Courts

Elkhart teens try to convince justices to revisit felony murder statute

February 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana statute and a 16-year-old Indiana Supreme Court decision interpreting that statute are under review as three teenagers serving 45-year sentences asked the justices to overturn their convictions for felony murder.
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Treatment facility sufficiently showed man was a danger to others

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 90-day involuntary commitment in a mental health facility because the treatment facility presented sufficient evidence that the man posed a substantial risk of harming others and was therefore dangerous.
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Ex-Chandler commission member’s lawsuit continues after COA ruling

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The member of a town’s advisory plan commission who was appointed to a four-year term, then unanimously recalled, will be allowed to go forward with his lawsuit stemming from his removal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Justices: Fisherman is off the hook in grouper-tossing case

February 26, 2015
 Associated Press
A Florida fisherman convicted of tossing undersized grouper off his boat is off the hook after a divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that he should not have been ensnared by a law targeting accounting fraud.
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Grant of judicial review following license suspension reversed

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because an Indiana driver did not take advantage of an available statutory method for challenging the suspension of her license before filing a petition for judicial review, the Court of Appeals reversed the grant of judicial review that ruled in her favor.
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COA ruling revives non-union subcontractor’s Antitrust Act claim

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A non-union subcontractor presented evidence establishing a genuine issue of material fact that the company awarded a contract to build a new school violated Indiana’s Antitrust Act by unlawfully restraining open and free competition for the public project, the Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Lack of post-verdict motion dooms fired employee’s appeal

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit court of Appeals quickly affirmed a jury verdict against a former employee in the Lake County Auditor’s Office who claimed she was unlawfully terminated for political reasons. The ex-employee failed to file any post-verdict motions, a necessary first step for the appeals court to review the case.
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COA interprets Uniform Premarital Act for first time

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A premarital agreement entered into by a pregnant teenage girl and her future husband who was twice her age was unconscionable when the agreement was executed in 1995, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday in an issue of first impression.
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Ex-con tells judge he robbed bank to get sent back to prison

February 26, 2015
 Associated Press
An ex-convict who robbed a bank hoping he'd be sent back to prison told an Indiana judge he wanted to plead guilty only if he received the maximum 8-year sentence.
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Allen County seeks to fill upcoming magistrate vacancy

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Allen Superior Court is conducting a statewide search to replace retiring Magistrate Judge Jerry Ummel. The court hopes to have the new magistrate on the bench in late April.
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Marion County small claims court bill passes Senate

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A proposal that would leave the long-criticized Marion County township small claims courts intact with modest changes has cleared the Indiana Senate. The bill would raise the limit on disputes from the current $6,000 to $8,000.
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COA rules lack of probable cause for warrant makes evidence inadmissible

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that a probable cause affidavit allowing police to search the home of a man suspected of manufacturing methamphetamine did not establish a confidential informant’s credibility and lacked probable cause. The majority also concluded that the good-faith exception would not be applicable in David Cartwright’s case.
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Inmate entitled to hearing on damages following public records request

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County court should have considered a Department of Correction inmate’s claims for civil penalties and court costs against the DOC instead of dismissing the case after the DOC produced the public records the inmate sought, the Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA affirms cutting off mother’s communication with daughter

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The court record is replete with evidence supporting a juvenile court’s decision that a teenage girl would be better off if communication and visits with her mother were terminated, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The girl, in foster care, often had detrimental visits with her mother.
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Judges rule counsel was not deficient, drug conviction stands

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana in excess of 30 grams after finding that the claims he wanted his attorney to raise at trial would not have prevailed.
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Lawyers arguing mental illness in murder conviction appeal

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court is set to hear an appeal of the conviction of a schizophrenic man serving a life sentence in the death of his mother.
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South Bend council urged to stop seeking police recordings

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
Two of the four South Bend police officers whose telephone recordings are at the center of a police wiretapping case want city council members to end their pursuit of those recordings.
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Rare emergency suspension issued by Supreme Court

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Merrillville attorney Robert E. Stochel spent a few nights in jail after a judge found him in contempt for his evasiveness, but so far he’s avoided criminal charges despite allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from clients and a former associate.
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Court of Appeals finds no standing post-adoption, suggests legislative remedy

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana appeals court empathized with a grandmother’s situation, but it ruled the law gave the court no choice but to strip her of visitation with her granddaughter, whose mother – the grandmother’s daughter – had died.
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Amended complaint: Marion County inmates held days after release ordered

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Released inmates in Indianapolis are subjected to a “standard operating procedure” of re-arrest and being held behind bars – sometimes for days – after being acquitted, freed by a judge or posting bond, alleges an amended federal complaint filed against the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.
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Bill would let Indiana businesses battle patent trolls in state courts

February 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill, authored by Bedford Republican Rep. Eric Koch, would prohibit a person from asserting a bad-faith claim of patent infringement and would enable the Indiana business accused of infringing to seek remedy in state court.
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Disciplinary Actions - 2/25/15

February 25, 2015
IL Staff
Read who's been suspended or resigned recently from the Indiana bar.
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Contingency fees still help to provide access to courts

February 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Twenty-five years later, a plaintiff’s attorney says changes to statutes have impacted awards, but the system remains necessary.
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Professor says verdict highlights need for Congress to revisit terrorism law

February 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A historic $218.5 million verdict handed down Feb. 23 against Palestinian organizations for a series of terrorist attacks that killed or injured several U.S. citizens could bring unintended consequences and should cause Congress to reexamine federal terrorism statutes, according to a prominent Indiana legal scholar.
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Lease doesn't bar dentist's slip-and-fall suit against landlord

February 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dentist who slipped and fell on a patch of ice outside his office may pursue a negligence and personal-injury lawsuit against his professional corporation’s landlord, the Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday.
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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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