Courts

Defining decisions on legal lexicon

July 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A single word might determine the fate of a case before one of Indiana’s highest courts, so it’s no surprise that judges will often turn to dictionaries to help interpret what a word and statute might mean.
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Legal trend utilizes AG experience

July 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When he was the state’s top prosecutor, former Indiana Attorney General Jeff Modisett saw the beginning of a trend that’s now become a focus of his practice.
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Federal anti-streaming bill has broad implications

July 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Putting a video on YouTube and embedding that video onto another site could be all it takes to commit a felony under a statutory amendment before the U.S. Senate.
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Video game maker wins IP suit

July 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson shot down a lawsuit brought by heirs of bank robber John Dillinger that challenges how his name is used in video games based on the movie “The Godfather.”
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Hammond traffic judge faces misconduct charges

July 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Hammond City Judge Jeffrey A. Harkin faces three misconduct charges for operating an illegal traffic school deferral program and dismissing cases without collecting required fees, as well as dissuading one litigant from contesting a seatbelt violation in court.
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Justices keep pace with past years' activity

July 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In the final days before its fiscal calendar year ended, the Indiana Supreme Court kept pace with past years’ activity levels.
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Pharmacy group sues over state's Medicaid fee cut

July 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A non-profit group for local pharmacies statewide is suing the state’s Medicaid office in federal court, attempting to block cuts to the fees given to local pharmacies participating in the Medicaid program.
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New law allows for restricted record access for certain crimes

July 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A change in state law that starts Friday allows non-violent offenders to have their criminal records sealed for misdemeanor and Class D felonies. An Indianapolis man is already filing a petition asking the Marion Superior Court to limit access to records involving two money conversion convictions.
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Permanent retroactivity applied to crack-cocaine sentence reductions

July 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Thousands of federal inmates nationally and more than 200 from Indiana could get time shaved off their prison terms for crack-cocaine convictions, after the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to make reductions retroactive starting later this year.
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Appeals court reverses District Court on overtime pay

July 1, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a District Court’s finding that a tow truck driver was not entitled to overtime pay.
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Hammond traffic judge faces misconduct charges

June 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Hammond City Judge Jeffrey A. Harkin faces three misconduct charges for operating an illegal traffic school deferral program and dismissing cases without assessing required fees, as well as dissuading one litigant from contesting a seatbelt violation in court.
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Court orders new arson trial

June 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for a man convicted of arson because the trial court erred in letting the state amend the charging information after it had read the original charges to the jury.
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COA turns to dictionary in contract dispute

June 30, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Citing Black’s Law Dictionary’s definitions of “solicit” and “induce,” the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s finding that a software company did not violate terms of its contract with another business.
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Lawmakers discuss scope of police entry case

June 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Bedford lawyer-legislator says a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision on resisting police entry has resulted in more feedback from attorneys and residents statewide than he’s experienced since the daylight saving time debate.
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Justices split on recovery of attorney fees under Adult Wrongful Death Statute

June 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court issued three opinions June 29 dealing with what fees are recoverable under the Adult Wrongful Death Statute, holding that attorney fees, litigation expenses, and loss of services can be recovered. Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and Justice Robert Rucker dissented in each decision, believing that those fees aren’t allowed under the statute.
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High court divided on revising molester's sentence

June 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Two justices dissented from their colleague’s decision to reduce a child molester’s sentence more than 50 years, believing the opinion “blurs the guidance” given in a 2008 opinion regarding sentence reviews.
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Justices: Child placement statutes are constitutional

June 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In a much-anticipated ruling, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled three statutes relating to juvenile judges’ authority on out-of-state placement cases are constitutional and that the Department of Child Services has statutory power to consider costs when considering those placements.
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Hearing officer finds in Carl Brizzi's favor in disciplinary action

June 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A hearing officer recommends that disciplinary charges be dismissed against ex-Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, and now it’s up to the Indiana Supreme Court to consider the case.
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High court divided on public intoxication charge

June 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In deciding that a woman’s public intoxication conviction should stand, four Indiana Supreme Court justices declined to reverse her conviction on public policy grounds and found the conviction didn’t violate any constitutional right.
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Court: Man may be classified as sexually violent predator

June 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled 4-1 that classifying a man as a sexually violent predator due to an amendment to the Sex Offender Registration Act doesn’t violate Indiana’s prohibition of ex post facto laws or the doctrine of separation of powers.
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Attorney general appealing Planned Parenthood decision

June 29, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed a notice of appeal regarding the recent decision by U.S. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt to halt enforcement of a new law which withholds funding from abortion providers.
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Justices reduce molester's sentence to 110 years

June 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court found that an enhanced sentence for a man convicted of nine counts of molesting his girlfriend’s young daughter is warranted, but reduced the man’s 324-year sentence to 110 years.
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Court of Appeals dismisses termination-order appeal

June 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Because the parents of six children who were removed from their home did not timely initiate the appeal of termination of their parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed their appeal.
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Recount commission rules in favor of secretary of state

June 28, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White will remain in office. The Indiana Recount Commission voted 3-0 in favor of White, finding the Indiana Democratic Party didn’t provide sufficient evidence that White wasn’t eligible to take office.
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Justices take certified question on railroad issue

June 27, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted a certified question posed by the United States Court of Federal Claims regarding railbanking and interim trail use.
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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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