Courts

Reports: Justice to retire; speculation begins

May 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Reports broke late Thursday that a Supreme Court of the United States justice plans to retire from the bench but which justice may surprise some.
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Justices issue sex-offender registration rulings

April 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Convicted sex offenders who've already served their sentences can't be forced to register for life by a newly enacted statute, but the Indiana Supreme Court is split on whether that lifetime requirement should be imposed on offenders who are still registering when the law is changed.
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Mom's mental ability not reason for termination

April 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to write an opinion barring the state from pursuing termination of parental rights of a "retarded person," as requested by the mother in a termination of parental rights case.
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COA: Man's sentence could be increased

April 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined the recent ruling by the state's highest court regarding upward sentence revisions was applicable to a defendant's sentence.
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Senators treat judge kindly at second hearing

April 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Even though Republicans insisted on a rare second judicial nomination hearing for U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton, it remained unclear Wednesday what need there was for the Indianapolis judge to appear again before the Senate Judiciary Committee in his bid for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Governor likely to soon get St. Joe judges bill

April 29, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels will likely receive legislation today aimed primarily at scrapping judicial merit selection in St. Joseph County and creating a new Indiana Court of Appeals panel starting 2011.
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Forged agreement presents question of fact

April 29, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A company that forged a former employee's non-compete contract and later sued and settled with another company over that false document isn't entitled to summary judgment in a new suit brought by the other company after it learned the document was forged, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Judges Speakers Bureau to reach out to students

April 29, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court announced today the creation of a Judges Speakers Bureau to bring judges into classrooms across the state.
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Insurer needs notice of claim to defend it

April 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An insurer can't defend a claim of which it has no knowledge and its duty to defend doesn't begin until it receives basic notice information to allow it to defend a claim, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court.
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COA upholds workplace restraining order

April 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today analyzed for the first time the legal parameters required to affirm an order issued to protect a person under the Workplace Violence Restraining Order Act. The appellate court turned to the Indiana Civil Protection Order Act to provide context for analyzing cases under the WVROA.
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Court rules on ADR sanctions, Open Door Law

April 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Trial courts can sanction government entities through the state's Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules, but officials aren't necessarily acting in bad faith if they don't immediately approve mediated agreements to comply with the Indiana Open Door Law, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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COA upholds attorney's felony conviction

April 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of an attorney's motion to have his prior drunk-driving conviction reduced to a misdemeanor because the attorney was arrested again for drunk driving before completing his probation.
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High court reverses termination of mom's rights

April 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The majority of Indiana Supreme Court justices ruled in a parental termination case that the evidence presented didn't clearly show a mother's rights to her son should be terminated. One justice dissented because he believes an appellate court should defer to the lower court in assessing the facts of a case.
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Attorney again denied use of pseudonym in suit

April 24, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A northern Indiana attorney who filed a lawsuit against Porter Memorial Hospital and its employees following her involuntary detention has once again lost her battle to proceed using a pseudonym instead of her real name.
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Supreme Court grants 2 transfers

April 24, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Thursday to an ineffective assistance of trial counsel case and a case involving the testimony at trial of a previous victim of a defendant.
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COA invites high court to revisit Indiana law

April 24, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a case involving the purchase of a home, Indiana Court of Appeals judges today disagreed as to whether the home sellers should be granted summary judgment in a fraud suit. The judges unanimously did agree to encourage the Indiana Supreme Court to re-evaluate a rule that protects a seller from a lawsuit, even if he lies about a property, as long as the prospective buyer had a reasonable opportunity to inspect the property.
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UPDATE: Committee tweaking St. Joe judges bill

April 23, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A legislative conference committee is debating what changes might be possible for a bill aimed at scrapping merit selection for St. Joseph Superior judges.
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Comment sought on drug, alcohol rules

April 23, 2009
IL Staff
The Court Alcohol and Drug Program Advisory Committee of the Judicial Conference of Indiana is seeking public comment regarding proposed written amendments to the Rules for Court Administered Alcohol and Drug Programs.
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Officers say wrong textbook hurt promotions

April 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Three current Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers have filed a suit against the city because they received the wrong textbooks to study for a promotion examination.
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Man gets money for not paying into pension

April 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a strange twist in a bankruptcy case, a businessman actually benefited financially by not paying into a pension fund for his company.
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Former justice discusses merit selection

April 22, 2009
Michael Hoskins
During a visit to South Bend today, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor pushed a message that merit selection is the best way to ensure an independent judiciary, though her words come at a time when state lawmakers are close to scrapping that very system in the county she visited.
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Prosecutor orders grand jury investigation

April 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The special prosecutor appointed to investigate the shooting of LaPorte Superior Judge Jennifer Evans Koethe has requested LaPorte Circuit Court convene a grand jury investigation into the matter.
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Rare second hearing set for judge's nomination

April 22, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In an unusual move, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a second judicial nomination hearing next week for U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton, who's being considered for a seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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COA rules in negligent application process case

April 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Addressing an issue today for the first time in state courts, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to determine whether a couple could sue their insurance broker for alleged negligence during the application process.
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High court dismisses transfer petition

April 21, 2009
IL Staff
In an order posted today, the Indiana Supreme Court dismissed April 10 a petition to transfer to a breach of contract suit regarding the purchase of a hotel at auction.
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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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