Courts

Counsel’s conflict, misconduct bar class certification in tax sale suit

August 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge cited an attorney’s conflict of interest, misconduct and relative inexperience in rejecting his bid to certify a class in a lawsuit over costs of redeeming property after tax sales.
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Tax Court affirms racquet club assessments

August 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Tax Court affirmed 2002 property tax assessments of the Indianapolis Racquet Club Thursday.
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NCAA files intent to appeal O'Bannon decision

August 22, 2014
 Associated Press
The NCAA has notified the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that it intends to appeal a judge's ruling in the Ed O'Bannon case that it violated antitrust laws.
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2 attorneys to argue for same-sex marriage before 7th Circuit

August 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
In a rare move, two attorneys will share the podium and argue before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that Indiana’s law defining marriage as only between one man and one woman is unconstitutional.
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Judge apologizes for remarks some found offensive

August 21, 2014
 Associated Press
A northeastern Indiana judge apologized Thursday for saying at a public retirement reception for court staff members that one of the female retirees could have a second career as a phone-sex operator.
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COA affirms man’s speedy trial request not violated

August 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday affirmed the 25-year sentence handed down to a man whose erratic driving led police to pull his vehicle over and discover cocaine on the passenger. The judges found his right to a fast and speedy trial was not violated and the evidence supports that he jointly possessed the cocaine.
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Northern District bankruptcy judge seeks reappointment

August 21, 2014
IL Staff
The Judicial Council of the 7th Circuit is inviting the public and members of the bar to comment as to whether U.S. Bankruptcy Chief Judge Robert E. Grant of the Northern District of Indiana should be reappointed to a new 14-year term.
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Duke can charge ratepayers for time construction delayed on Edwardsport plant

August 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed grant of Duke Energy Indiana’s request to include the amount spent during an 80-day delay in construction of the coal gasification plant in Edwardsport in a rate adjustment rider. Several parties intervened, claiming construction delays attributable to Duke should not be chargeable to ratepayers.
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Man pleads guilty in fatal Purdue campus attack

August 21, 2014
 Associated Press
A court official said the man accused in the fatal shooting and stabbing of a fellow Purdue University student pleaded guilty Thursday to murder.
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Judge denies stay in right-to-work law case

August 20, 2014
A northwest Indiana judge has rejected a request by the Indiana attorney general's office that he put on hold his order striking down the state's right-to-work law until the state Supreme Court rules on a similar case.
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Companies can’t recover attorney fees from general contractor

August 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The judgments awarded against the general contractor in the construction of a Portage movie theater are supported by the evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday. But, the trial court should not have awarded the contractors who sued attorney fees under the mechanic’s lien statute.
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Journey’s Account Statute applies to proposed medical malpractice complaint

August 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday affirmed that the Journey’s Account Statute applies to revive a proposed medical malpractice complaint filed on behalf of a woman’s granddaughter as her guardian.
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7th Circuit grants city, mayor’s request for stay

August 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The doctrine of “pendent appellate jurisdiction” allows the city of Anderson to ask the District Court to stay proceedings in a case alleging city employees were fired because of political affiliation, ruled the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The case against the city is directly tied to the result of the case against the city’s mayor.
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Same-sex marriage memo keeps Pence as defendant in lawsuit

August 20, 2014
 Associated Press, Marilyn Odendahl
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Indiana must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, but says the ruling doesn’t take effect until the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the issue.
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COA affirms child should be raised with half-siblings

August 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the petition to adopt a child by a couple who have already adopted her half-siblings. Although the couple temporarily dropped their petition to adopt, the judges agreed it is in the child’s best interests to be raised with her siblings.
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7th Circuit upholds drug convictions, remands for resentencing

August 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed three defendants’ convictions stemming from a cocaine distribution ring in Indianapolis but found that there were errors in sentencing the defendants.
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Judges order man sentenced under original plea agreement

August 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The District Court committed a legal error when it withdrew a defendant’s guilty plea on his behalf instead of allowing the defendant the choice to stand by the plea or withdraw it, ruled the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Former Indiana chief justice to receive democracy award

August 19, 2014
IL Staff
Randall T. Shepard, former Indiana chief justice, will receive the Advancing American Democracy Award from the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site next month.
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Court clarifies attorney fee recovery under Trial Rule 34(C)(3)

August 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday decided that under Indiana Trial Rule 34(C)(3), refusing to comply with a discovery request solely because the parties can’t agree on an appropriate amount to pay does not constitute reasonable resistance to a discovery request.
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Ong to head Southern District's criminal section

August 19, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal prosecutor with 25 years of experience has been appointed the interim head of the criminal division for the Southern District of Indiana.
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NCAA's strongest argument might be cap limit

August 19, 2014
 Associated Press
The NCAA's best argument against the Ed O'Bannon ruling may be the financial limits imposed by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken — the same ones the NCAA lauded in her decision.
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Rush takes oath as chief justice

August 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Choosing an intimate but profound setting in the Indiana Supreme Court Law Library to take the oath Monday as the state’s first female chief justice, Loretta Rush said the history in the tomes speak volumes to her.
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Suit alleging unconstitutional school fees fails in COA

August 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County mother who sought damages for having to pay certain fees for her children to attend public school lost her appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday. The judges agreed with the lower court that the state constitution does not permit her claim for monetary damages.
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COA: Auditor complied with notice statutes in tax sale

August 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a 2013 order by a trial court that tax sale deeds be issued, agreeing that the Marion County auditor complied with the statutes dealing with notices surrounding tax sales.
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Harrison Superior judge resigning, replacement appointed

August 18, 2014
IL Staff
Harrison Superior Judge Roger D. Davis has informed the Indiana Supreme Court that he is resigning Aug. 23. As a result, Chief Justice Brent Dickson appointed Senior Judge Curtis B. Eskew Jr. as judge pro tempore until a permanent replacement is chosen.
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  2. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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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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