Legal News

COA: Dirty pictures allowed by Legislature

February 14, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Revisiting the question of whether sending sexually explicit photographs to a 16- or 17-year-old is permitted under state law, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld its earlier ruling by finding the Legislature’s inaction to amend the statute implies dirty pictures are suitable for these teens.
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COA affirms setback distance for Eastern Indiana wind farm

February 14, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a Rush County zoning ruling requiring industrial wind turbines to be at least 2,300 feet from some people’s property lines. The judges emphasized that the zoning ordinances outline minimum distances and the zoning board is able to increase those distances when warranted.
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JQC holds that live-Tweeting is not ‘broadcasting’

February 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
The use of instant electronic communication such as Twitter in courtrooms is not considered broadcasting under the Code of Judicial Conduct, but judges still have the discretion to reasonably regulate the use of such communication in their courtrooms, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has held.
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COA affirms termination of parental rights

February 14, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the arguments of a father with a history of domestic violence and other criminal convictions who said evidence was improperly admitted to terminate parental rights to his three daughters.
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COA allows Vectren to move forward with coal-powered plants project

February 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana energy company can proceed with its plans to bring two of its coal-powered plants into compliance with federal emissions standards after the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an appeal to force the company to build natural gas plants instead.
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COA throws out jury’s $550,000 defamation, blacklisting verdict

February 14, 2017
Dave Stafford
A jury’s $550,000 defamation and blacklisting verdict in favor of a former school athletic director in northwestern Indiana was overturned Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit rejects collateral attack

February 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a man’s petition for collateral relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel because the man failed to allege facts that proved his public defender did not provide proper counsel.
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US withdraws stay request in transgender bathroom case

February 13, 2017
 Associated Press
President Donald Trump's administration is stepping back from a request made by former President Barack Obama's administration in an ongoing lawsuit over bathroom rights for transgender students in public schools.
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7th Circuit affirms remand of veteran’s disability case

February 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Army National Guard veteran’s disability case is heading back to the Social Security Administration after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday the veteran was not entitled to disability benefits based solely on the disability rating he received from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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7th Circuit halts fraud restitution for ‘reckless’ Bank of America

February 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
Three defendants convicted of wire fraud in the purchase of 16 properties in Gary were clearly guilty of the crimes, but the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday threw out a restitution order in favor of Bank of America and urged the district court in Hammond to consider fining the defendants instead.
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Supreme Court nominee has defended free speech, religion

February 13, 2017
 Associated Press
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has been a defender of free speech and a skeptic of libel claims, an Associated Press review of his rulings shows. His record puts him at odds with President Donald Trump’s disdain for journalists and tendency to lash out at critics.
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Trump named as defendant in youths' climate lawsuit

February 10, 2017
 Associated Press
A group of youths who say the government has endangered their future with climate change has added President Donald Trump to the list of people and corporations they blame.
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Court denies motions attacking jury verdict for worker in wage suit

February 10, 2017
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Thursday rejected motions for judgment in its favor or a new trial by employers who lost a jury trial over unpaid wages to a Terre Haute worker.
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Justices deny transfer to child custody case

February 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided Indiana Supreme Court has denied transfer to a Clark County custody case, though two justices suggested transfer was warranted because the Indiana Court of Appeals improperly reweighed evidence to reach its September decision.
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Trump travel ban on hold after appeals court rejection

February 10, 2017
 Associated Press
The legal fight over President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations is on hold after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to block a lower-court ruling that suspended the ban, allowing previously barred travelers to continue coming to the United States.
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Microsoft can pursue suit over US sneak-and-peek searches

February 9, 2017
 Bloomberg News
Microsoft Corp. persuaded a judge not to let the U.S. government out of a lawsuit alleging that clandestine interception of users’ emails on company servers violates its free-speech rights.
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Treatment center to offer substance-abuse education geared for lawyers

February 9, 2017
Dave Stafford
Recent studies showing disproportional rates of substance abuse among attorneys prompted Fairbanks Treatment Center to announce Thursday the advent of educational programs for people in the legal profession who may be at risk of alcoholism or drug addiction.
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COA overturns bestiality conviction based on confession

February 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
Although a Delaware County man admitted to sexually assaulting his roommate’s dog, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the man’s bestiality conviction Thursday because the prosecution failed to establish a corpus delicti.
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Prosecutor files charges against restaurant owners underreporting sales

February 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
The owners of five Mexican restaurants across Indiana who are accused of underreporting nearly $2 million in sales are now facing criminal charges in Marion Superior Court.
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Houchin to chair children’s commission in 2017

February 9, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana Sen. Erin Houchin, R-Salem, will chair the Commission on Improving the Status of Children this year, as the 20-member group set its first quarterly meeting for next Wednesday.
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7th Circuit affirms deferral on sentencing request

February 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana federal judge appropriately deferred judgment on a convicted child molester’s request for concurrent state and federal sentences because the state court was presented with additional facts that were relevant to sentencing, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Wednesday.
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Man gets life for fatally shooting Indiana police officer

February 9, 2017
 Associated Press
A judge sentenced a man to life in prison without parole Wednesday for fatally shooting an Indiana police officer sitting in his patrol car.
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Judge affirms dead candidate winner in Allen County election

February 8, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
An Allen Superior judge decided Wednesday that the Republican candidate for an at-large seat on the Allen County Council who died four days before the General Election was properly left on the ballot and certified as a winner. The judge noted that Indiana Code doesn’t specifically address this unique situation.
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Man serving 2 life terms gets 50 years more in murder plot

February 8, 2017
 Associated Press
A man serving two life sentences for causing a massive Indianapolis house explosion has had 50 years added to his prison time for trying to have a witness killed.
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Justices hold mayor lacked authority to fire utilities superintendent

February 8, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday that a mayor did not have statutory authority to terminate his city’s utilities superintendent, writing in an opinion that “may well offend sound public policy” that only the utilities board can terminate the superintendent with cause, notice and a hearing.
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  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

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