Courts

Court answers question on subcontractors' ability to recover

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court today delved into the meaning of "subcontractor" and determined that performance bond coverage for third parties only goes so far.Stemming from a certified question from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, justices considered: "Does a performance bond required by and issued in accordance with Ind. Code §8-23-9-9 afford coverage to a third-tier claimant?"Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard wrote the opinion saying the statute does not afford that coverage, noting that a subcontractor is...
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Indiana Roll of Attorneys office moving

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The office that keeps track of Hoosier attorneys is changing locations.The Indiana Roll of Attorneys office is moving from the Statehouse and into the Indiana Government Center South to where the Court Clerk ;s Records Division is located.As of April 2, attorneys will need to have that new address – 302 W. Washington St., Room W062 – for mailing in or dropping off registration fees, changes of address, temporary admissions forms, or disciplinary filings. The fax number will also change, but...
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Indiana Supreme Court rules on wage statute

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled today that the term "days" in the Wage Payment Statute refers to business days, not calendar days. The opinion also clarifies several school-related aspects relating to the state statute.A 13-page decision in Tabatha J. Naugle and Sandra M. Cain v. Beech Grove City Schools (http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/04270701trb.pdf), 49S02-0606-CV-242, affirms a decision by Marion Circuit Judge Ted Sosin.Aside from the definition of days, justices also unanimously clarify a two-year-old ruling in Brownsburg Community School Corp. v. Natare Corp., 824...
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Court discusses Indiana's 1907 eugenic sterilization law

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will host an educational seminar Wednesday about how Indiana adopted the first eugencial sterilization law in the world 100 years ago.A panelist discussion and presentation about the law will be from 3 to 4:15 p.m. in the Supreme Court ;s courtroom at the statehouse.Indiana passed the law in 1907, and subsequently similar laws were adopted in more than 30 states and a dozen countries worldwide. The Indiana Supreme Court overturned the state statute in 1921, but a...
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ISBA offers 'insider view' of appellate courts

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana attorneys and jurists came together Wednesday to get an insider's view of the state's appellate process and learn more about the nuances of the system. An afternoon continuing legal education seminar took about 100 attorneys on a walk through the appellate process, from filing motions, how staff attorneys and courts review, and what lawyers can do to make the process easier. "This is the stuff we all get sweaty palms about, and we'd like to know where the daggers...
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Annexation case back on for COA

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Arguments are set for 1 p.m. Sept. 18 in the City of Carmel v. Certain Home Place Annexation Territory. The appellate court had decided last year to put the case on hold until ruling came down from the justices; that happened June 27 with the potentially landmark decision in City of Carmel, Indiana v. Certain Southwest Clay Township Annexation Territory Landowners http://www.ai.org/judiciary/opinions/pdf/06270701rts.pdf, 29S00-0608-CV-300.Carmel City Council voted to annex both areas in November 2004, but residents in the two areas challenged the...
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New COA judge robing ceremony Thursday

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
Three weeks after first taking the bench on the Indiana Court of Appeals, Judge Cale Bradford will formally join the court in a robing ceremony Aug. 23. Gov. Mitch Daniels will attend the ceremony in the Supreme Court courtroom to administer the oath of office. Judge Bradford's family, colleagues, and special guests will also attend the ceremony and reception. Seating is by invitation only. Judge Bradford took his 2nd District seat on the Court of Appeals Aug. 1, replacing retiring Judge...
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Courts see changing of judicial guard

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
Both state and federal courts in Indiana are saying good-bye to long-serving judges today and welcoming new faces to the bench.In a ceremony in South Bend, Joseph Van Bokkelen will be sworn in as a U.S. District judge in the Northern District to replace retiring Judge Rudy Lozano, who is taking senior status. Van Bokkelen has been a U.S. Attorney in that district.Meanwhile, Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Patrick D. Sullivan's 38-year tenure on the court will be celebrated today. A...
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Court mulls non-competes, parental rights

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Two sets of arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court this morning gave justices a look at the scope of non-compete agreements, and how much parental privilege exists when it comes to discipline and corporal punishment.First, the jurists posed questions in Central Indiana Podiatry P.C. v. Kenneth J. Krueger, Meridian Health Group P.C., 29S05-0706-CV-256, which the Court of Appeals ruled on in January. The appellate court overturned a lower court decision and held the podiatrist, Krueger, should have stopped working pending trial after...
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High court rules doctor can sue in med mal case

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that summary judgment should not have been granted because it prohibited a doctor from asserting a statutory negligence claim against a medical malpractice claimant, her attorney, and her attorney's law firm.In the ruling Wednesday, Justices Brent Dickson and Ted Boehm concurred, with Chief Justice Randall Shepard concurring in a separate opinion. Justice Frank Sullivan concurred in part and dissented in part with a separate opinion in which Justice Robert Rucker concurred.In Eusebio Kho M.D. v Deborah...
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Court rules on inclusion of inherited property in marital estates

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals ruled today on a case of distributing inherited property during dissolution of a marriage, stating property inherited by either party should be included in the marital estate. In Sharren M. (Garrity) Grathwohl v. Steven T. Garrity, http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/07300703mpb.pdf the Court of Appeals remanded the case back to the trial court for the purpose of requiring the trial court to include both parties' inherited property in their marital estate, to value the properties, and to issue a new order...
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Mental retardation claim anticipated in Fort Wayne case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A mental retardation defense could prevent the state from seeking the death penalty in a case involving a Fort Wayne man accused of killing his wife and three children in 2005.Fort Wayne public defender Michelle F. Kraus plans to ask Allen Superior Judge Fran Gull to appoint an expert to evaluate accused killer Simon Rios in order to determine if he is mentally retarded.If that happens and an expert finds the 35-year-old Rios mentally retarded, state law does not allow him...
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Supreme Court accepts 4 cases

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer in four cases. Justices heard arguments Tuesday morning in Philip Littler v. State, 71A03-0510-CR-509, and granted transfer later that day. The case is a murder conviction appeal involving whether the trial court abused discretion in excluding certain testimony from the victim ;s mother, properly allowed the state to add a murder charge after the omnibus date, and whether sufficient evidence was provided to support the charge. The Court of Appeals had affirmed the...
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Former lottery chief discriminated, suit claims

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
The Hoosier Lottery's former corporate general counsel is suing the lottery, claiming she was discriminated against because she is disabled.Janna J. Shisler, a quadriplegic, asserts in the suit that former lottery director Esther Q. Schneider made working conditions so intolerable that she quit. Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Schneider lottery director in January 2005. Her successor, Kathryn Densborn, was appointed last December. Lottery spokesman Andrew Reed would not discuss the suit, saying the Lottery doesn't comment on pending litigation.The suit, filed Sept....
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COA corrects, clarifies issues in taillight case

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05210701mgr.pdfThe Indianapolis law professor who challenged in court the ticket he received for a broken taillight in Fort Wayne petitioned for a rehearing, and the Court of Appeals today issued an opinion that affirms but corrects and clarifies its earlier ruling.On May 21, the COA reversed and remanded Joel Schumm's case, Schumm v. State, to Allen Superior Court for a new trial. In that opinion, the appellate judges found the trial court improperly denied Schumm's Baston challenge.Schumm recently petitioned for a rehearing...
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Construction changes after-hours appeal filings

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Anyone making after-hours filings in Indiana's appeals courts will notice a change in procedure this week.It's back to the old way, or at least one that closely resembled how the process worked before security measures altered that system earlier this year.Construction started Monday on the east doors of the Indiana Statehouse, which is where the legal community has been allowed to enter after hours for "Rotunda filing" of court documents for the Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Tax Court....
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Judicial free-speech cases dismissed

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, which ruled the "pledges" and "commitments" clauses of Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct were unconstitutional.In Indiana Right to Life, et al. v. Randall T. Shepard, et al., 06-4333, the Circuit Court dismissed Indiana Right to Life's complaint against the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications and the Indiana Disciplinary Commission that Canon 5A(3)(d)(i) and (ii) is unconstitutional, stating the group had no standing...
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Court rules on unemployment benefits case

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
Individuals who voluntarily quit a job in order to take care of a physically disabled relative are not entitled to unemployment benefits, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. In Mildred Whiteside v. Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Unemployment Insurance Review Board and Division of Family & Children, 93A02-0703-EX-229, Whiteside appealed the decision of the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to deny her claim for unemployment benefits, saying the denial was contrary to Indiana law. Whiteside was a...
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Kids in custody must be read Miranda

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
Everyone being taken into custody must be advised of the Miranda rule, no matter what age the person is, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals in overturning a nine-year-old child's adjudication as a delinquent child. In C.L.M. v. State of Indiana, 35A05-0706-JV-342, C.L.M., appealed the ruling that he was a delinquent child for committing what would have constituted as a Class C felony child molestation if it was committed by an adult, arguing he was never read his Miranda rights while being...
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COA: Guidant suit to stay in Indiana

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The state's second-highest appeals court is allowing a class-action lawsuit involving Guidant Corp. defibrillators to proceed in Marion County, though the ruling won't affect similar federal or state suits.A three-judge Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled Thursday in Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. v. Ryan Terry and Linda Mason, No. 49A04-0704-CV-240, that Terry and Mason could continue a class-action product-liability lawsuit against Guidant over now-recalled defibrillators or pacemakers.Minnesota-based Cardiac Pacemakers Inc., a subsidiary of Guidant, manufactured the devices and wanted to get involved in...
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Justices decide on 3 death penalty cases

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court justices have the state's death penalty system on their minds.Three rulings handed down this week have involved capital cases, including one that sets a new execution date for a condemned inmate. But some of the written rationale shows reluctance on at least two justices' parts to impose the death sentence.In a ruling dated May 21in Michael Allen Lambert v. State of Indiana http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05210701ad.pdf, No. 18S00-0412-SD-503, the court denied the latest appeal and ordered a new execution date...
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Justices accept 3 cases this week

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider cases involving payments under the Worker's Compensation Act and also how to determine whether someone is a sexually violent predator, justices decided this week.Two transfers came Thursday in Christopher Brown, DDS, Inc. v. Decatur County Memorial Hospital, 93A02-0703-EX-236, and Alan C. Jones v. State of Indiana, 61A01-0704-CR-174. Justices also granted another case, Aaron Reid v. State, with an opinion that reduced an Anderson man's sentence by 20 years in a murder for hire plot.In Brown, the court...
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Court upholds dismissal of battery claim against medical student

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
An emergency medical technician student sued for battery after incorrectly performing a procedure on a patient did not commit battery, the Indiana Supreme Court has decided.The 5-0 decision came in W. Ruth Mullins and Johnce Mullins, Jr. v. Parkview Hospital, Inc., et al., http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05020701fsj.pdf, No. 02S04-0608-CV-292, reversing a Court of Appeals decision that the student had battered patient Ruth Mullins, who was undergoing a hysterectomy in 2000 at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne. During the procedure, the student, LaRea VanHoey, performed...
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Court grants absolute privilege case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider whether absolute privilege exists for communications made in the course of official proceedings brought under a university's anti-harassment policies.The court granted transfer Wednesday in Virginia Hartman and Suzanne Swinehart v. Dr. Gabe Keri , No. 02A03-0603-CV-135, which comes from Allen Superior Judge David Avery.Keri became an assistant professor of education in August 2000 at Indiana University-Purdue University - Fort Wayne and was notified in April 2003 that his contract wouldn't be renewed because of unsatisfactory...
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Parents sue over school uniform policy

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The newest First Amendment and freedom of expression case is playing out over mandatory school uniforms in Anderson.Parents Scott and Laura Bell filed a suit in Madison Circuit Court on Tuesday against the Anderson Community School Corp., claiming that a policy set to start next month would violate the constitutional right of children for a free education.The dress code, which is similar to those implemented in other Hoosier school districts such as the Indianapolis Public Schools, limits students to black, navy,...
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