Courts

Court declines to review drug sentence based on new criminal code

September 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to dealing in oxycodone couldn’t convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his sentence should be reconsidered based on the revised criminal code that took effect July 1.
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State asks 7th Circuit to stay same-sex marriage ruling

September 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana attorney general’s office Wednesday asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to stay its Sept. 4 order striking down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage.
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US Supreme Court adds gay marriage to Sept. 29 agenda

September 10, 2014
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court has formally added gay marriage cases to the justices' agenda for their closed-door conference on Sept. 29.
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Part of payday loan settlement funding new legal aid consumer project

September 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Legal Services and Heartland Pro Bono Council will be using a portion of a class-action settlement to help Indianapolis residents who have battled payday loan companies or suffered other consumer rights abuses.
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Court must hold hearing on injunction involving medical practice

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court’s assessment of the public interest regarding whether a doctor is prohibited under a noncompete agreement to practice within 25 miles of his former office in Rensselaer was contrary to law, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The judges reversed the denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction preventing the doctor from opening a new practice next door to his previous one.
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COA orders judgment in favor of Lapel in annexation lawsuit

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The city of Anderson does not meet the requirements to bring a declaratory judgment action to challenge the town of Lapel’s annexation of land in Madison County that Anderson once considered annexing.
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Supreme Court provides clarity to maintenance agreement modification

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
If divorcing parties want to make judicial modification available for the maintenance agreements, they must say so in their contract, the Indiana Supreme Court pointed out Tuesday. Because a divorced couple’s maintenance agreement allowed for court intervention, the justices ordered the trial court to consider the wife’s request for modification.
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Defendant cleared 'low bar' to require reversal of summary judgment

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed summary judgment in favor of the state on its motion for forfeiture of cash found on a man accused of dealing cocaine. The justices found the man’s “self-serving” affidavit specifically controverted the state’s prima facie case that the cash was connected to drug crimes.
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Tax Court denies rehearing in charitable purposes exemption case

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Tax Judge Martha Wentworth affirmed that a housing company in Bartholomew County failed to show that its rental properties qualified for a charitable purposes exemption for the 2006 tax year. The judge denied granting Housing Partnerships Inc.’s request for a rehearing.
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Deal may be near in stage collapse suit

September 10, 2014
 Associated Press
A lawsuit filed by victims of the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse appears to be nearing a settlement, a mediator's report indicates, more than three years after the fatal accident that killed seven people and injured more than 40.
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7th Circuit: Marriage law is unconstitutional

September 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s assertion that preventing same-sex marriage encourages responsible procreation among heterosexuals was unequivocally rejected Sept. 4 in a blistering opinion from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the state’s argument could not be taken seriously.
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Economic harm is key part of gay marriage argument

September 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
When the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 4 affirmed Indiana’s marriage law was unconstitutional, Judge Richard Posner’s opinion gave special nod to the economic harm married same-sex couples suffer by not receiving the tangible state and federal benefits that are extended to married opposite-sex couples.
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Marion County small claims reform faces hurdles in Legislature

September 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court’s recommendation to merge Marion County’s nine township small claims courts with Marion Superior Court may be too bold for the Indiana General Assembly, a key senator said.
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Disciplinary Actions - 9/10/14

September 10, 2014
IL Staff
Read who's recently been suspended or resigned from the Indiana bar.
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Indiana files same-sex marriage petition with SCOTUS

September 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
In the race to get a same-sex marriage case before the Supreme Court of the United States this term, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office is arguing the state’s three lawsuits provide the best vehicle for resolving the same-sex marriage issue.
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Appeals court reverses suppression of polygraph in molestation case

September 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday reversed a trial court order suppressing results of a polygraph test against a man who later was charged with child molestation.
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Award of attorney fees reversed in child-support dispute

September 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
The ex-wife in a child-support dispute was improperly awarded a portion of her attorney fees after the trial court rejected her ex-husband’s petition to modify child support.
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Former Marion Superior lobbyist new court administrator

September 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
The former lobbyist for Marion Superior Courts will now serve as the administrator for the 36 Indianapolis judges and more than 700 employees who work in the county’s judiciary.
 
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Marion Superior judge retirements to shuffle court assignments

September 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
The looming retirement of four judges and the coming election of five new Marion Superior jurists will result in multiple reassignments in the Indianapolis trial courts.
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Marion County justice complex could add civil courts, city official says

September 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
A consolidated criminal justice complex proposed for Marion County could also eventually house civil courts, a city official told judges Monday.
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Justices let stand order that Purdue release report on gender bias claim

September 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court has denied Purdue University’s request to appeal court orders that it release a report investigating a fired chancellor’s alleged gender discrimination and harassment complaint.
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Supreme Court approves requirement for attorneys to report pro bono hours

September 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Starting Jan. 1, 2015, Indiana attorneys will be required to report the number of hours they provide free legal assistance to indigent clients.
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Denial of mortgage lender’s license is within state’s authority, COA rules

September 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions had the authority to deny a mortgage lender originator’s license to an applicant who has a criminal record. 
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Appeals court reverses summary judgment in freezing-fog fall

September 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
A medical worker who sued her employer after slipping and falling in a parking lot made slick by freezing fog may proceed with her lawsuit, a divided Court of Appeals panel ruled, reversing summary judgment in favor of a Richmond hospital.
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Appeals court bounces IURC ruling favoring Duke on Edwardsport plant

September 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission failed to comply with laws and regulations when it approved an order allowing Duke Energy to pass along to ratepayers certain construction costs for the $3 billion Edwardsport coal gasification plant in Knox County.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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