Courts

Judge orders Volkswagen to pay $2.8B in emission scandal

April 21, 2017
 Associated Press
A judge on Friday ordered Volkswagen to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty in the United States for cheating on diesel emissions tests, blessing a deal negotiated by the government for a "massive fraud" orchestrated by the German automaker.
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Man pleads guilty in fatal shooting of Indianapolis officer

April 21, 2017
 Associated Press
A 27-year-old man on Friday pleaded guilty to murder in the fatal shooting of an Indianapolis police officer, in a deal that spares him the death penalty.
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Judge mulls wrongful death lawsuit in baby sitter's drowning

April 21, 2017
 Associated Press
A judge is considering whether to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the mother of an 18-year-old woman who drowned while baby-sitting at the home of two pastors in northwest Indiana.
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Holcomb’s Supreme Court pick will be a trial judge

April 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
With the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission’s stamp of approval next to their names, three trial court judges are waiting to learn who among them will be selected as the state’s next Supreme Court justice.
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Lawsuit alleges SEC investigation, financial cover-up at Celadon

April 20, 2017
Susan Orr, IBJ Staff
A Celadon Group Inc. investor has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Indianapolis-based trucking company is misleading shareholders about its financial status and covering up a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the company.
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Justices: Colorado policy on court fees unconstitutional

April 20, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Wednesday that Colorado's practice of not automatically refunding court fees and other costs to people convicted of crimes but later exonerated violates the Constitution.
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Holcomb appoints 2 trial court judges

April 20, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has appointed two trial court judges, replacing judicial officers who were elected to new judgeships last November.
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Decline in bankruptcy filings slowing

April 20, 2017
IL Staff
Bankruptcy filings in federal courts continue to fall, but the rate of decline is slowing.
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3 finalists picked for Supreme Court

April 19, 2017
IL Staff
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission has picked the three finalists for the Indiana Supreme Court. The three, all judges, are seeking to replace Justice Robert Rucker, who will retire next month.
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COA upholds electric utility’s rate hike

April 19, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding substantial evidence supporting a regulatory body’s ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals denied an attempt by Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana to overturn approval for a utility rate hike.
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Appellate court interprets amended habitual offender statute

April 19, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, after finding the language of the habitual offender statute doesn’t support either the defendant’s or the state’s interpretation, reversed the denial of the defendant’s objection to his habitual counts and ordered the trial court to review the matter.
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COA affirms confidentiality of deposition in litigation between Greek brothers

April 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
Discovery materials protected in Indiana courts under a protective order cannot be used in litigation between two brothers in Greece, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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COA reduces woman’s OWI conviction, orders new hearing on fees

April 19, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not properly determine whether a woman had the ability to pay fees owed after being convicted of a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge, so the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the case back to the trial court. The judges also ordered her conviction reduced based on the evidence presented at trial.
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Playground case touches on separation of church and state

April 19, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States signaled Wednesday that it will decide an important case on the separation of church and state in favor of a Missouri church that wants state money to put a soft surface on its preschool playground.
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COA: Signatures do not have to take a specific form

April 19, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who drove too fast and was given an electronic speeding ticket failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that all signatures are not the same.
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2nd Circuit cracks door for en banc hearing on Title VII sexual orientation claim

April 19, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
In possibly the first opinion issued since the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found Title VII does provide protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation, a 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals panel has declined to reach the same conclusion.
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Justice interviews wrap up as JNC works to pick finalists

April 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
With the interview process complete, Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush and the Judicial Nominating Commission are now tasked with selecting three people to be considered as the next justice of the court. Interviews with the 11 semifinalists wrapped up Wednesday morning.
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Rucker to assume senior judge status after retirement

April 19, 2017
IL Staff
Retiring Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker will assume senior judge status after he leaves his seat on the state’s highest bench next month.
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Council panel OKs plan to reimburse city agencies for justice center planning

April 19, 2017
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
An Indianapolis City-County Council panel Tuesday evening unanimously approved a measure that would allow the city to be reimbursed with future bond proceeds for expenses related to the planned community justice campus.
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Texas Roadhouse brands Indiana chain a trademark rustler, lassos favorable rulings

April 19, 2017
Dave Stafford
Texas Roadhouse has a prime beef with Texas Corral restaurants, claiming in a federal lawsuit that from their look and feel to their logos and building designs, the smaller Indiana-based chain is all hat, no cattle.
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7th Circuit: Title VII includes sexual orientation

April 19, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals made history when it ruled in early April that Title VII does prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. But whether that opinion becomes the inspiration for other circuits to make similar findings has yet to be seen.
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Indiana judge co-chairs ABA program aiming to increase diversity in judicial chambers

April 19, 2017
Dave Stafford
Law student Diego Wu’s dream job is working as a law clerk in a judge’s chambers, but he never dreamed of what judges told him they look for when they evaluate candidates for those typically one- to two-year positions.
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Questions exist as to whether Clarksville home violates neighborhood covenants

April 18, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
Summary judgment was prematurely granted to a Clarksville homeowner sued by his neighbors for allegedly violating the neighborhood’s restrictive covenants, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Judicial Nominating Commission preparing for final Supreme Court interviews

April 18, 2017
Olivia Covington
Six of the 11 semifinalists who applied to fill Justice Robert Rucker’s seat after he retires next month sat for their half-hour interviews with Chief Justice Loretta Rush and the Judicial Nominating Commission Tuesday.
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COA: Parties stipulation shows easement is necessary

April 18, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
In a dispute between neighbors, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a private property owner had to allow part of his land to be used to give access to a tract of land owned by a business.
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