Courts

Lawyer to justices: 4th Amendment waivers require reasonable suspicion

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
Community corrections officers should have cause before searching the home of someone who has signed a waiver of their Fourth Amendment rights as a condition of probation, a lawyer argued recently before the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Legislature tinkers with new Indiana criminal code

February 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Two different stories by two different witnesses highlighted Indiana’s continuing struggles with its new criminal code.
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Texts present unique challenges in evidence preservation and admission

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
Of the billions of text messages sent daily in the world, a few will wind up as evidence in litigation. A few that should will not, and that could mean trouble for lawyers.
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Indiana Judges Association: Law, time and judgment are shared responsibilities

February 11, 2015
David Dreyer
When New York City claimed 20-30 inches of snow were coming (and got less than 10), I was reminded of so many lawyers who claim three days for their case (but only use one). All of us on the bench or bar tailor our talents toward forming our best judgments. Such a responsibility necessarily includes the talented due consideration of time.
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Some counties funnel domestic relations cases to specific courts, others split load

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis legal community was divided in the early 1990s over a plan to concentrate domestic relations cases into specific courts. The proposal became a reality, but the reality became too burdensome.
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Disciplinary Actions - 2/11/15

February 11, 2015
IL Staff
Read who have recently been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Odyssey vendor chosen to handle statewide e-filing

February 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
Tyler Technologies Inc., which contracts with the Indiana judiciary to provide the Odyssey case management system to courts around the state, has been selected as the vendor that will manage statewide e-filing in trial courts.
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Supreme Court issues order on removed Muncie judge

February 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Muncie City Court judge removed from office last month abused her authority by wrongly jailing defendants and attempting to silence critics in her courtroom, and disgraced the judiciary by using a racial slur in the streets, according to the Indiana Supreme Court order issued Tuesday.
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Amended complaint: Marion Co. sheriff re-arrests those freed

February 10, 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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Criminal code funding bill passes House committee

February 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana House Judiciary Committee has unanimously passed a funding bill that would provide the resources that many agree are necessary to reduce the number of nonviolent offenders who repeatedly reenter the criminal justice system.
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Justices add malpractice, adoption cases to docket

February 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will review summary judgment in favor of healthcare providers sued for medical malpractice in a stillbirth case as well as an adoption by a grandmother who claimed a 1997 conviction for neglect of a dependant should not automatically bar her from adopting the children.
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Appeals panel reinstates med-mal case

February 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in granting summary judgment to a hospital and a doctor who performed a hysterectomy during which an arm board became unattached. After the patient’s arm dangled for much of the surgery, she was diagnosed with nerve damage in her arm.
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COA: Ex-husband entitled to legal fees for former wife's contempt

February 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
The ex-husband in an acrimonious domestic relations case is entitled to $9,000 in legal fees a trial court awarded to him as well as judgments in his favor on parenting time and child support, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Double jeopardy lifts 2 of burglar’s multiple convictions

February 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who repeatedly broke into property and stole tools and items being used to renovate a long-vacant farmhouse likely will remain sentenced to 50 years in prison, even though the Indiana Court of Appeals vacated two of his convictions as violations of the prohibition against double jeopardy.
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Mom claims agent framed her in son's death, sues government

February 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A woman who was wrongfully convicted of murdering her 3-year-old son is suing the government and alleges a federal officer helped investigators frame her for the crime.
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Fremont Town Court judge admonished for ex parte communication

February 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Steuben County town court judge who was admonished in 2012 for improper ex parte communications for assuming the role of prosecutor in a traffic infraction in her court has been admonished again for a similar violation.
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Judge counts his blessings while slowly going blind

February 9, 2015
 Associated Press
George Pancol, judge of Madison Circuit Court 2, is going blind. The doctors can't agree why.
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Indiana woman who fought gay marriage ban dies of cancer

February 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A terminally ill woman whose desire to have her same-sex marriage recognized by Indiana before she died helped galvanize efforts to overturn the state's gay marriage ban has lost her battle with cancer.
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Ex-Martin County judge pleads guilty to failing to pay income tax

February 6, 2015
IL Staff
One-time Martin Circuit judge and county prosecutor Robert J. Howell pleaded guilty Friday to charges that he failed to pay more than $66,000 in taxes on receipts from his law firm in Loogootee.
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Appeals court strips grandmother’s visitation, cites grandchild’s adoption

February 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel Friday stripped a maternal grandparent of visitation rights, finding she had no standing to seek visitation. The parents of the child had divorced, and the father remarried shortly after the mother’s death.
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Prosecutor: 50-plus warrants issued in Evansville meth ring

February 6, 2015
 Associated Press
Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nicholas Hermann said federal arrest warrants have been issued for more than 50 people allegedly involved in a meth-trafficking ring that funneled the drug into the area from four other states.
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COA reverses confinement conviction, cautions prosecution on future statements

February 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Lake County man’s Class B felony criminal confinement conviction because the trial court erred in admitting out-of-court statements by an alleged accomplice.
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Hamilton County establishing veterans court

February 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
A veterans court could be up and running in Hamilton County within 45 days after the county council on Wednesday approved startup funding.
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7th Circuit affirms carjacking enhancement stemming from bank robbery

February 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals quickly dismissed a defendant’s argument that his sentence for bank robbery should not include a two-level sentence enhancement for carjacking because the keys to the car were obtained by rummaging through the victim’s purse and not through force or intimidation.
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7th Circuit stresses holding Pavey hearing separate from summary judgment hearing

February 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the Indiana Department of Correction and its commissioner on a disabled inmate’s claims of violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. The judges also suggested that courts do not hold a Pavey hearing at the same time as a hearing on a motion for summary judgment.
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