Legal News

7th Circuit: Indiana's marriage solemnization statute violates Constitution

July 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding that Indiana’s statute specifying who many solemnize marriage “discriminates arbitrarily among religious and ethical beliefs,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state must allow certified secular humanist celebrants to perform wedding ceremonies.
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No ‘clean hands’ in dispute over muscle car work, COA finds

July 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
A dispute over work done on a 1973 Dodge Challenger led the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday to find the car’s owner may challenge a mechanic’s lien that a shop used to auction the car.
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Task force makes recommendations for pro bono reporting

July 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
As the Indiana Supreme Court continues to consider mandating all Indiana attorneys report the number of pro bono hours they work, a task force has proposed that the donated hours be disclosed publicly only in an aggregate form rather than identifying the number of pro bono hours performed by an individual or a firm.
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Hogsett resigns as U.S. Attorney

July 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett announced Monday he is resigning from office effective July 31 after leading the federal prosecutor’s office for the Southern District of Indiana since October 2010.
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ACLU asks fed attorney to recognize Indiana gay marriages

July 14, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys on Friday asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to step in on behalf of hundreds of same-sex couples who were wed before a federal appeals court stayed an order striking down Indiana's gay marriage ban.
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Dozing juror should have stayed in deliberations

July 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A juror who gave the lone vote to acquit and eventually refused to deliberate did not meet the criteria for removal, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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New chief justice to be selected Aug. 6

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
The next chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court will be chosen by the Judicial Nominating Commission Aug. 6, the court announced Friday.
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Dissent: ‘No evidence’ tying convicted man to crime scene

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
While a majority of the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an Indianapolis man’s trespassing conviction, another judge warned in dissent that the ruling went against the tenet of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
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Ex-prosecutor to check Ball State investment fraud

July 11, 2014
 Associated Press
A former federal prosecutor is being hired by Ball State University to review the handling of fraudulent investments that cost the school $13.1 million.
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County treasurer's attorneys want charges dropped

July 11, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys for a central Indiana county treasurer want charges that he mishandled public money dismissed, arguing that other officials who've done the same thing haven't been prosecuted.
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COA tosses injunction issued after alleged workplace threat

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
An injunction against an employee who allegedly told a company therapist that he was going to blow his supervisor’s head off is void because it arose from a labor dispute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA affirms termination of parental rights for imprisoned mom

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court was within its authority to terminate the parental rights of a mother serving a minimum 10-year federal prison sentence for conspiracy to deal heroin, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit reinstates CSX worker’s sex discrimination claims

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday reinstated sex discrimination and retaliation claims from a woman who alleges she was denied opportunities to advance as a railroad yardmaster with CSX Transportation Inc.
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Supreme Court vacates parental termination for jailed mom

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A juvenile court abused it discretion by proceeding with a hearing and terminating a mother’s parental rights in her absence because she was in jail, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Her attorney’s failure to ensure she was heard from also denied her a fair hearing, justices ruled.
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7th Circuit orders agency to reconsider denial of benefits

July 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the “logical bridge” between evidence and conclusion that is needed to affirm a denial of disability benefits was not “sound” in a case before them, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s affirmation of the denial of a woman’s Social Security disability benefits.
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Too much time has passed for man to sue after rifle accident, 7th Circuit says

July 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A lawsuit against a rifle manufacturer by an injured user was filed outside Indiana’s 10-year statute of repose for products-liability actions, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The man’s modification to his rifle did not extend the time he had to sue.
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Dickson says consensus among justices on next chief unlikely

July 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
Before Brent Dickson was selected chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court more than two years ago, his fellow justices came one by one before the Judicial Nominating Commission and said he was the man for the job.
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Utah to appeal gay marriage ruling to high court

July 10, 2014
 Associated Press
Utah has decided to go straight to the U.S. Supreme Court to argue against gay marriage, meaning the nation's highest court will have at least one same-sex marriage case on its plate when it returns in October.
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Supreme Court affirms COA on issue in public-private contract

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a mere three sentences, the Indiana Supreme Court summarily affirmed the Indiana Court of Appeals opinion in the lawsuit involving Veolia Water and the city of Indianapolis and liability for damages resulting from a fire that destroyed a restaurant.
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Ex-business partner might not get damages for unreturned pizza oven

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a county clerk did not apparently send out notice of a court order requiring a man to return a pizza oven to his partner in a bar, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial by the lower court of the man’s motion challenging a damages award stemming from his failure to return the oven.
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Judges uphold 40-year sentence in drug deal turned robbery

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 40-year sentence for his role in the robbery of two people after he set up a drug deal with one of the victims.
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Court rules in favor of police department on inmate’s request for records

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The inmate who filed a public records request with the Indianapolis Police Department nearly nine years ago lost his case on appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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Man had 3 months to bring claim to enforce contract, court rules

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A son who sought to challenge his stepmother’s decision to revoke the will she made with his father had to bring his challenge within three months of the will being admitted to probate, not nine months as he claimed, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Dentist’s reputation, privacy and identity are not chattel under T.R. 75(A)(2)

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals decided that the preferred venue of a woman’s lawsuit against her ex-boyfriend alleging defamation and other claims is in Marion County where the man resides and not in Lake County where she works. The opinion hinged upon whether there were chattels involved.
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Moberly to become chief bankruptcy judge Aug. 1

July 9, 2014
IL Staff
Judge Robyn L. Moberly, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana, has been appointed to replace Judge James K. Coachys as the court's chief judge. Coachys is retiring Sept. 30.
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  1. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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