Courts

Justices to hear arguments in caseload case against DCS this week

May 30, 2017
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments this week to determine whether an employee of the Indiana Department of Child Services can bring a class-action complaint against her employer for an alleged violation of statutory caseload limits under the public standing doctrine.
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Justices consider ‘reasonable’ standard in flash bang search case

May 26, 2017
Olivia Covington
As criticism across the country continues to grow against the use of flash bang devices, a highly controversial police diversionary tool, the justices of the Indiana Supreme Court must decide whether the use of such a tool in Evansville constituted an unreasonable assault on the home.
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Ex-prosecutor faces discipline for failing to disclose false testimony

May 26, 2017
Dave Stafford
A former Porter County deputy prosecutor and a member of the Valparaiso City Council faces sanctions from the Indiana Supreme Court for allegedly withholding from the defense that an alleged victim said he had been coached to lie and had recanted allegations of sexual abuse.
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Reversal: Trial court ordered to revisit CHINS petition

May 26, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana trial court imposed an “inappropriately high” burden on the Department of Child Services to prove a presumption of a child in need of services situation, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday in an opinion ordering the trial court to revisit the CHINS petition.
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Man convicted of killing Wisconsin woman buried in basement

May 26, 2017
 Associated Press
An Indiana man has been convicted of murder in the death of a Wisconsin woman whose body was found buried in a basement in 2015.
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Indiana sues 2 former school administrators for $3M

May 26, 2017
 Associated Press
The Indiana Attorney General's office is suing two former Munster school administrators for more than $3 million, alleging the pair misappropriated, illegally retained or fraudulently obtained public funds.
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California man accused of defrauding former Colt of more than $4.5M

May 26, 2017
Indianapolis Business Journal, Susan Orr
A financial adviser in California faces allegations that he defrauded a former Indianapolis Colts player out of more than $4.5 million in investments.
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Tax Court affirms board’s valuations of Bloomington CVS store

May 26, 2017
Olivia Covington
In a case involving the same litigants, attorneys and issues previously raised by the Monroe County assessor and CVS corporation, the Indiana Tax Court has affirmed the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s final determination as to the assessed value of a CVS store in Bloomington.
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Appeals court deals blow to Trump administration travel ban

May 25, 2017
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court dealt another blow to President Donald Trump's revised travel ban targeting six Muslim-majority countries on Thursday, siding with groups that say the policy illegally targets Muslims.
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Salvation Army sues neighboring Children’s Museum over expansion

May 25, 2017
Indianapolis Business Journal, Scott Olson
The Salvation Army is suing the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, claiming its neighbor’s $35 million outdoor expansion project intrudes on its easements and restricts its access to Illinois Street.
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Appeals court reinstates grant of petition to relocate easement

May 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Town of Ellettsville Plan Commission can move forward with its plan to grant a petition to move an easement after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday the man who owns the easement did not prove the petition was unreasonable.
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Bloomington files lawsuit over last-minute annexation amendment

May 25, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The city of Bloomington has filed a lawsuit against Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, claiming an amendment dropped into the state’s biennial budget at 2 a.m. April 21 and approved less than 24 hours later is specifically targeting the municipality to prevent it from annexing seven unincorporated areas near the city limits.
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COA affirms convictions in nursing home burglary scheme

May 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a man’s various felony theft and burglary convictions after finding there was sufficient evidence to prove he broke into the dwelling of nursing home residents and stole narcotics worth more than $3,000.
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State agrees to pay family $25M to settle DCS case

May 25, 2017
Dave Stafford
Indiana will pay $25 million to conclude a northern Indiana family’s decade-long legal fight to clear their names after the Department of Child Services falsely prosecuted them for their daughter’s death.
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Evaluations of man accused of eating girlfriend sought soon

May 25, 2017
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana prosecutor says he expects to soon see mental competency evaluations of a man accused of killing his former girlfriend and eating parts of her body.
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Bosma Enterprises files lawsuit over VA contracting changes

May 25, 2017
 Associated Press, Indianapolis Business Journal
Indianapolis-based not-for-profit Bosma Enterprises and other advocacy groups for the blind on Wednesday sued the Department of Veterans Affairs in federal court, alleging the agency ignored a long-standing law when it changed contracting rules that have been used for decades to give jobs to the visually impaired.
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Law firm entitled to $36k in unpaid legal fees, court rules, but not all it sought

May 24, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A Vincennes firm scored a partial victory in the Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday after the court upheld the award of more than $36,000 in unpaid legal fees for guardianship and estate work. The appeals court remanded the case for reconsideration of other collection costs and prejudgment interest awarded.
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Federal court documentary premiere, debut airing set

May 24, 2017
IL Staff
A documentary coinciding with the bicentennial of Indiana’s federal courts will premiere at a special event next month ahead of its debut airing on public television.
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Justices to hear arguments in Evansville 'military-style assault' case

May 24, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana’s Supreme Court is set to hear cases Thursday involving the withdrawal of guilty pleas, the use of search warrants and the revocation of good-time credit.
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Indiana gets over $600K in Target data breach settlement

May 23, 2017
 Associated Press
Indiana will receive over $600,000 from an $18.5 million settlement with Target Corp. to resolve a multi-state probe into the discounter's pre-Christmas data breach in 2013.
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COA affirms denial of educational credit time for inmate

May 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Department of Correction correctly denied an inmate’s request for educational credit time after he was reincarcerated for a parole violation, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday, finding established caselaw does not allow inmates to “bank” credit time for future incarceration.
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COA reinstates Madison City Council rezoning denial

May 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
A decision by the Madison City Council to deny a local couple’s request to rezone a property was not arbitrary and capricious and, thus, must be reinstated, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA finds no Brady violation in burglary case

May 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a man’s conviction for felony burglary, finding the state did not violate his rights by failing to disclose before trial the existence of a wallet discovered during the investigation into the burglary.
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7th Circuit hears Indiana birth certificate dispute

May 23, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals seemed unconvinced that Indiana’s prohibition against listing non-birth mothers in female, same-sex married couples on a child’s birth certificate violates the Constitution.
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Suit: ‘Scheme to scam’ put dubious charges on Vectren bills

May 23, 2017
Dave Stafford
An untold number of Vectren utility customers were duped into paying dubious utility-line protection plan charges that went to a different company after Vectren presumably took a kickback on the charge, a proposed class-action lawsuit claims.
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  4. 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.

  5. 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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