Courts

COA agrees lawsuit may continue in Indiana under Journey’s Account Statute

April 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although a plaintiff in a lawsuit stemming from a car accident in Indiana used bad judgment when he filed the suit in federal court in Illinois, where he lives, there was no error by a Tippecanoe County court to allow the lawsuit to later proceed when filed there based on the Journey’s Account Statute, ruled the Court of Appeals.
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Evansville residency ordinance hearing to be broadcast

April 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush has approved a Vanderburgh Superior judge’s request that an en banc hearing be held regarding an ordinance passed last year that says a person appointed to a board serving the city of Evansville must live in the city.
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Woman freed after wrongful conviction wants 2 suits combined

April 13, 2015
 Associated Press
A woman wrongfully convicted of setting a fire that killed her 3-year-old son wants her two lawsuits alleging that investigators framed her combined into a single case.
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Judge reduces convicted kidnapper's sentence; man to be freed

April 13, 2015
 Associated Press
A northwest Indiana judge has cleared the way for a man serving three life sentences on rape and kidnapping convictions to be freed after nearly four decades in prison.
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Theft conviction reversed based on lack of evidence

April 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man accused of stealing a rangefinder from a southern Indiana Rural King had his conviction reversed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The judges concluded there was insufficient evidence to support Jeremy Middleton’s conviction.
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Man’s affidavit entered after final order requires reversal of summary judgment

April 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court abused its discretion when it did not allow a set of parents to introduce the affidavit from their son, who allegedly suffered a brain injury from an attack, after he was able to remember the night of the incident. The affidavit was submitted shortly after a final judgment was entered in their lawsuit against the alleged attacker.
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COA revises sentence for molestation of stepson

April 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found sufficient evidence as well as no errors by the trial court in affirming five molestation convictions of a man involving his stepson. But, the judges believed his nearly 100-year sentence needs revised.
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Tax Court puts certain ESPN records under seal

April 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the records ESPN Productions Inc. seeks to keep from public disclosure in its appeal of taxes assessed against it contain trade secrets, the Indiana Tax Court on Thursday granted the company's request to put most of records at issue under seal.
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AIT, former execs rack up nearly $5M in legal costs

April 10, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, J.K. Wall
AIT Laboratories and its former executives have already incurred nearly $5 million defending themselves against charges by the U.S. Department of Labor that AIT founder Michael Evans sold the company to its employees at an inflated price.
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Reporter subpoenaed to testify, give notes in murder case

April 10, 2015
 Associated Press
A reporter for a northern Indiana newspaper has been subpoenaed to testify and turn over interview notes and recordings as part of story she wrote about a homicide investigation.
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Sotomayor says US Supreme Court gets politicized by others

April 10, 2015
 Associated Press
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor says any sense that the court is political comes from outside groups, not the justices themselves.
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Change of venue denied for man charged in woman's death

April 10, 2015
 Associated Press
A southwestern Indiana judge has rejected a change of venue request for a man charged in the death of a pregnant Sullivan woman.
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Indiana school district will appeal teacher firing ruling

April 10, 2015
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana school district is appealing a federal court ruling that it violated a teacher's rights when he was fired in 2013.
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Judges divided over whether man can belatedly appeal infraction

April 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a man challenging a traffic infraction could challenge it on belated appeal, but the dissenting judge believed broadening the post-conviction rules would put additional strain on limited judicial resources.
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Split court reinstates guilty but mentally ill verdict

April 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Wednesday concluded that based on circumstantial evidence, a jury could have reasonably found a northern Indiana man guilty but mentally ill of attempted murder, despite testimony from experts that the man was insane at the time of the 2004 shootings.
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COA now recording select 'Appeals on Wheels' arguments

April 9, 2015
IL Staff
When the Indiana Court of Appeals hits the road to hear arguments, some of those will now be recorded and archived online.
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Justices order more proceedings on fees owed to law firm

April 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court noted that a trial court did not take into account caselaw when it denied an Indianapolis firm’s request for quantum meruit relief.
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Special review panel advances Indy justice center plan

April 9, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, Kathleen McLaughlin
Indianapolis City-County Council Democrats are getting nearer to their most difficult vote of the election year, as their own adviser tells them that a new criminal justice facility – however it’s built – could cost the city more money than expected down the road.
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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev convicted in Boston Marathon bombing

April 8, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal jury found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty Wednesday in the 2013 terror attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260.
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COA: IURC improperly approved utility’s 7-year plan

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In the appeal of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s decision to approve rate increases requested by a northern Indiana utility group under a new statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded the commission erred in approving a seven-year plan that only gave specifics about year one.
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Court declines to interfere in former pastor’s breach of contract suit

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Greensburg pastor who filed a complaint against his former church after they terminated his contract was not able to prove to the Court of Appeals that the courts could review his claims without reference to either church law or doctrine.
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Court affirms amount of heroin attributable to defendant

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin could not convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the trial court incorrectly found him to be responsible for buying and selling at least 1,040 grams of heroin over a six-year period.
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Known loss doctrine bars claim against insurers

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The insurers of a company that purchased property it knew was contaminated are not required to defend or indemnify the company regarding the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s remediation action, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday.
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New criminal code not applicable to offenses committed prior to enactment

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana General Assembly explicitly stated that the revised criminal code does not apply to penalties, crimes or proceedings that began before the effective date of July 1, 2014, so a man is not entitled to be sentenced under the more-favorable criminal code, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Man sues ex-sheriff, others over probe of his father's death

April 8, 2015
 Associated Press
The son of a central Indiana man whose death was originally ruled a suicide is suing a former sheriff, a county coroner and four deputies who investigated his death.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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