Legal News

Marion County Small Claims bill may be headed for study committee

January 31, 2014
IL Staff
Legislation that would require Marion County Small Claims judges to select among themselves an administrative judge to carry out the duties currently performed by the Marion Circuit judge passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. The committee also is asking for a study committee to look at Small Claims court administration.
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Evidence doesn’t show couple knew of mold when selling home

January 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed rulings in favor of the sellers of a home which later was found to contain mold. The buyers sued, claiming the sellers knew of the mold at the time of the sale, but the judges found the evidence shows otherwise.
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Court affirms 86-year-old uncle could consent to search

January 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s argument that his elderly uncle was a confused old man who was out of touch with reality and, therefore, unable to consent to a search of his home when police showed up looking to serve an arrest warrant. The search led to the arrest of the grandson on drug and weapons charges.
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Arguments rejected in juvenile molestation appeal

January 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
An 11-year-old boy adjudicated delinquent for acts that would be Class B and Class C felony child molesting if committed by an adult failed to persuade a Court of Appeals panel Friday that statutes as applied to him are unconstitutionally vague and the evidence didn’t support a true finding.
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7th Circuit vacates child porn supervised-release condition

January 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a sentence for possession of child pornography Thursday that it ruled imposed an unconstitutionally vague condition of supervised release. The court affirmed, in the case, convictions of attempting to distribute heroin and illegal possession of a firearm.
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Justices fine Bloomington lawyer, suspend Indy attorney

January 30, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has fined a Monroe County attorney for practicing law while suspended. This week, the justices also suspended an Indianapolis attorney who pleaded guilty to felony wire fraud.
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Man will receive surplus on sheriff’s sale credit bid

January 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals awarded a Grant County man nearly $375 after finding a surplus was owed to him when his property sold at a sheriff’s sale for more than what was calculated by the trial court based on an agreed judgment between the man and the bank.
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Judges rule in favor of daughter in payment dispute with nursing facility

January 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who signed a move-in agreement at a skilled nursing facility as a “responsible party/agent” for her mother was able to prove to the Indiana Court of Appeals she should not be liable for money owed by her mother for care while at the facility.
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Sen. Long sends marriage amendment to rules committee

January 30, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long announced Thursday morning that House Joint Resolution 3 – which seeks to amend Indiana’s Constitution to ban gay marriage – will be heard by the Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee.
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Divided court reverses teen’s intimidation adjudication

January 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Split over whether a teen’s threats toward his grandfather were intended to place the man in fear of retaliation for a prior lawful act, two Indiana Court of Appeals judges reversed a teen’s delinquency adjudication for committing intimidation.
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IU professor honored by ABA for dispute resolution work

January 29, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs professor Lisa Blomgren Amsler will receive the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section’s Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work. Amsler is one of the nation’s foremost experts in the field of dispute resolution.
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Judges affirm denial of credit time for man on electronic monitoring

January 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
After evaluating the statutory provisions concerning sentencing, electronic monitoring and deferral programs, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled it was within the trial court’s discretion to deny a man credit time toward his sentence for time he spent on electronic monitoring while participating in a drug court program.
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COA split over whether damages are punitive

January 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals released a divided opinion Wednesday on the issue of whether damages awarded under the Indiana Sales Representative Act are punitive in nature. The majority affirmed the trial court’s ruling that damages awarded under the Act would be subject to the evidentiary standard, limitation and diversion provisions of Indiana’s punitive damages statute.
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IU McKinney dean emeritus taking legal skills to the Olympics

January 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
After receiving the unexpected invitation to help at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Gary Roberts said he did not think about it for more than a second before accepting.
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State drops charge against woman held 154 days for 2-day sentence

January 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Clark County woman improperly jailed more than 150 days was freed earlier this week when prosecutors discovered she was still being held after an order that she spend 48 hours in detention.
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Attorneys statewide mark MLK Day holiday by offering free legal help

January 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
Hundreds of Hoosiers received free legal help in January thanks to efforts of local and state bar groups that marked the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday by providing free legal assistance.
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Every defendant has a story

January 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
After 11 grueling years on the high-profile Camm murder case, attorney Stacy Uliana believes justice was served.
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Right to equal access at center of federal lawsuit

January 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A courtroom spectator’s persistent requests to two trial courts for an interpreter raises questions of how accessible Indiana courts should be for people who have disabilities as well as how much control the state judiciary has over local judges.
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As money for justice declines, many don’t see potential cost

January 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
Persistent warnings about funding shortages for state and federal courts don’t appear to be registering with the public, a new poll concludes.
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COA finds attorney was not ineffective

January 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man’s petition for post-conviction relief, finding he failed to establish that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel with respect to either the manner in which voir dire was conducted or in the failure to object to the supplemental jury instruction defining “intentionally.”
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Trial court erred in disregarding psychiatrists’ unanimous finding

January 28, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A woman who brutally attacked her boyfriend’s minor child had her conviction overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds that the trial court did not have enough evidence to contradict the psychiatrists’ reports and find her guilty but mentally ill.
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Nicknames properly admitted in sex with minor convictions

January 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
Nicknames and aliases a defendant used were relevant to the charges he faced, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in affirming felony convictions of sexual misconduct with a minor.
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Raccoon hunter cleared of conviction for fetching wayward dog

January 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A raccoon hunter’s misdemeanor conviction was reversed Tuesday when appellate judges determined he wasn’t hunting or chasing wildlife when he retrieved his wandering dog from property where he didn’t have permission to hunt.
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In pollution suit rehearing, COA rejects fresh arguments

January 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed on rehearing a decision that the Allen County Public Library could pursue damages against contractors resulting from a diesel spill during a building project. A panel rejected arguments from defendants that it said violated a “cardinal rule” because they were raised for the first time on rehearing.
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Bars discussing marriage amendment, but cautious about taking a stance

January 28, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Among the nearly 13,000 members of the Indiana State Bar Association, views on the proposed marriage amendment are falling into three separate camps: those who think the association should publicly support it, those who think the association should publicly oppose it and those who think the association should refrain from taking a position at all.
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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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