Legal News

Unrepresented litigants don't forfeit exemptions even if not pleaded

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a couple who were ordered in small claims court to pay $100 a month toward judgments and look for work each week. The couple’s only income is exempt under the general wage and the Social Security Income exemptions.
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Man's detainment by officer violated 4th Amendment

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Conservation officers checking to see if a fisherman had a valid license did not have reasonable suspicion to detain the man and ask to see what was inside his bag after verifying his license, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Attorney must pay credit card company

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Illinois attorney has lost his appeal in his fight against a credit card company seeking to collect money owed on a Discover card.
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Toxic dust exposure leads to litigationRestricted Content

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indianapolis attorney Gabe Hawkins has already attended the funerals of three former clients, and he hopes that he won’t have to see a fourth before finally being able to say that the courtroom battle they’ve been waging for years has paid off.
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Can schools discipline for off-campus conduct?Restricted Content

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
School is back in session, and a new set of court rulings issued during the summer break may make it more difficult for school administrators to decide how to handle inappropriate or potentially disruptive online activities carried out by students off-campus.
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Off the beaten path

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Two thirsty cowboys descend from a winding forest trail and hitch their horses to a post. They saunter about 100 paces to the tavern to grab a beer, where a tattooed bartender is watching the only TV in town, and Patsy Cline’s voice drifts from the stereo. An elderly couple enjoys a post-lunch stroll in the garden, and in the distance, the high-pitched whine of a table saw means the handyman is hard at work, as usual. This is life in Story, a tiny patch of paradise that began as a logging town in 1850.
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Meth use linked to increase in CHINSRestricted Content

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Leslie Dunn, Indiana state director for GAL/CASA, said the number of Child in Need of Services cases over time remains stable, but she’s seen some remarkable variations in cases per-county from year to year. In Vanderburgh County, for example, new CHINS cases jumped from 448 in 2008 to 818 in 2010. People who are watching these numbers with concern cite several possible reasons for these variations.
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Economic woes hitting state's public defense

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Years ago, those working in the Porter County Public Defender Office reported seeing a bright blue Post-it note tagged to their caseload reports that said, “HELP!” in huge hand-written print. That was a common occurrence at a time when the local public defender’s office faced a critical overload point because of skyrocketing caseloads and too few attorneys.
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Jefferson County celebrates reopening of courthouse

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A fire in May 2009 displaced the courts and government offices. After more than two years, they were able to move back into the courthouse.
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Class-action lawsuit filed over stage collapse

August 31, 2011
Scott Olson
A class-action lawsuit filed by an Indianapolis law firm is the largest legal action to arise so far from the collapse of a concert stage at the Indiana State Fair.
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Foundation hosting golf fundraiser

August 31, 2011
IL Staff
Christ is my Big C, a charitable foundation started by attorney Stephenie Jocham to help cancer patients, is seeking sponsorships, foursomes, and silent auction items for an Oct. 17 golf tournament.
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Protecting pets in perpetuity

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The non-profit American Pet Products Association estimates that this year, Americans will spend $50.84 billion on their pets – not surprising, considering the ever-increasing variety of treats, toys, and services for animals. But what happens to these pampered pets after their owners die? Are they consigned to a life of off-brand food? Forced to take up residence in a cramped kennel?
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Court tackles timeliness of trust distribution

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A recent Indiana Court of Appeals decision offers guidance to those working in trust and estate matters regarding how long a trustee should wait before turning to a probate court for guidance on distributing money to beneficiaries when a dispute exists over the amount that will be received.
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2011-2012 Civil Legal Aid Fund figures released

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Division of State Court Administration has released figures for 2011-2012, showing how the $1.5 million Civil Legal Aid Fund has been distributed among 11 qualifying agencies.
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Legal Aid Society to hold 70th birthday celebration

August 31, 2011
IL Staff
The Indianapolis Legal Aid Society has scheduled a celebration in honor of its 70th birthday on Sept. 16. The guest speaker is Bobby Knight, former Indiana University basketball coach.
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Appeals court sides with murder defendant in hearsay appeal

August 30, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Citing hearsay rules, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s finding that the state may not introduce into evidence statements that could implicate a man who is facing murder charges.
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COA: 6th Amendment not violated in juvenile murder case

August 30, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that a juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in waiving a 15-year-old boy’s murder trial to adult court and that Indiana’s juvenile waiver statute does not violate the Sixth Amendment.
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Attorney general wants State Fair class action dismissed

August 30, 2011
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General filed a motion Monday in Marion Superior Court to dismiss a proposed class-action lawsuit filed as a result of the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair.
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Indiana University to host 9/11 Commission members

August 30, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana University Maurer School of Law will host a talk by former U.S. Rep. Lee H. Hamilton, the past vice chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States, also known as the 9/11 Commission.
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7th Circuit affirms judgment for officers in diabetic man’s case

August 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the City of East Chicago and police officers on an estate’s excessive force and other claims, finding the officers had reasonable suspicion that a diabetic man who was having a hypoglycemic episode was possibly intoxicated.
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COA: Aunt and uncle have no standing for visitation petition

August 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana statutes and caselaw do not allow for aunts or uncles of a child to petition for visitation, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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Defense attorneys lose appeal for compensation

August 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Two private defense lawyers in Marion County failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that they should be retroactively appointed by the Marion County Public Defender Agency and compensated for their legal work on a case that has an intricate maze of attorney representation over the course of five years.
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3 counties join Odyssey

August 29, 2011
IL Staff
Cass, Shelby, and Union counties are the latest additions to the statewide case management system known as Odyssey.
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Bar foundation receives pledge for civics education

August 29, 2011
IL Staff
A third law firm has signed on as a visionary sponsor for the Indiana Bar Foundation’s We the People civics education program. Evansville firm Bamberger Foreman Oswald & Hahn has pledged $10,000 in support of the program, the foundation announced Friday, joining Barnes & Thornburg and Taft Stettinius & Hollister as top-level sponsors.
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COA orders reduced sentence in first impressions case

August 26, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
In reversing a sentence for a serious violent felon, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that intending to commit a “crime of violence” is not, in itself, a crime of violence
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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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