Courts

COA: Wife is entitled to maintenance, larger amount of marital estate

May 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial court to divvy up a marital estate with more than 50 percent of it going to the wife because she rebutted the presumption of an equal division.
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Lawyer resigns over adding fee requirement to plea deal

May 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis attorney who ran for elected office multiple times has resigned from the bar rather than face a disciplinary charge that he added a demand for a fee to a client’s proposed criminal plea agreement.
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Lilly to appeal $450M ruling over poisoned workers in Brazil

May 12, 2014
Indianapolis Business Journal
Eli Lilly and Co. plans to appeal a ruling from a judge in Brazil that fined the pharmaceutical giant and an Italian firm $450 million for poisoning workers at a manufacturing plant in the South American country.
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Judge rejects petitioners’ requests to prevent tax collection

May 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because petitioners seeking to enjoin the collection of tax filed their petitions before an original tax appeal was initiated, the Indiana Tax Court granted Marion County’s motions to dismiss.
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Justices to decide if defendant was ‘annoying’

May 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether the portion of the public intoxication statute enacted two years ago that uses the term “annoys” is void for vagueness, as the Indiana Court of Appeals held earlier this year.
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Judges reverse judgment in favor of town in water agreement dispute

May 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred as a matter of law in its interpretation of a disputed section of a water agreement between a real estate developer and the town of Huntertown; as such, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed partial summary judgment in favor of the town.
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Indiana doesn’t have jurisdiction in IP suit, rules 7th Circuit

May 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a District judge to dismiss a case filed by a company with California ties against another California company alleging various IP violations. The judges found Indiana does not have personal jurisdiction over the matter based on emails the allegedly offending company sent.
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Man lacks standing to pursue cause of actions in failed home purchase

May 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the underwriter of title insurance stands in the shoes of its insureds, so a man suing several entities over a failed home purchase lacks standing to pursue his causes of action.
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Judges affirm $40,000 judgment in lawsuit involving neighbors

May 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Noting the grounds on which a defendant sought relief from a $40,000 default judgment are unclear, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the man must pay his neighbor that amount.
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Lawsuits say Munster cardiologist inserted unneeded defibrillators

May 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Lake County cardiologist sued for performing surgeries to insert heart defibrillators that two patients say they didn’t need may have performed other such unnecessary procedures, attorneys say.
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Indiana justices consider whether ‘cause of death’ is public information

May 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Evansville newspaper and local county health department appeared before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday, reviving a dispute they had decades ago over whether death certificates are public record.
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Judges affirm $6,600 in child support arrearage

May 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed that a father owed only $6,600 in back child support and not $74,000 as the child’s mother claimed.
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COA: State had no authority to bring paternity action

May 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in ordering a southern Indiana teen to undergo genetic testing to establish paternity of a stillborn child, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday. It found the state, which filed the petition for paternity on behalf of the mother, had no authority to bring the action because there were no custody or support issues to be determined.
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Court rules Indiana must recognize couple’s same-sex marriage

May 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana must recognize the same-sex marriage of two women wed in Massachusetts, one of whom is gravely ill, a federal judge ruled Thursday. The state said it will appeal the narrow but historic ruling.
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Court finds man abandoned shareholder derivative claim

May 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man “expressly and unambiguously” abandoned his shareholder derivative claim when responding to a court demand to specify his legal claims, he cannot now assert that claim on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Justices suspend attorney who staged own shooting

May 8, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended the southern Indiana attorney who pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor charge stemming from shooting himself in a state park.
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Justices disbar attorney, threaten imprisonment for future violations

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An attorney who continued to practice law despite being suspended in Indiana has been disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court for his “on-going, pervasive and deliberate” violations of the suspension order.
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Former Clark Drug Court judge among incumbents who lost in primary

May 7, 2014
IL Staff
The Clark County judge who ran a drug court that kept some participants jailed for months without due process lost the primary election to a New Albany attorney.
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COA addresses evidence needed for animal fighting conviction

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
For only the second time, the Indiana Court of Appeals has addressed the issue of evidence used to obtain a conviction under I.C. 35-46-3-8, which outlaws buying or owning an animal for an animal fighting contest.
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Company fails to prove it is entitled to legal relief on 2 claims

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Wednesday agreed with the Indiana Department of State Revenue that two claims made by a company appealing its tax liability should be dismissed because legal relief cannot be granted.
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Indy mayor wins redistricting battle

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in favor of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard Wednesday in a dispute between the mayor and Democratic members of the city-county council who challenged a redistricting plan passed in late 2011.
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Court of Appeals allows legal malpractice case to continue

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The legal malpractice action filed by a man who pleaded guilty to money laundering – when he had the possibility to plead guilty to a misdemeanor if not for his attorney’s actions – will proceed after the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of the attorney’s motion for summary judgment.
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Statute doesn’t allow consecutive habitual offender sentences

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s sentence for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, finding the trial court had no authority to order his present sentence, enhanced by the habitual substance offender statute, to be served consecutively to his previously enhanced sentences.
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Indiana federal court vacancies could remain for years

May 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The impact of the filibuster rule change on the role politics plays in the confirmation process remains to be seen.
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Justices uphold conviction for blogger's threat to judge

May 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court held that a blogger’s actions arising from being stripped of his children’s custody placed targets of his contempt in fear for their safety.
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  2. 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.

  3. 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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