Courts

US prosecutors from across nation meeting in Indy

September 3, 2014
 Associated Press
Federal prosecutors from across the country are gathering in Indianapolis to discuss ways to reduce the number of guns in the hands of criminals and other violent crime initiatives.
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Steak n Shake can’t force arbitration with disgruntled franchisees

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed that Steak n Shake Enterprises Inc. cannot compel several of its franchisees to engage in nonbinding arbitration regarding claims brought by the franchisees in federal court. Steak n Shake tried to force arbitration after the restaurants already sued over the requirement all restaurants must adhere to company pricing and promotions.
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7th Circuit dismisses 3 Latin Kings gang members’ appeals

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because three Latin Kings gang members took plea deals with the government after they were charged with several counts – including conspiracy to participate in racketeering – that limited their ability to appeal, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out their appeals Friday.
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Divided 7th Circuit affirms dismissal of RTW challenge

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A split panel on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision by a federal judge in northern Indiana to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a union challenging Indiana’s right-to-work law. The majority concluded the law does not violate the union members’ rights under the U.S. Constitution nor is it preempted by federal labor legislation.
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Solo practitioner named to Lake County bench

September 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Merrillville attorney Bruce Parent has been named as a judge in the Lake Superior Court, Civil Division.
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Irsay pleads guilty to misdemeanor in drug case

September 2, 2014
 Associated Press
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay must submit to drug testing for a year after pleading guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated stemming from his arrest after a traffic stop in March.
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Tax Court reverses reduction in school corp.'s exempt debt service fund levy

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court on Friday overturned the decision by the Department of Local Government Finance to reduce the Gary Community School Corp.’s exempt debt service fund levy for the 2011 budget year. Judge Martha Wentworth found the state agency had no authority to reduce the levy.
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Supreme Court recommends abolishing Marion County township courts

September 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
A report from the National Center for State Courts recommends the nine township small claims venues in Indianapolis transition into a unified section of Marion Superior Courts. The Indiana Supreme Court is asking lawmakers to abolish the current system and unify them with the Superior Courts’ Civil Division effective Jan. 1, 2016.
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Same-sex couples seek to have their Indiana marriages recognized

September 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Three same-sex couples who married in the days after Indiana’s marriage law was declared unconstitutional have filed a complaint in federal court, asserting the validity of their unions is not affected by the stay issued from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Victim's mother wants inmate cleared for execution

September 2, 2014
 Associated Press
The mother of an Indiana college student killed nearly 17 years ago says it is time for the man convicted of her murder and rape to be executed.
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Man acquitted in triple-slaying seeks new judgment

September 2, 2014
 Associated Press
A former Indiana State trooper acquitted last year in the slayings of his wife and two children is asking a judge to issue a judgment against a man convicted in the case nearly a decade ago, holding him accountable for their deaths.
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Gary courthouse fire forces shift in 2 more courts

September 2, 2014
 Associated Press
Courts officials in northwestern Indiana have relocated two more courts to other buildings following an electrical fire that damaged part of a courthouse.
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Justices halt ruling striking down right-to-work law

September 2, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday put on hold a lower court judge's ruling striking down the state's right-to-work law and denied a request that it be consolidated with a similar case, clearing the way for the justices to hear arguments on the issue next week.
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Court rules against FedEx in drivers' labor case

August 29, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal court has ruled that FedEx Corp. improperly classified about 2,300 drivers in California as independent contractors instead of employees.
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Teen has 1 adjudication overturned, must still pay restitution

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A teenager adjudicated as delinquent after it was determined he was in a stolen car was able to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse one of his adjudications due to double jeopardy. But, the teen must still pay restitution to the victims of his crimes.
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Man waited too long to ask for return of cash bond

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court was not statutorily authorized to retain a man’s cash bond in 2005, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of his motion to release the bond because he waived his argument.
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Judges order new rape trial based on inadmissible evidence

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a detective’s testimony that a man on trial for committing rape was also a suspect in another case likely had a prejudicial impact on the jury finding the man guilty, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a new trial.
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Man acquitted of charges in bar fight death

August 29, 2014
 Associated Press
Jurors have acquitted a southern Indiana man of criminal charges for killing a man when he drove a truck over him after a bar fight.
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COA affirms reduction of incarcerated father’s child support obligation

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion by reducing a father’s child support and arrearage to an absolute minimum level after he requested review of his obligation, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Friday. The man, who is incarcerated, claimed the court did not consider his income or needs when making the reduction.
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Fire closes Lake County Courthouse in Gary

August 28, 2014
 Associated Press
The Lake County commissioners say a county courthouse in Gary will likely remain closed for a week after an electrical fire.
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COA: Break in employment triggered non-compete agreement

August 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man who joined a competitor immediately after his employment ended at another company did not violate a non-compete agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges agreed that a 10-day break in employment with the prior employer two years earlier constituted the beginning of his non-compete agreement, and his new job falls outside that two-year non-compete restriction.
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PACER removes older 7th Circuit case files

August 28, 2014
IL Staff
Closed cases filed before 2008 in the U.S 7th Circuit Court of Appeals have been removed from the PACER online database, as have older records from several other federal courts.
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Judge refuses inmate's request for execution

August 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana judge has turned down the request of a murder convict who asked to be executed even though he wasn't sentenced to death.
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COA declines to reverse conviction after co-defendant’s conviction overturned

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday did not agree with a defendant that his conviction of attempted aggravated battery should be reversed based on the reasoning of a separate appeals panel that overturned the same conviction of his co-defendant.
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7th Circuit finds ALJ’s methodology flawed, orders more proceedings

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found an administrative law judge’s opinion denying a man Social Security disability benefits reflects a “flawed evaluation of the record of evidence,” so it ordered more proceedings on the matter.
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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