Legal News

US Supreme Court hears dispute over pay for security checks

October 8, 2014
 Associated Press
Several Supreme Court justices seem disinclined to find that employers must pay workers for time spent waiting to go through anti-theft security checks at the end of their shifts.
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Video shows officer using stun gun in traffic stop

October 8, 2014
 Associated Press
A cellphone video released Tuesday shows police in Indiana breaking a car window then using a stun gun on a man after police stopped the driver for not wearing a seat belt. The video, recorded by the driver's 14-year-old son, captured a Sept. 24 confrontation between two adults in the car and police that's the basis of a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court against several officers and the city of Hammond.
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Indiana county clerks told to allow gay marriages

October 8, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office told county clerks across the state Tuesday that they must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
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Keeping death certification accessible is 'victory for the public'

October 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Both the Hoosier State Press Association and the Indiana attorney general are applauding the Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling Tuesday that cause of death information is public.
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Millions more sought for representation of juveniles

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The money is needed for guardians ad litem and court appointed special advocates, and to pay for the new rule requiring defenders in delinquency cases.
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SCOTUS denial of marriage lawsuits creates historic day

October 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The decision by the Supreme Court of the United States not to hear any of the same-sex marriage cases before it was unexpected but very welcomed by the same-sex couples and their attorneys who challenged Indiana’s marriage ban.
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Officer's meth-exposure claims untangled by appeals court

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals rules an injured city policeman must exhaust workers' comp remedies before turning to the injured-on-duty statute.
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Unanimous Supreme Court holds death certificates are public records

October 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Taking what it called a “plain reading” of the state statute, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled death certificates which include the cause of death are public records and should be available to anyone who requests access.
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7th Circuit rules against insurer in jurisdiction dispute

October 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal court judgment in favor of an insurer after the insurer’s motion to intervene in a state court lawsuit on the same matter was denied. The federal court incorrectly determined the state court did not have jurisdiction over an injured worker’s lawsuit.
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Mother loses custody after COA rules trial court had jurisdiction

October 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A mother’s argument that the trial court did not have jurisdiction to grant full custody of her daughter to the girl’s father did not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals, which found an agreement between the parents gave the court jurisdiction.
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Accomplice in jewelry store robbery loses sentence appeal

October 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
The 45-year sentence imposed on an accomplice in a jewelry store robbery was affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday, even though the crime to which he pleaded guilty is now punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years.
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Indianapolis man gets 28 years for coercing sex

October 7, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge sentenced an Indianapolis man to 28 years in prison Monday for tricking teenage girls as young as 13 into sending him explicit photos via Facebook and using the photos to coerce the girls into having sex with him.
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Marion County to create veterans court

October 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County plans to start a veterans court next year, a specialized problem-solving court that will allow diversion of lower-level criminal offenses for those who served in the military.
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SCOTUS rejects 3 Indiana cases

October 6, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday declined to review a ruling that struck down Indianapolis’ limits on the hours that adult bookstores can operate.
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Justices' decision means same-sex marriage legal in Indiana

October 6, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The decision by the Supreme Court of the United States not to hear any of the same-sex marriage cases before them was unexpected but very welcomed by the same-sex couples and their attorneys who had challenged Indiana’s marriage ban.
More

Judge rejects call for anonymous jury in trial

October 6, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge has rejected prosecutors' request to keep juror identities confidential at the January murder and racketeering trial of an East Chicago man.
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Indiana county settles dispute with forensics firm

October 6, 2014
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana county has reached a settlement in its billing dispute with a forensics company that testified on the prosecution's behalf last year in a triple-murder trial.
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Special prosecutor sought in case involving judge

October 6, 2014
 Associated Press
A central Indiana prosecutor is seeking a special prosecutor to hear allegations that a Muncie City Court judge intimidated another woman during a confrontation outside that woman's home.
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Justices add criminal and child support cases to docket

October 6, 2014
Dave Stafford
Whether a person’s proximity to a crime scene together with circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction is the question for the Indiana Supreme Court in one of two cases justices will review.
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Ogden quitting law, citing high disciplinary fine

October 6, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis attorney and blogger Paul Ogden said he is quitting the practice of law rather than pay costs of more than $10,000 imposed on him as the result of a disciplinary case involving private comments he made about a judge.
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New Indiana attorneys sworn in at admission ceremony

October 6, 2014
Kelly Lucas
The Indiana Board of Law Examiners reported that 378 of the aspiring lawyers who sat for the July bar exam were successful in that effort. On Monday, Indiana’s newest class of lawyers was sworn in at an admission ceremony hosted by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Indianapolis again says justice complex RFP not public

October 6, 2014
Dave Stafford
A representative of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard told Marion County judges Monday that the request for proposals the city issued to three teams competing to design, finance and construct a criminal justice facility is not a document the public can see.
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Same-sex marriage rulings stand

October 6, 2014
IL Staff
The Supreme Court of the United States has let stand rulings from the 7th Circuit and other federal courts that will end laws against same-sex marriage in Indiana and other states.
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Archbishop celebrates Red Mass with Indianapolis bench and bar

October 3, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Describing the justice that comes from law as “rough or limited,” Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin urged lawyers, judges and law students to stay connected with God “who is perfect justice, mercy and love.”
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Metal detector still out at Indianapolis City-County Building

October 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County judges said Friday they were unaware that a metal detector has been broken and out of commission for weeks at a public entrance of the Indianapolis City-County Building.
More
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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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