Courts

Court tackles timeliness of trust distribution

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A recent Indiana Court of Appeals decision offers guidance to those working in trust and estate matters regarding how long a trustee should wait before turning to a probate court for guidance on distributing money to beneficiaries when a dispute exists over the amount that will be received.
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Rehearing: Traffic judge denies misconduct

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Hammond City Judge Jeffrey A. Harkin denies that he did anything wrong in operating what may be a long-established but illegal traffic school deferral program and dismissing cases without assessing required fees. He also contends that he did not try to dissuade one litigant from contesting a seatbelt violation in court.
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Appeals court sides with murder defendant in hearsay appeal

August 30, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Citing hearsay rules, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s finding that the state may not introduce into evidence statements that could implicate a man who is facing murder charges.
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COA: 6th Amendment not violated in juvenile murder case

August 30, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that a juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in waiving a 15-year-old boy’s murder trial to adult court and that Indiana’s juvenile waiver statute does not violate the Sixth Amendment.
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Attorney general wants State Fair class action dismissed

August 30, 2011
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General filed a motion Monday in Marion Superior Court to dismiss a proposed class-action lawsuit filed as a result of the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair.
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7th Circuit affirms judgment for officers in diabetic man’s case

August 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the City of East Chicago and police officers on an estate’s excessive force and other claims, finding the officers had reasonable suspicion that a diabetic man who was having a hypoglycemic episode was possibly intoxicated.
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COA: Aunt and uncle have no standing for visitation petition

August 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana statutes and caselaw do not allow for aunts or uncles of a child to petition for visitation, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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Defense attorneys lose appeal for compensation

August 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Two private defense lawyers in Marion County failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that they should be retroactively appointed by the Marion County Public Defender Agency and compensated for their legal work on a case that has an intricate maze of attorney representation over the course of five years.
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3 counties join Odyssey

August 29, 2011
IL Staff
Cass, Shelby, and Union counties are the latest additions to the statewide case management system known as Odyssey.
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COA orders reduced sentence in first impressions case

August 26, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
In reversing a sentence for a serious violent felon, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that intending to commit a “crime of violence” is not, in itself, a crime of violence
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Judge OKs settlement in voter-registration class action suit

August 26, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Indianapolis on Thursday approved a settlement in a class action lawsuit brought against Indiana relating to state offices not adequately providing public assistance for voter registration.
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7th Circuit to hold memorial for Judge Evans

August 26, 2011
IL Staff
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin will hold a joint memorial ceremony for Senior Judge Terence Evans at 4 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Ceremonial Courtroom of the Milwaukee Federal Courthouse.
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COA: Insurance policy covers deputy killed while directing traffic

August 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy that was killed while directing traffic was using her car at the time of the accident and was entitled to coverage under the county’s policy under the uninsured/underinsured motorist endorsement, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Judge: Names in workforce development cases should remain confidential

August 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
There appears to be discord among the judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals as to whether party names should be confidential in workforce development cases.
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7th Circuit examines 3-strike rule on prisoner suits

August 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has followed in the footsteps of some of its sister Circuits, holding that a pro se prisoner suit should proceed because an Indiana federal judge wrongly determined the frequent suit-filing inmate had three strikes rather than two in terms of frivolous claims.
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Judge hears arguments on bar exam application suit

August 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
How far the Indiana Board of Law Examiners can go in asking potential lawyers about their mental-health history was the subject of a federal court hearing Wednesday, where attorneys explored the scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act and what might be reasonable in determining someone’s potential fitness to practice law.
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Lawmakers discuss Barnes police entry ruling

August 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana summer study committee met for the second time Wednesday to discuss a state Supreme Court ruling from earlier this year involving the right to resist police entry into one’s home.
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Justice touts Odyssey, counties seek addition judicial officers

August 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Commission on Courts meeting Wednesday contained some familiar elements: Indiana Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan testified regarding Odyssey and two trial judges have once again asked for an additional judicial officer.
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Man entitled to warning that conduct may waive right to counsel

August 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the finding that a man charged with murder is no longer indigent and that his difficult behavior caused him to waive or forfeit his right to appointed counsel. The appellate court concluded that the judge considered the defendant’s conduct, not his ability to pay, when finding him no longer indigent.
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COA splits on whether Dreaded decision requires judgment for insurer

August 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a dispute over whether an insurer was required to pay pre-notice costs for environmental cleanup, the Indiana Court of Appeals was divided over whether the Indiana Supreme Court ruling Dreaded v. St. Paul Guardian Insurance was distinguishable from the instant case.
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7th Circuit holds lawyer rule on impact of guilty plea for immigrants not retroactive

August 24, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A three-judge panel for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined a landmark decision from the Supreme Court of the United States last year isn't retroactive. That rule required criminal defense attorneys to advise clients about the immigration impact of signing a guilty plea, and this means past cases wouldn’t benefit from that holding even if those individuals had been deprived of that Sixth Amendment right.
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Class-action lawsuit filed over State Fair stage collapse

August 23, 2011
Scott Olson
A class-action lawsuit filed by an Indianapolis law firm is the largest legal action to arise so far from the collapse of a concert stage at the Indiana State Fair.
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Man not prejudiced by counsel's deficient performance

August 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the decision to deny a man’s request for post-conviction relief, finding that although his attorney’s performance was deficient for not investigating whether a previous conviction attributed to the defendant was really his, the man couldn’t show he was prejudiced.
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Public to testify before Barnes subcommittee

August 23, 2011
IL Staff
The subcommittee formed to address the issue of illegal police entry following an Indiana Supreme Court ruling will hear public testimony and discuss draft language at its Wednesday meeting.
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Commission on Courts to discuss JTAC, new judges

August 23, 2011
IL Staff
At its first meeting Wednesday, the Commission on Courts will hear updates on Judicial Technology and Automation Committee projects as well as requests for new judges.
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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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