Courts

Judges: DNA admittance was harmless error

December 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed for the first time today the admissibility of DNA evidence when a defendant can’t be excluded from a possibly infinite number of people matching the crime-scene DNA.
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Dinsmore sworn in as magistrate

December 17, 2010
IL Staff
Mark J. Dinsmore took the oath today to become the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana’s newest magistrate judge. Magistrate Judge Dinsmore was sworn in by Chief Judge Richard L. Young at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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PCR 2 not available for probation revocation orders

December 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Post-Conviction Rule 2 is not available for belated appeals of probation revocation orders, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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Justices vacate adoption decree

December 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ordered the adoption decree granted to paternal grandparents be vacated because they didn’t perform a diligent search for the biological mother.
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Unsuccessful Medicaid applicants aren't entitled to in-person hearing

December 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
People whose applications have been denied for Medicaid disability benefits do not have a constitutional right to an in-person administrative hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Judges split on approving high-cost retraining tuition

December 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals couldn’t agree on whether a laid-off man’s request for training at an expensive college should be approved.
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Judge appoints former justice as trustee over Simon estate

December 16, 2010
Cory Schouten
A Hamilton County judge has ordered Bren Simon removed as personal representative and interim trustee over her late husband's estate, replacing her with a retired justice of the Indiana Supreme Court.
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South Bend federal judge rules on FedEx class action litigation

December 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in South Bend has issued a significant 182-page opinion that holds FedEx drivers nationwide are independent contractors rather than employees entitled to back pay and full benefits.
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Judges affirm complaint is time-barred

December 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Although a trial court shouldn’t have adhered to its local rule because it failed to achieve “the ultimate end of orderly and speedy justice,” the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s finding that a woman’s claim against her deceased husband’s former employer was time-barred.
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Madison County joins Odyssey system

December 15, 2010
IL Staff
Madison County is the latest county to go online with the Indiana Supreme Court’s Odyssey case management system. The system connects counties to a network of courts, clerks, law enforcement, and other state agencies.
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Appeals court recalls OWI decision

December 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals vacated a decision handed down Dec. 9 in which the court was split on the dismissal of a man’s operating while intoxicated charges. The issue was whether the charges should have been dismissed because the defendant didn’t know what vehicle he needed to defend against operating based on the charging information.
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COA rules in favor of national organization in dispute over church property

December 14, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was faced with an issue between a Vanderburgh County church and its former national organization involving what happens to the local church property once the local church defected to another Presbyterian organization.
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Judges split on construction manager's duty to injured worker

December 14, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues’ majority holding, finding their ruling would “fundamentally alter contracts” dealing with safety on jobsites.
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Judge Fisher’s retirement ceremony Friday

December 14, 2010
IL Staff
A retirement ceremony for Indiana’s first Tax Court judge will happen Friday at the Indiana Statehouse.
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COA rules in favor of town on breach of contract claim

December 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed partial summary judgment to a city that collected a lower monthly bill rate than what was required for wastewater treatment from a town for 15 years and then sued to recover more than $500,000 it believed was owed to it. The city never informed the town the sewage treatment rate increased or that it was embroiled in a lawsuit over the matter.
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Justices grant two civil cases, deny 27 appeals

December 13, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted two cases, one involving how public safety officials notify the driving public about icy road conditions and a second case delving into what state law requires when it comes to property tax changing land annexations.
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BLE director resigns

December 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is searching for someone new to lead the state’s Board of Law Examiners after Linda L. Loepker resigned earlier this week.
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Justices: sentence shouldn't have been upped on appeal

December 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered that a man’s sentence be reduced after the lower appellate court increased it on appeal.
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COA divided on dismissal of OWI charges

December 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split on whether a defendant’s operating while intoxicated charges should have been dismissed because the charging information didn’t let the man know what vehicle he needed to defend against operating.
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7th Circuit order changes wording in public-records opinion

December 9, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
In an order dated Wednesday and posted on the website for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today, a Nov. 29 opinion from that court was amended following a motion filed by the defendants on Dec. 2 to delete a reference to the defendants as “silly” and “unprofessional.”
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Justices split on imprisonment for violating probation

December 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The state must prove a probationer accused of violating a term involving a payment by not paying did it recklessly, knowingly or intentionally. The burden is on the probationer to show an inability to pay, the Indiana Supreme Court decided in an opinion handed down Wednesday afternoon.
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Appellate court to hear arguments in Fishers

December 9, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals hits the road Friday to visit Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers for oral arguments in an interlocutory appeal involving the denial of a motion to suppress.
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Judge: not all farm expenses are tax deductible

December 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A probate court incorrectly allowed an estate to deduct three farm-related expenses from its inheritance tax return, but affirmed the deduction of the remaining nine in question, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Tuesday.
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Appellate court rules traffic stop legal

December 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the car of a man who parked illegally in a handicapped spot after the car made it on to the street, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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SCOTUS takes case on whether vehicular flight from police is a 'violent felony'Restricted Content

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
No one disputes fleeing in a vehicle from police is a crime. But whether that crime is considered a “violent” one worthy of an enhanced sentence under a long-standing federal career criminal statute is a legal nuance now an issue before the nation’s highest court, and Indiana is playing a key role.
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