Legal News

Mother’s consent to adoption not required, appeals court rules

July 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
A trial court properly determined that a mother’s consent was not required to the adoption of her child, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, finding that even though she had a difficult year in which she had no communication with her child, the law requires her to continue to foster her parental relationship.
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Double jeopardy cuts sentence in robbery from 60 to 36 years

July 7, 2017
Dave Stafford
A trial court improperly applied sentencing enhancements to both of a criminal defendant’s robbery and conspiracy convictions, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The panel found a double-jeopardy violation and reduced the man’s sentence from 60 to 36 years in prison.
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COA reverses dismissal of review of uninhabitable property order

July 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Hammond man’s petition for judicial review of an order to repair or remove an apartment in a building he owns will return to the trial court after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the Lake Superior Court erred in dismissing the case.
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COA: Credit union did not have property right to flow of traffic on US 31

July 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
A federal credit union with a branch located in northern Indiana did not have a cognizable property right to the flow of traffic on U.S. 31 past its property and, thus, cannot claim the Indiana Department of Transportation committed inverse condemnation by refiguring that stretch of road, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Appeals court affirms battery, neglect convictions despite errors

July 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a man’s battery and neglect convictions after finding that any error in the admission of certain testimony and evidence was harmless due because the properly admitted evidence was sufficient to prove the man’s guilt.
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Split COA reverses mother's contempt finding over parenting time sessions

July 7, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A mother’s appeal of the order finding her in contempt for not bringing her child to supervised parenting time sessions at a facility drew three opinions from a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday. The majority agreed to reverse after holding the parenting time order improperly delegated parental authority to the facility.
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Trial court judge returning to bench after Guantanamo Bay deployment

July 7, 2017
IL Staff
An Indiana trial court judge who has spent the last year serving at Guantanamo Bay will return to his post in the Hoosier state this month.
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Right to use HHGregg’s name and other intellectual property fetches just $400,000

July 7, 2017
Indianapolis Business Journal, Scott Olson
Failed retailer HHGregg Inc., which racked up more than $2 billion in annual revenue prior to landing in bankruptcy this March, has sold its name and other intellectual property rights for a mere $400,000.
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Indiana joins amicus brief defending Congressional Review Act

July 6, 2017
Olivia Covington
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has added his name to a list of 14 state attorneys general voicing their support for the Congressional Review Act, saying the act protects the sovereignty of the states and provides them with a mechanism for relief from federal agency overreach.
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7th Circuit: Indiana burglary is predicate offense under Armed Career Criminal Act

July 6, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana district court judge properly enhanced a man’s sentence following his convictions of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition because the man’s two prior felony convictions of robbery in Indiana qualify as predicate offenses under the Armed Career Criminal Act, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Milhaus victorious in fight to develop $23M Meridian-Kessler apartment project

July 6, 2017
Indianapolis Business Journal, Scott Olson
Milhaus Development LLC has won a major victory in its quest to build a $23 million apartment and retail project along North College Avenue in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood.
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Appellate court affirms murder conviction in Indianapolis shooting

July 6, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man’s felony murder conviction, stemming from a shooting he was involved in when he was 17 years old, will stand after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday the trial court did not err in excluding evidence or in considering testimony.
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COA reaffirms denial of summary judgment to landowners in failed real estate deal

July 6, 2017
Olivia Covington
After granting a petition for rehearing to address — and ultimately reject — an argument over the contract in a real estate case, the Indiana Court of Appeals reaffirmed Thursday the denial of summary judgment to northern Indiana landowners who misrepresented property to a potential buyer.
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Supreme Court divided on marijuana case, denies transfer

July 5, 2017
Olivia Covington
A deadlocked decision on whether to hear a case involving Fourth Amendment and similar state rights has led the Indiana Supreme Court to deny transfer to the case, with two justices dissenting on the denial of transfer.
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Divided COA rules campaign flyer was protected speech

July 5, 2017
Olivia Covington
Summary judgment in a political defamation suit has been affirmed after a divided Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that language included on a campaign flyer is considered protected speech under the Anti-SLAAP statute.
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State challenges COA ruling that suspended death penalty

July 5, 2017
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Court of Appeals decision that suspended executions in the state violated the separation of powers and resulted in new, unintended burdens that could lead to “dysfunction” in carrying out executions, the state argues in seeking an appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Monarch loses federal challenge seeking to wholesale liquor

July 5, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
Indianapolis-based Monarch Beverage Co.’s attempt to obtain a wholesale liquor permit rests with the Indiana Supreme Court after its federal challenge to Indiana law was rejected by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday.
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Justice Department gives up Washington Redskins name fight

June 30, 2017
 Associated Press
The Justice Department is giving up the legal fight over the name of the Washington Redskins.
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Justices split in protective sweep case; reinstate COA opinion

June 30, 2017
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court was evenly divided after hearing arguments in a protective sweep case as to its proper disposition, so the court has reinstated the Court of Appeals decision reversing a man’s gun conviction in the Lafayette case.
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Citizens Action Coalition sues for state records on Carrier deal

June 30, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A complaint filed Friday in Marion County by Citizens Action Coalition alleges that the governor’s office has violated the Indiana Access to Public Records Act by not providing the grass-roots consumer group documents it wants about Vice President and former Gov. Mike Pence’s communications involving Carrier Corp. and United Technologies.
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Justices affirm teen’s 60-year sentence for assault on jogger

June 29, 2017
The Indiana Supreme Court declined to revise a teenager’s sentence for attempting to rape a woman running in Fort Wayne in 2012, finding the 60-year sentence is not inappropriate.
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Justices reverse teen’s handgun conviction

June 29, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
Finding police did not have reasonable suspicion to stop an 18-year-old male who was in a high-crime area where a shooting had occurred days earlier by a group of youths, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed his conviction of misdemeanor possession of a handgun without a license.
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Court affirms firearms conviction after warrantless search

June 29, 2017
Dave Stafford
Evidence that a felon possessed firearms was properly admitted in his criminal case even though authorities lacked a search warrant, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday. Authorities relied on permission to search from the man’s live-in girlfriend who said he had sexually assaulted her daughter and placed her in fear for her safety.
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80-year sentence upheld for man convicted of killing IU student

June 29, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to revise the 80-year sentence handed down by a Brown County judge for the murder of an Indiana University student two years ago.
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DCS did not have sufficient evidence for CHINS adjudication

June 29, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of Child Services failed to present any evidence that a newborn’s mother did not have stable housing or that her actions seriously endangered her child, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in reversing a child in need of services adjudication.
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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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