Courts

Dozing juror should have stayed in deliberations

July 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A juror who gave the lone vote to acquit and eventually refused to deliberate did not meet the criteria for removal, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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New chief justice to be selected Aug. 6

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
The next chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court will be chosen by the Judicial Nominating Commission Aug. 6, the court announced Friday.
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Dissent: ‘No evidence’ tying convicted man to crime scene

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
While a majority of the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an Indianapolis man’s trespassing conviction, another judge warned in dissent that the ruling went against the tenet of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
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County treasurer's attorneys want charges dropped

July 11, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys for a central Indiana county treasurer want charges that he mishandled public money dismissed, arguing that other officials who've done the same thing haven't been prosecuted.
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COA tosses injunction issued after alleged workplace threat

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
An injunction against an employee who allegedly told a company therapist that he was going to blow his supervisor’s head off is void because it arose from a labor dispute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA affirms termination of parental rights for imprisoned mom

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court was within its authority to terminate the parental rights of a mother serving a minimum 10-year federal prison sentence for conspiracy to deal heroin, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit reinstates CSX worker’s sex discrimination claims

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday reinstated sex discrimination and retaliation claims from a woman who alleges she was denied opportunities to advance as a railroad yardmaster with CSX Transportation Inc.
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Supreme Court vacates parental termination for jailed mom

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A juvenile court abused it discretion by proceeding with a hearing and terminating a mother’s parental rights in her absence because she was in jail, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Her attorney’s failure to ensure she was heard from also denied her a fair hearing, justices ruled.
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7th Circuit orders agency to reconsider denial of benefits

July 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the “logical bridge” between evidence and conclusion that is needed to affirm a denial of disability benefits was not “sound” in a case before them, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s affirmation of the denial of a woman’s Social Security disability benefits.
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Too much time has passed for man to sue after rifle accident, 7th Circuit says

July 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A lawsuit against a rifle manufacturer by an injured user was filed outside Indiana’s 10-year statute of repose for products-liability actions, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The man’s modification to his rifle did not extend the time he had to sue.
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Dickson says consensus among justices on next chief unlikely

July 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
Before Brent Dickson was selected chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court more than two years ago, his fellow justices came one by one before the Judicial Nominating Commission and said he was the man for the job.
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Utah to appeal gay marriage ruling to high court

July 10, 2014
 Associated Press
Utah has decided to go straight to the U.S. Supreme Court to argue against gay marriage, meaning the nation's highest court will have at least one same-sex marriage case on its plate when it returns in October.
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Supreme Court affirms COA on issue in public-private contract

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a mere three sentences, the Indiana Supreme Court summarily affirmed the Indiana Court of Appeals opinion in the lawsuit involving Veolia Water and the city of Indianapolis and liability for damages resulting from a fire that destroyed a restaurant.
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Ex-business partner might not get damages for unreturned pizza oven

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a county clerk did not apparently send out notice of a court order requiring a man to return a pizza oven to his partner in a bar, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial by the lower court of the man’s motion challenging a damages award stemming from his failure to return the oven.
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Judges uphold 40-year sentence in drug deal turned robbery

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 40-year sentence for his role in the robbery of two people after he set up a drug deal with one of the victims.
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Court rules in favor of police department on inmate’s request for records

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The inmate who filed a public records request with the Indianapolis Police Department nearly nine years ago lost his case on appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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Man had 3 months to bring claim to enforce contract, court rules

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A son who sought to challenge his stepmother’s decision to revoke the will she made with his father had to bring his challenge within three months of the will being admitted to probate, not nine months as he claimed, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Dentist’s reputation, privacy and identity are not chattel under T.R. 75(A)(2)

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals decided that the preferred venue of a woman’s lawsuit against her ex-boyfriend alleging defamation and other claims is in Marion County where the man resides and not in Lake County where she works. The opinion hinged upon whether there were chattels involved.
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Moberly to become chief bankruptcy judge Aug. 1

July 9, 2014
IL Staff
Judge Robyn L. Moberly, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana, has been appointed to replace Judge James K. Coachys as the court's chief judge. Coachys is retiring Sept. 30.
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Split Supreme Court vacates transfer in re-entry case

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court took action on one case last week, vacating the transfer it granted in April in a case challenging the termination from a county re-entry court program.
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Curry: 12-hour arrestee probable cause rule unrealistic

July 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry told judges Tuesday that a proposed rule requiring a probable cause determination within 12 hours of an arrest in major felony cases would “set up the criminal justice system to fail in many instances.”
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Woman loses appeal of discrimination lawsuit against employer

July 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court that a pharmaceutical company did not discriminate against a sales representative based on her age or retaliate against her for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
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Justices to answer whether fund can pursue claim against an insurer

July 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted a certified question from a federal court in northern Indiana in a case filed by the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund against a professional liability insurance provider involving claims against former doctor Mark Weinberger.
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State can’t prove teen stole television he owned with his mother

July 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression involving the statutes defining Class D felony theft, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a teen’s adjudication of theft for removing a television that he and his mother purchased together from his mother’s home over her objection.
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Judges uphold man’s resisting law enforcement conviction

July 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the evidence to be sufficient to support a man’s conviction of misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction Monday. The judges also found no error in the trial court’s instructions to the jury.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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