Courts

Woman suing for unpaid wages passes ‘duck test’

March 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Justice Mark Massa made repeated references in Wednesday’s decision to the “Duck Test” – if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck – in a day laborer’s lawsuit to recover unpaid damages from a Fort Wayne company. The justices found Brandy Walczak’s lawsuit may proceed under the Wage Payment Act.
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7th Circuit again reverses drug sentence for minor role reduction

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of a federal charge that he transported drug money will be sentenced a third time after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a nonprecedential opinion that a resentencing the court ordered in 2010 did not sufficiently consider his minor role compared with conspirators.
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House Committee approves CHINS bill returning power to prosecuting attorneys

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill giving prosecuting attorneys the ability to file a Child in Need of Services petition continues to garner strong support in the Indiana General Assembly.
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Spotlight: Change of venue case requires planning, preparation and packing

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Moving a trial from one court to another can be cumbersome and brings with it logistical matters that have to be worked out so the lawyers can focus on presenting their case. Transporting office supplies, reserving hotel rooms, securing conference rooms and learning the demographics of the community before selecting the jury are among the tasks that have to be addressed.
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Moberly breaks barrier on federal bench

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana's first female bankruptcy is judge one of two new jurists in the Southern District.
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Is COA opinion on threat to judge a threat to rights?

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Advocates say imprisoned blogger's ruling out of the Indiana Court of Appeals imperils the First Amendment.
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Justice Clarence Thomas visits Notre Dame Law School

March 13, 2013
IL Staff
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas visited the Notre Dame Law School March 5 and 6 as the Judge James J. Clynes Jr. Visiting Chair.
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Suit against Catholic diocese alleging firing after fertility treatment proceeds

March 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
A former teacher who claims her contract at St. Vincent de Paul School in Fort Wayne was not renewed because she underwent in vitro fertilization treatments may proceed with a suit against the Catholic diocese.
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Justices: Evidence of dismissed crimes allowable for post-conviction relief

March 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Delaware County man who pleaded guilty to armed robbery and criminal confinement in a deal that dropped seven other felony counts was not improperly denied post-conviction relief when a judge considered evidence of charges that were dismissed, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Applications open for Allen Superior Civil Division judge

March 12, 2013
IL Staff
Applications are open for qualified Allen County attorneys interested in serving as a judge in Superior Court, Civil Division.
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Justices take case alleging Wabash hazing

March 12, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will determine whether a college and a fraternity are liable for injuries a student received as a result of a prank, and whether the incident rises to hazing.
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Court affirms reduction of support ordered in another state

March 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
A court order reducing a father’s child support obligation from that set by a Pennsylvania court was affirmed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Ruling: Easement to Eagle Creek indeed leads to water

March 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court ruling that forbid residents of a lakefront subdivision from accessing the water from a public easement was overturned Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Indiana bar exam may change test topics

March 11, 2013
IL Staff
Hopeful attorneys who take the Indiana bar exam in 2016 may no longer have to write essays on commercial law, personal property, and taxation based on proposed changes from the Indiana Board of Law Examiners.
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Indy archdiocese can’t collect sex-abuse legal fees from insurer

March 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
An insurance company won’t have to pay the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ legal fees and costs associated with defending claims of sexual abuse.
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Gingerich reversal won’t get high court review

March 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A boy believed to be the youngest person convicted as an adult in Indiana will get a fresh start in juvenile court after the Indiana Supreme Court let stand a reversal of his conviction.
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2 Indianapolis attorneys charged with felonies

March 8, 2013
IL Staff
Two Indianapolis attorneys are facing criminal charges after the Marion County prosecutor filed charges in unrelated cases.
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Separate notice argument not enough to vacate small claims judgment

March 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A business’s argument that it should have been served with a separate notice of a small claims action was rejected by the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday.
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Southern District Bankruptcy Court to cease certain Chapter 13 notices

March 8, 2013
IL Staff
The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana will no longer issue notices of impending closure without discharge in Chapter 13 cases.
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Lake County man warned against disparaging bench

March 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Lake County man with a history of filing unsupported allegations and derogatory comments in pleadings was rebuffed on his latest appearance before the Indiana Court of Appeals, which warned him against disparaging the bench.
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Gingerich reversal won’t get high court review

March 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will let stand the reversal of a trial court’s adult conviction and 25-year executed sentence for Paul Henry Gingerich, who was 12 at the time he and an older boy shot and killed a Kosciusko County man.
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Man’s conviction of auto theft upheld

March 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Although a trial court’s refusal to give a defendant’s jury instruction was an error, it was harmless and his felony auto theft conviction should be affirmed, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Moberly’s official swearing-in ceremony Friday

March 7, 2013
United States Bankruptcy Judge Robyn L. Moberly will be formally sworn-in at a ceremony Friday at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Lawsuit accuses BMV of overcharging for driver’s licenses

March 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A lawsuit filed in Marion County claims that the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has overcharged residents for their driver’s licenses by as much as $7 per license.
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Justices remand for more proceedings on grandparent visitation order

March 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
After finding a grandparent visitation order entered in Johnson County is voidable because of defects, the Indiana Supreme Court sent the case back to the trial court for new findings and conclusions without hearing new evidence.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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