Courts

COA affirms cutting off mother’s communication with daughter

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The court record is replete with evidence supporting a juvenile court’s decision that a teenage girl would be better off if communication and visits with her mother were terminated, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The girl, in foster care, often had detrimental visits with her mother.
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Judges rule counsel was not deficient, drug conviction stands

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana in excess of 30 grams after finding that the claims he wanted his attorney to raise at trial would not have prevailed.
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Lawyers arguing mental illness in murder conviction appeal

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court is set to hear an appeal of the conviction of a schizophrenic man serving a life sentence in the death of his mother.
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South Bend council urged to stop seeking police recordings

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
Two of the four South Bend police officers whose telephone recordings are at the center of a police wiretapping case want city council members to end their pursuit of those recordings.
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Rare emergency suspension issued by Supreme Court

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Merrillville attorney Robert E. Stochel spent a few nights in jail after a judge found him in contempt for his evasiveness, but so far he’s avoided criminal charges despite allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from clients and a former associate.
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Court of Appeals finds no standing post-adoption, suggests legislative remedy

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana appeals court empathized with a grandmother’s situation, but it ruled the law gave the court no choice but to strip her of visitation with her granddaughter, whose mother – the grandmother’s daughter – had died.
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Amended complaint: Marion County inmates held days after release ordered

February 25, 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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Bill would let Indiana businesses battle patent trolls in state courts

February 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill, authored by Bedford Republican Rep. Eric Koch, would prohibit a person from asserting a bad-faith claim of patent infringement and would enable the Indiana business accused of infringing to seek remedy in state court.
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Disciplinary Actions - 2/25/15

February 25, 2015
IL Staff
Read who's been suspended or resigned recently from the Indiana bar.
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Contingency fees still help to provide access to courts

February 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Twenty-five years later, a plaintiff’s attorney says changes to statutes have impacted awards, but the system remains necessary.
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Professor says verdict highlights need for Congress to revisit terrorism law

February 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A historic $218.5 million verdict handed down Feb. 23 against Palestinian organizations for a series of terrorist attacks that killed or injured several U.S. citizens could bring unintended consequences and should cause Congress to reexamine federal terrorism statutes, according to a prominent Indiana legal scholar.
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Lease doesn't bar dentist's slip-and-fall suit against landlord

February 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dentist who slipped and fell on a patch of ice outside his office may pursue a negligence and personal-injury lawsuit against his professional corporation’s landlord, the Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday.
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Attorney: Settlement reached in parasailing crash lawsuit

February 24, 2015
 Associated Press
An attorney for two Indiana teenagers who were seriously injured in a Florida parasailing crash says a settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by one of the victim's parents.
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Council members: Delay justice center decision until after election

February 23, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
The odds the Indianapolis City-County Council will approve plans for a new criminal justice center this year are tanking fast.
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Menard: Toss Hilberts' attorneys for wrongdoing

February 23, 2015
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
Lawyers for Indianapolis power couple Steve and Tomisue Hilbert are slinging “ludicrous allegations” of witness tampering just to cover up their own wrongdoing, according to the latest broadside from the attorneys representing John Menard, the Hilberts’ former business partner.
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Friedlander to resign from Court of Appeals

February 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Ezra Friedlander will retire in August, the court announced Monday, about a year-and-a-half before he would have faced mandatory retirement.
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Justices won’t give lawyers access to secret court records

February 23, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States will not consider giving a man accused of trying to ignite a bomb in downtown Chicago access to secret intelligence-court records.
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Report: Ex-Purdue chancellor’s forced retirement bungled

February 23, 2015
 Associated Press
A newly released report that Purdue University had fought in court to keep secret concluded that school officials bungled the forced retirement of Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne's former chancellor, causing his departure to turn into an “ugly situation.”
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7th Circuit reverses denial of disability benefits

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
An administrative law judge’s denial of Social Security disability benefits for a man who the Veterans Administration determined was totally disabled cannot be sustained, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA finds dual conviction violated double jeopardy

February 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
On a sua sponte review, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned one conviction of a Hamilton County woman who was found guilty of charges surrounding the death of an infant in her care.
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Appeals court opens RX database to defendant’s subpoena

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman charged with possession of a controlled substance who claimed she had a prescription may seek information from the state prescription database, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a reversal.
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Tax Court affirms denial of exemptions on lake property

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Lake Wawasee homeowners association failed to persuade the Indiana Tax Court to overturn Board of Tax Review denials of exemptions for waterfront property it claimed was maintained to retain and preserve the natural characteristics of land and water.
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Absence of evidence douses tobacco charge

February 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana inmate’s punishment for allegedly trafficking in tobacco was snuffed out when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found he was convicted without evidence of guilt.
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Texas attorney general argues gay couple's marriage is void

February 20, 2015
 Associated Press
As a newlywed lesbian couple in Texas celebrate defying a statewide ban on gay marriage, the state's Republican attorney general is preparing to tell a court Friday why it should rule their nuptials invalid.
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COA returns housewares theft case to trial court

February 19, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A department store sales clerk who was convicted of two counts of theft is entitled to a rebate on her convictions and restitution amount, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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