Courts

Criminal code overhaul shifts focus to sentencing

December 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The exploding prison population was a key motivator for revising the state’s criminal code, but an independent research group has concluded the new statute will cause a quicker increase in the number of inmates.
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Timing of wrongful death claim disputed

December 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In a wrongful-death claim filed nearly five years after a nursing home death, the Indiana Supreme Court is considering whether in instances of fraudulent concealment the two-year limitation clock starts over or if giving plaintiffs “reasonable time” to file is an acceptable standard.
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Advocates say justice was delayed, but deal positive for Gingerich

December 18, 2013
Dave Stafford
More than three years after 12-year-old Paul Gingerich was improperly sentenced as an adult to 30 years in prison for his role in a killing, he now has a chance to be free at 18 – an imperfect result, advocates say, that nonetheless might be the best possible under the circumstances.
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Disciplinary Actions - 12/18/13

December 18, 2013
IL Staff
Read who's been suspended or reinstated to practice in Indiana.
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Federal Bar Update: Rule 45 amendments on subpoenas took effect Dec. 1

December 18, 2013
John Maley
Amendments took effect Dec. 1 to Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Also, amendments took effect to several of the Southern District of Indiana’s Local Rules.
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Fees against IHSAA for unreasonable litigation upheld

December 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana High School Athletic Association should pay for its insistence on enforcing rules that courts repeatedly said were arbitrary and capricious, an appeals panel ruled Tuesday.
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Injured worker has to prove company is secondarily liable in workers' comp claim

December 17, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals split in deciding a workers’ compensation claim concerning who had the burden to prove whether the true value of work exceeded $1,000 and, therefore, triggered secondary liability.
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Reversal: Insurer had duty to provide dental office full coverage

December 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
An insurer that for decades wrote policies for a dental office had a special duty to advise the office about coverage and ensure the office was fully covered, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in reversing summary judgment in favor of the insurer.
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Supreme Court revives Rockport plant proposal

December 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court revived a controversial state-backed deal that would facilitate construction of a $2.7 billion coal-using synthetic natural gas plant in Rockport. The decision likely sets up another round of state regulatory review if developers choose to move forward.
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Court erred, twice rejected settlement in covenant case

December 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in denying a homeowners association’s request for an injunction against a resident who parked a trailer on her lot. The court then twice rejected joint settlement requests, according to a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Clenched fist and aggressive behavior merit resisting law enforcement conviction

December 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court acknowledged that precedent does not provide a clear definition of “resisting arrest,” but still the court knew it when it saw it in a case where a man was subdued with a Taser after ignoring a police officer’s order to get down on the ground. 
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Despite objections, molester can’t appeal prior physical abuse testimony

December 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Objections made to a line of questioning at a man’s child molestation trial that he had previously assaulted the victim and the victim’s mother didn’t properly preserve the issue, a Court of Appeals panel ruled Friday in affirming his conviction.
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7th Circuit blasts counsel, tosses race-based traffic-stop appeal

December 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Elkhart man failed to show a traffic stop and drunken-driving arrest was unconstitutional in an appeal that a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel rejected with an opinion blasting his lawyer’s work.
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21st Amendment chain blocked from federal cold-beer suit

December 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
A magistrate judge has blocked a retail liquor store chain’s bid to join a federal lawsuit filed by convenience stores challenging an Indiana law that forbids them from selling cold beer.
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Justices decline to apply dollar for dollar credit for Social Security retirement benefits

December 12, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday declined to revisit previous caselaw regarding crediting Social Security Retirement benefits to a noncustodial parent’s child support obligation. The justices affirmed the trial court’s decision to include the benefits in the custodial parent’s weekly adjusted income.
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COA finds man knew of protective order and violated it

December 12, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
There is ample evidence proving that a Marion County man was aware his ex-girlfriend obtained a protective order against him when he broke into her home, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Order prohibiting boyfriend from spending time with children too broad

December 12, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The longtime boyfriend of a mother of triplets should be allowed to continue his relationship with her children as long as it does not undermine or damage the relationship with their father, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. As such, the judges reversed the order preventing the boyfriend from spending time with the children alone.
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Conour appeals fraud conviction, 10-year sentence

December 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former attorney William Conour will appeal his conviction and 10-year prison sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud.
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Embattled judge sorry, proposes 60-day suspension

December 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown is apologizing for alleged judicial misconduct that resulted in 47 disciplinary counts against her, proposing to the Indiana Supreme Court that she be suspended for two months. She also says her prior defense, including refusing to take a deposition oath, was “ill-advised.”
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Sniadecki’s forgery sentence suspended

December 11, 2013
IL Staff
Rodney P. Sniadecki, the disbarred sole practitioner from South Bend who was found guilty in September of three counts of forgery, received a suspended sentence and probation Wednesday.
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Marion County announces plan to build new criminal justice complex

December 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Under a plan announced by city and court officials Wednesday, Marion County’s courts, jails and other offices would be located in one complex instead of spread out around downtown Indianapolis and the county.
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Inmate’s negligence suit may continue, court rules

December 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered more proceedings on a negligence lawsuit filed by an Indiana Department of Correction inmate after he fell and injured himself. In the decision, the judges also decided that prison operators are subject to liability in much the same manner as other private actors.
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Jury should decide whether Duke Realty intended to get law partner fired

December 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
There are genuine issues of material fact as to whether Duke Realty, involved in a dispute over a land agreement with a Parr Richey Obremskey & Morton partner, intentionally induced the firm to terminate Carol Sparks Drake’s partnership agreement and whether that interference was justified, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Man entitled to homestead deduction on Fountain County property

December 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Tuesday reversed the determination that a man could not receive the homestead standard deduction on his Fountain County property because the decision is unsupported by evidence. The Indiana Board of Tax Review’s conclusion that the property was not Roderick Kellam’s principal place of residence was contrary to law. 
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Justices take 3 cases

December 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to three cases last week, including a lawsuit filed by parents after their severely disabled daughter died at school as a result of choking on food.
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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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