Courts

Legislative and judicial history settles feud over estate

June 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Sisters arguing over the family estate failed to provide the court with “clear and convincing evidence” that their father’s intentions were different from his actions.
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Indiana House hires attorneys to defend public records suit

June 29, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana House of Representatives has hired two outside attorneys, who bill an average of nearly $400 an hour, to defend itself from a lawsuit filed over its refusal to provide correspondence over a solar power bill under the state's public records law.
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Tim Durham fails to convince judge to reduce 50-year sentence

June 29, 2015
Scott Olson
Convicted Ponzi scheme leader Tim Durham failed Friday afternoon in his bid to get his 50-year prison sentence reduced.
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In case of conflicting evidence, high court defers to jury verdict

June 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Pike County man challenging the jury’s finding that he was not insane or mentally ill did not meet what the Indiana Supreme Court acknowledged was a “heavy burden” to overturn the guilty verdict.
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Justices affirm burglary conviction COA tossed out for perjury

June 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday affirmed a trial court burglary conviction that a Court of Appeals panel vacated on the basis that the prosecution used perjured testimony.
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Warsaw poker game operator’s conviction flushed

June 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
The operator of a fundraising poker game at a Warsaw veterans lodge won an appeal of his contracting conviction Friday at the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Supreme Court extends same-sex marriage nationwide

June 26, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. The decision was 5-4.
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Woman’s comments to police considered political speech, COA rules

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a woman's misdemeanor disorderly conduct conviction, which was based on her comments to police that she was pulled over because she was black, finding the comments were political in nature.
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Judges deny sentence modifications, but for different reasons

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday that neither of two men who petitioned in late 2013 to have their 1997 sentences modified are entitled to a modification, but the judges' reasoning for the denials differed.
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7th Circuit rules against Anderson mayor in suit following firings

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith lost his appeal of the finding that he is not entitled to qualified immunity regarding all of the fired government workers involved in a lawsuit alleging their discharges violated the First Amendment.
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7th Circuit rejects claim conviction is outside statute of limitations

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with a defendant who claimed the federal DNA tolling statute is unconstitutional as applied to him. The man was convicted in 2013 of attempting to rob an Anderson bank in 2003, thanks to a positive identification in 2010 using DNA collected at the crime scene.
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Judge rejects mistrial in Indianapolis house explosion case

June 25, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana judge has denied a mistrial in the case of a man accused of rigging a deadly Indianapolis house explosion. The defendant's attorneys raised concerns about miscalculations by a witness.
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Gibson County sued over jail inmate’s death

June 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
The estate of an inmate who died in the Gibson County Jail last year has sued the county in federal court.
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Housing-discrimination lawsuits backed by US Supreme Court

June 25, 2015
 Bloomberg News
The Supreme Court of the United States said people who file housing-discrimination lawsuits don’t have to show they were victims of intentional bias, in a blow to lenders and insurers and a surprise legal victory for the Obama administration.
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SCOTUS upholds nationwide health care law subsidies

June 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.
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Merrillville attorney disbarred for stealing funds

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A northern Indiana attorney who stole trust account funds belonging to his former law partner and that partner’s clients, and embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from a receivership, has been disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices disbar attorney who abandoned practice for Australia

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Kokomo attorney who took nearly $60,000 from clients but never completed their legal matters – and later abruptly abandoned his law practice to move to Australia – has been disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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ITCA does not apply to lawsuit challenging local firearm law

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville man suing the city for enforcing a local law prohibiting firearms in public parks is not effectively bringing a tort claim, as the city argued in its motion on the pleadings. The Court of Appeals affirmed denial of the city’s motion, finding the claim is being brought pursuant to I.C. 35-47-11.1-5, which creates a private right of action for individuals to enforce that statute’s provisions.
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COA senior law clerk to become court’s new administrator

June 24, 2015
IL Staff
Attorney Larry L. Morris will succeed Steve Lancaster as the new court administrator for the Indiana Court of Appeals, effective October 1, the court announced Wednesday. Lancaster will retire in September after 20 years with the court.
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Clarksville Town Court reports breach of classified files

June 24, 2015
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana court says it has notified the FBI, local police and the Indiana Supreme Court about a data breach that has exposed personal information of people involved in cases dating from 2005 and earlier.
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Indianapolis house blast trial delayed for mistrial motion

June 24, 2015
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana judge has put the trial of a man accused of rigging a deadly 2012 Indianapolis house explosion on hold so attorneys can prepare arguments on whether he should grant a mistrial because of a miscalculation of a witness who has yet to testify.
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Shepard to receive ABA John Marshall Award

June 23, 2015
IL Staff
Former Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, the longest-serving chief justice in Indiana, is the recipient of the 2015 John Marshall Award, named after the longest-serving chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
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Justices take fired principal, battery cases

June 23, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether an elementary school principal fired for having a consensual relationship with a teacher will be allowed to continue his breach of contract lawsuit. That case is one of two the justices accepted on transfer last week.
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Inmate not disadvantaged by appearing at trial by video

June 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Monday that a New Jersey inmate who filed a retaliation lawsuit against officials at an Indiana prison while he was housed there was not disadvantaged when the judge denied his request to be transported to Indiana for the trial. The judge instead ordered he appear by video conferencing.
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Public defender charged with sex offenses involving inmates

June 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis attorney and ex-judge working as a Shelby County public defender has been charged with three counts of sexual misconduct and one count of official misconduct after he was accused of inappropriately touching inmates at the Shelbyville jail. Authorities said one instance was recorded on video.
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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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