Legal News

COA finds no reason to reverse man’s child molesting conviction

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
There was no prosecutorial misconduct or errors by the trial court that would require the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse a Marion County man’s child molesting conviction. The man raised several claims, including he was denied the right to an impartial jury and fair trial.
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Justices split over reducing meth sentence

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Justices Brent Dickson and Mark Massa disagreed with their colleagues Wednesday that a Tippecanoe County man’s 40-year sentence for Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine needed to be revised.
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Court affirms probation revocation, total time ordered in DOC

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Vigo County man lost his argument before the Indiana Court of Appeals that his term of informal probation should not have been revoked by the trial court after he violated terms of his placement in a home detention program.
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Appeals court upholds teen’s 55-year sentence for murder

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 55-year sentence imposed on a juvenile waived into adult court for the murder of a friend. The teen claimed he should have been sentenced under the alternative sentencing scheme available for juveniles.
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IBM, state enter mediation over failed welfare contract

December 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
IBM Corp. and the state have agreed to mediation as a lawsuit between the parties over the failed billion-dollar contract to privatize welfare services awaits a ruling from the Indiana Supreme Court.
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IU McKinney partners with USI for legal scholarship

December 10, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney and the University of Southern Indiana have created a scholar program that will allow two students from USI to attend IU McKinney, beginning in the fall 2015.
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Reservist entitled to full longevity pay despite time away from police force

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday that a Plymouth, Indiana, patrolman should receive the $2,700 in longevity pay he is entitled to from the city under an ordinance. The city cut the payment by two-thirds because the man served eight months on activity duty in the U.S. Air Force.
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Court hears ex-Indiana elections chief's appeal

December 10, 2014
 Associated Press
An attorney for former Secretary of State Charlie White faced tough questioning Tuesday from Indiana's three-judge appeals court during White's latest bid to overturn the voter fraud convictions that forced him from office.
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Prosecutor to seek death penalty for mutilator

December 10, 2014
 Associated Press
A prosecutor intends to seek the death penalty for a southern Indiana man who has confessed to fatally stabbing his girlfriend and mutilating her body, including cooking and eating some of her organs.
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Indiana high court to hear accomplice death appeal

December 10, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear the appeal of three Elkhart men convicted of murder after an accomplice was fatally shot by a homeowner during a break-in.
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State declines to appeal Overstreet competency ruling

December 9, 2014
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General announced Tuesday it will not appeal a special judge’s ruling that a man on death row is not competent and therefore cannot be executed.
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Liquor store owners argue state has Constitutional right to regulate cold beer

December 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers Inc., arguing that the state’s interest in regulating alcohol trumps an Equal Protection challenge, has filed an amicus brief in support of Indiana’s law prohibiting convenience stores and gas stations from selling beer cold.
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COA reverses marijuana conviction based on illegal traffic stop

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer was mistaken when he pulled over a vehicle that, due to a broken tail light, emitted more white light than red light, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The statute only requires that some red light be visible, which occurred in this case.
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Court upholds serious violent felon finding, despite not using term ‘SVF’

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that because a stipulation to being a serious violent felon did not use the term “serious violent felon,” the state didn’t establish that as his status.
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COA reverses syringe possession conviction due to lack of evidence

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state couldn’t prove that a man intended to use a syringe to inject a legend drug, as is required by the statute to convict him of possession of a syringe, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the man’s conviction. The man intended to use the syringe to inject heroin, which is not covered by the statute.
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Lawyer says no plea deal in Mellencamp son's case

December 9, 2014
 Associated Press
The defense attorney for the oldest son of rock star John Mellencamp says she is seeking a pretrial hearing but no agreement has been reached for him to plead guilty to charges that he badly beat a man.
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DOC credit-time policy does not result in disparate treatment

December 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an inmate’s argument in his lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Department of Correction’s policy concerning the restoration of credit time for inmates. Because the policy does not result in disparate treatment, the judges affirmed the lower court ruling in favor of the DOC.
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Justices take molestation case that divided Court of Appeals

December 8, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to a Marion County case that split the Court of Appeals as to whether the man’s Class A felony conviction for molesting his girlfriend’s daughter should be upheld.
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COA reverses convictions based on ineffective appellate counsel

December 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s convictions of Class A felony child molesting and Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor based on his sexual advances toward his stepdaughter when she was in junior high and high school. The judges acknowledged as a result of their decision, the stepfather won’t face any legal consequences for those actions, but the state had a duty to present sufficient evidence to support those convictions.
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Ex-prosecutor helps Ball State avert future fraud

December 8, 2014
 Associated Press
A former federal prosecutor and a CPA firm are evaluating Ball State University's internal financial controls and investment portfolio as they create a plan to prevent a repeat of two investment scams that cost the university more than $13 million.
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Inmate seeks early release in student's 1993 death

December 8, 2014
 Associated Press
An inmate convicted in the 1993 robbery and shooting death of a Ball State University student is seeking an early release from prison.
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Attorneys seek competency exam in homicide case

December 8, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys for a 20-year-old Fort Wayne man charged with killing a woman in a cemetery and setting her body on fire have requested mental health experts examine him to determine if he is competent to stand trial.
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Clarksville Town Court judge must resign following OWI conviction in Kentucky

December 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded Clarksville Town Court Judge Mickey K. Weber Friday and ordered he resign from the bench, effective Dec. 31. Weber pleaded guilty earlier this year to two charges stemming from a drunken-driving incident in Louisville, Kentucky.
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Feds drop case against former Eli Lilly scientists accused of stealing secrets

December 5, 2014
Indianapolis Business Journal, J.K. Wall
Federal prosecutors in Indianapolis dropped all charges against two scientists accused of stealing trade secrets worth $55 million from Eli Lilly and Co., according to a court motion made Friday in federal court in Indianapolis.
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Indiana gets nearly $78,000 in Sirius XM settlement

December 5, 2014
IL Staff
Some Indiana residents who have subscribed to Sirius XM Radio Inc. may be entitled to a refund following the satellite radio company’s multi-state settlement regarding claims of misleading advertising and billing practices.
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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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