cigna

April 28, 2017
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court on Friday left in place a decision blocking Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc.’s bid to buy rival health insurer Cigna Corp, saying that a bigger company is not better for consumers.
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CASA therapy dogs lighten mood at Tippecanoe courthouse

April 28, 2017
 Associated Press
Navigating the local court system is just one more traumatic experience for children who have been abused or neglected. But Tippecanoe County advocates believe a therapy dog to pat or scratch could ease their stress and lighten their moods.
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Man sentenced to 75 years for killing pregnant girlfriend

April 28, 2017
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana man has been sentenced to 75 years in prison for fatally stabbing his pregnant girlfriend and leaving her body in their apartment while he took a vacation.
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2 convicted of roles in $2 million Hoosier Lottery scam

April 28, 2017
 Associated Press
Two people have been convicted of taking part in a scheme to claim a $2 million Hoosier Lottery prize.
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Judges make it official: Indy courts moving to justice center

April 28, 2017
IL Staff
Judges of the Marion Circuit and Superior Courts formally announced Thursday that civil and criminal courts will move from the Indianapolis City-County Building to a proposed Criminal Justice Complex on the city’s near-southeast side.
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IU Health, HealthNet to pay $18M to settle false-claims case

April 27, 2017
Indianapolis Business Journal, John Russell
Indiana University Health and HealthNet Inc. have agreed to pay a total of $18 million to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit alleging they submitted claims to the government in violation of anti-kickback laws. Federal and state authorities announced the settlement agreement Thursday afternoon.
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Justices consider use of ‘dark box’ properties in assessments

April 27, 2017
Olivia Covington
Discerning the true meaning of the term “market value-in-use” is the central task now before the Indiana Supreme Court as it considers whether to accept review of a tax case that attorneys say will have a far-reaching effect on Indiana’s assessment system.
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Man gets life in prison for Indianapolis officer's killing

April 27, 2017
 Associated Press
A man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting an Indianapolis police officer was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Thursday following emotional testimony from the officer's widow and mother.
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COA: Vectren projects fail to meet TDSIC requirements

April 27, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has pulled the plug on a power company’s plan to hike rates without allowing the public to view and comment on the proposal.
More
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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