Courts

7th Circuit reverses ‘troubling’ ruling in discrimination case

June 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a District Court judge made several errors in analyzing the evidence brought by an African-American electrician in his lawsuit alleging he wasn’t hired because of his race, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed judgment in favor of the company.
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Nonprofit unable to prove it is entitled to charitable tax exemption

June 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Friday upheld the decision to deny a charitable purposes exemption for the 2006 tax year to a Bartholomew County nonprofit that provides housing for low-income residents. The court agreed the nonprofit failed to show that its rental properties qualified for the exemption under I.C. 6-1.1-10-16.
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Justices decline injured officer’s benefits case

June 9, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will leave in place the amount of disability benefits an Indianapolis police officer will receive after he was shot in the line of duty.
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IMPD lawyer to be deposed in councilor’s wrongful arrest case

June 6, 2014
Dave Stafford
Lawyers for Indianapolis City-County Councilman Joseph Simpson may depose a city attorney about legal advice she gave in another case regarding a state statute at the heart of Simpson’s wrongful arrest case, a federal judge ruled Friday.
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Court orders defendants to wear leg restraints at trial

June 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in Terre Haute has granted the government’s request that two defendants wear modified leg irons at an upcoming jury trial due to their violent criminal histories – both outside of prison and while incarcerated. The men face charges stemming from the murder of a fellow inmate.
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Federal court seeks comment on local sentencing procedure rule

June 6, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has determined there is a need to amend Local Criminal Rule 13.1 on sentencing procedure and is accepting comment on the proposed changes.
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COA: Man’s sentence after guilty plea is illegal

June 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s 10-year sentence resulting from a guilty plea for abusing his adopted teenaged children, holding that the sentence was based on an incorrect application of I.C. 35-50-1-2.
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Electronic devices must be turned off in Southern District courtrooms

June 5, 2014
IL Staff
If you plan on bringing your mobile phone, tablet or any other electronic device into court in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana, make sure you turn it off. That’s an order from Chief Judge Richard Young.
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Spanish-speaking man did not waive rights in plea, justices hold

June 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A non-native English speaker was able to show the Indiana Supreme Court that, during his guilty plea hearing, he was not properly advised of the constitutional rights he was waiving by pleading guilty. The justices reversed the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief.
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Tax Court affirms 2006 assessment appealed pro se

June 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although sympathetic to a mother and daughter’s plight, the Indiana Tax Court affirmed the 2006 assessment of a downtown Indianapolis condominium. The judge pointed out that pro se litigants are held to the same standards as licensed attorneys.
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Dropped charges against former IURC chief won’t be appealed

June 5, 2014
IL Staff
The state no longer is contesting the dismissal of official misconduct charges against former Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Chairman David Lott Hardy.
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Husband’s agreement doesn’t preclude judgment against wife

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A company is allowed to sue both parties who executed a promissory note seeking recovery of owed funds because it will still only be entitled to one satisfaction on the debt, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Court rules gynecologist can’t testify on mental competency

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A bank is able to foreclose on a mortgage against the estate of a deceased 95-year-old woman who opened the line of credit to pay her granddaughter to take care of her. But the elderly woman’s daughter argued the granddaughter unduly influenced Mildred Borgwald to open the account.
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COA orders trial over 1 issue in contaminated development land suit

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial on the issue of whether the known loss doctrine would bar coverage of an insurance policy held by the owner of land sold for a housing development that later was found to have been contaminated with toxic waste. A builder sued the landowner, claiming he knew of the potential contamination and failed to inform the builder.
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No abuse by trial court in modifying maintenance payment terms

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied a man’s petition to revoke spousal maintenance.
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Justices question prosecutor’s tactics, but decline to award new trial

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that while a Marion County prosecutor committed one instance of prosecutorial misconduct during a man’s trial for sexual misconduct with a minor, the effect of this misconduct did not make a fair trial for the defendant impossible.
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Indiana to get $2.1M in drugmaker settlement

June 4, 2014
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General announced Wednesday that the state will receive nearly $2.1 million in a multi-state settlement with GlaxoSmithKline LLC concerning three of its drugs.
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Depositions delayed in Spierer civil case

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Attorneys for the parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer must delay more than a dozen planned depositions. The depositions were scheduled this month in four cities in the federal civil trial naming two of the people believed to have last seen Spierer.
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Proposed e-filing rule comment period open

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Lawyers will be able to file state court cases and motions with the ease of clicking a button beginning next year. Getting to that point won’t be so simple.
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Ex-officer for MCBA may lose law license

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson, Dave Stafford
Members and officers of the Marion County Bar Association say the organization has put behind it the theft and subsequent repayment of more than $10,000 by its former treasurer.
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Hoosiers play integral roles in historic military commissions

June 4, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The words Indianapolis attorney Richard Kammen used to describe the trials taking place at Guantanamo Bay are jarring – “legally grotesque situation,” “huge stain on American justice,” “secret expedient rigged justice.”
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Disciplinary Actions - 6/4/14

June 4, 2014
IL Staff
Read who's been disbarred or suspended recently.
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Justices reverse, reinstate wrongful death claim against nursing home

June 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
The estate of a woman who died in a nursing home after an attack by another resident may pursue a wrongful death claim, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The family was initially told the woman suffered a fall but learned of the attack years later.
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COA affirms court order in trailer ownership and use dispute

June 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
A court that granted relief from a previous order in a dispute over the ownership and use of 119 semi-trailers was affirmed Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Sentences imposed on Anderson juveniles in double homicide reduced

June 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
Two Anderson youths convicted for their roles in the shooting deaths of a couple they robbed of money and marijuana may someday be freed from prison after the Indiana Supreme Court significantly reduced their sentences Monday.
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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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