Courts

Disciplinary Commission seeks to suspend Kokomo attorney’s license

April 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission is investigating the Kokomo attorney who abandoned his law practice last year and left the country.
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Attorney reprimand based on association with ‘Law Tigers’

April 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court privately reprimanded a Lake County attorney Friday for making misleading communications regarding legal services and not including his office address in a public communications. The charges stem from his affiliation with a national for-profit organization that franchises its registered trademarks, including “Law Tigers,” to law firms around the country.
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Court splits over release of college transcript

April 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A divided panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed Ball State University’s appeal of the order that it release the transcript of a student who left the school and owes tuition. The student’s mother added the university to her petition seeking to require her ex-husband to contribute to their child’s college expenses.
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Senators seek candidate to fill Judge Barker’s vacancy

April 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Sens. Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats have begun the process for selecting a candidate to fill the vacancy coming to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Body shops sue insurers, allege push to drive down prices

April 14, 2014
Chris O'Malley, IBJ Staff
In a federal lawsuit, 14 Indiana shops accuse State Farm Insurance and competitors of extracting “unreasonable and onerous” concessions on vehicle repair costs.
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Northern District seeks magistrate for Fort Wayne division

April 11, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana is now accepting applications for a full-time magistrate judge in the Fort Wayne division. The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized the appointment.
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Bankruptcy court addresses e-filing, weather issues

April 11, 2014
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Indiana has posted notice on its website as to how it will handle situations when the electronic case filing system is unavailable or weather creates access issues for customers.
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Man knowingly waived right to jury trial on all charges

April 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s argument that he only agreed to a bench trial on one of the seven charges he faced following a violent altercation with his girlfriend.
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COA: Court should hear petition involving pet daycare

April 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday ordered a Marion County court to hear the merits of a hotel’s petition for judicial review of the zoning board’s decision to grant a variance to a develop a pet daycare facility next door to the hotel.
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Judge grants temporary restraining order in same-sex marriage suit

April 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A same-sex couple’s plea that Indiana recognize their marriage was granted Thursday by a federal judge in Evansville, a significant ruling in one of the five separate lawsuits that are challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
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Indy club must pay BMI for DJ’s tunes

April 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
A downtown Indianapolis nightclub must pay a tab approaching $20,000 because the club and DJs failed to obtain public-performance licenses after repeated warnings.
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8 more claim abuses in suspended Clark County drug court

April 9, 2014
Eight new plaintiffs have been added to a federal civil-rights lawsuit claiming officials involved in Clark County’s suspended drug court program jailed participants for months without due process, conducted improper searches and made unauthorized arrests.
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Judges affirm attorney fees from State Farm’s ‘groundless’ lawsuit

April 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A car dealership accused of playing a role in a car fire that destroyed four cars and part of a man’s home is entitled to the more than $12,000 in attorney fees awarded to it after State Farm’s negligence lawsuit was dismissed. The Indiana Court of Appeals noted the insurer’s refusal to dismiss the claim despite knowing the dealership was not at fault for the fire.
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Councilor: ACLU settlement won't deter panhandling proposal

April 9, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
The city of Indianapolis reached a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union over enforcement of its panhandling ordinance, but that won't deter a City-County Council effort to pass a more restrictive law, a councilor said Wednesday morning.
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COA affirms order allowing grandparent visitation with deceased son's daughter

April 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday upheld the order granting visitation to the paternal grandfather of a child whose father killed himself before her birth. But one judge had reservations about the visitation arrangements.
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Statute requires state to pay attorney fees on inmate’s appeal

April 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Code 33-37-2-4 requires the state to pay appellate attorney fees and expenses when an inmate commits a crime in a state correctional facility, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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New portable alcohol monitoring device gains favor in community corrections

April 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
Offenders ordered to forgo alcohol in order to stay out of prison now have a powerful incentive to stay sober – they hold the key to their freedom in their hands.
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Senior status not likely to slow Judge Barker

April 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys and judges alike say whenever Judge Sarah Evans Barker is on the bench, there is no question who is in charge in that courtroom. This is a judge they universally describe as well-prepared, well-organized and authoritative, but not averse to occasionally introducing a little humor in the proceedings.
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Former IURC chair’s appeal raises questions on official misconduct law

April 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
Did a former state utility regulator’s behavior that got him fired rise to official misconduct if he committed no crime? An Indiana Court of Appeals panel grappled with that question, as well as which version of the law applies, during oral arguments March 31.
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Attorney sues hundreds over use of city skyline picture

April 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Attorney Richard Bell says his picture of the Indianapolis skyline is worth $1,500 or so if you’ve posted it on your website without first paying him to license it.
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Disciplinary Actions - 4/9/14

April 9, 2014
IL Staff
Read who's been disciplined and who received a favorable judgment from the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices grant transfer in 2 wrongful death cases

April 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider whether attorney fees awarded as damages in wrongful death cases from the Indiana Patients Compensation Fund are subject to a 15 percent cap of the total reward. It’s one of two appeals justices accepted last week, both involving wrongful death cases.
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Bipolar defense fails in wire fraud, tax evasion appeal

April 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman sentenced to five years in prison after she pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and tax evasion for swindling an elderly couple failed to persuade the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to revise her sentence.
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FSSA able to terminate 9-year Medicaid provider contract without cause

April 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel unanimously rejected a company’s argument that its state contract was wrongfully terminated. The company argued it has a property interest in continuing to be a Medicaid services provider.
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Judgment for investment advisor upheld as breach, wage claim

April 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
Rulings in favor of an investment adviser who claimed breach of contract and violation of the Wage Claims Act were affirmed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals, as was his request for appellate attorney fees.
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  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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.

  5. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

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