Legal News

Clark County loses request to impose excess property tax levy

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Noting that the Clark County Council made the conscious decision to not levy the maximum amount of property taxes allowed by statute for the 2008 budget year, it cannot now claim that decision is somehow a data error that the Department of Local Government Finance could later correct, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Wednesday.
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COA: Questions remain whether proper notice given after tax sale

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, citing several questions of fact in a case involving a tax sale, affirmed denial of summary judgment for a mortgagee that sought to set aside the issuance of a tax deed.
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Indiana attorney general appeals marriage ruling

June 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is fighting Wednesday’s decision that overturned the state’s marriage law.
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Indiana attorney general appeals marriage ruling

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is fighting Wednesday’s decision that overturned the state’s marriage law.
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Marriage ruling brings Indiana same-sex couples to the courthouse

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl, Dave Stafford
Together more than eight years, Craig Bowen and Jake Miller finally got to say “I do.” The men made history June 25 when they became the first legally wed same-sex couple in Marion County. The pair went to the Marion County Clerk of the Court’s office shortly after a federal judge ruling the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
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'Get a warrant' to search cellphones, justices say

June 25, 2014
 Associated Press
In an emphatic defense of privacy in the digital age, a unanimous Supreme Court of the United States ruled Wednesday that police generally may not search the cellphones of people they arrest without first getting search warrants.
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COA orders hearing to determine juror bias against plaintiff

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a trial court should have ordered an evidentiary hearing to determine whether a juror in an auto accident case was biased against the plaintiff instead of ordering a new trial regarding damages.
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Court correctly denied petition to expunge felony conviction

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, citing a recent expungement case involving a misdemeanor conviction, agreed with the rationale of that panel that if a person violates the terms of probation, that person did not successfully complete his sentence.
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Judges divided over whether city attorney could participate in demolition decision

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Two judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday believed that a Hammond resident didn’t have the benefit of an impartial decision maker in the proceeding that ordered demolition of his property. They believed the city attorney, whose office prosecuted the case, couldn’t sit on the city board that conducted the hearing.
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COA split on retroactive application of Transfer on Death Property Act

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed Wednesday that a trial court erred in concluding a promissory note executed between a mother and son is an asset of the mother’s estate, although the panel was split as to why the court erred.
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COA: Dispute with camp should be heard in White County

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The YMCA Camp Tecumseh’s quest to stay a zoning decision that allows a confined feeding operation to set up shop next to the camp’s property should be heard in White County, not Carroll County where the camp is located, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Indiana same-sex marriage ban overturned

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Federal Judge Richard Young has overturned Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, finding the law violates the 14th Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses.
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Judge: Library did not comply with public notice requirements

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Tuesday upheld the decision by the state to reject appropriations and levies associated with the Speedway Public Library’s 2011 budget because proper public notice regarding the budget wasn’t given.
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Houchin new chair of Indiana prosecutors group

June 25, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council has elected Washington County Prosecutor Dustin Houchin as chairman of its board of directors.
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Court must consider loss of use when determining damages in a replevin action

June 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday ordered a trial court to factor in the loss of use of a semi-tractor in a replevin action. It emphasized to the lower court that the amount of damages in a replevin action must be limited to a reasonable amount.
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7th Circuit, Bankruptcy Court seek comment on rule changes

June 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana want to hear from attorneys about proposed rule changes.
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7th Circuit denies convicted murderer habeas relief

June 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana man who was denied habeas relief, arguing his trial attorney was ineffective for not trying to suppress as evidence clothing he had given to police after his arrest, lost his appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday.
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Appeals court OKs dead witness's video testimony

June 24, 2014
 Associated Press
The state Court of Appeals has upheld a northern Indiana judge's decision to allow videotaped statements from a dead witness to be used in an upcoming murder trial.
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Justices decline to take divorce case involving lump sum SSDI payment

June 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Supreme Court will let stand the lower court ruling that affirmed a lump sum Social Security Disability Insurance payment was not an asset of marriage subject to division.
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Judges vacate 2 conditions of supervised release

June 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because two special conditions imposed on a man convicted of attempted extortion do not bear a reasonably direct relationship to his underlying crimes, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated those conditions.
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COA: No material discrepancy between deposition, testimony

June 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a doctor in a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice, finding the trial court should not have stricken the affidavit of the plaintiffs’ expert witness.
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2 contractors accused of wage violations accept plea deals

June 23, 2014
Dennis Barbosa
The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has reached plea agreements in two cases in which a contractor was accused of paying workers less than the required wage on publicly financed projects.
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Justices limit existing EPA global warming rules

June 23, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday placed limits on the sole Obama administration program already in place to deal with power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.
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Justices affirm convictions after toddler found wandering by police

June 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the admittance of drugs and other evidence obtained by police after searching an apartment following a report of an unattended child. The justices found both parents gave their consent for police to make sure the apartment was fit before returning the child to their care.
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Pawn shop owner loses case based on ‘class-of-one’ theory

June 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville pawn shop owner couldn’t convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the state singled him out for disparate treatment without a rational basis when it initially denied his application for a pawnbroking license.
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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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