Courts

Woman exonerated in murder loses appeal over fingerprint errors

January 27, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to allow a plaintiff to seek money damages against an Elkhart County detective who incorrectly identified latent fingerprints as those of a woman convicted of murder in 2002. The panel ruled that despite his training, the detective was still considered an expert on fingerprint identification.
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COA affirms drug convictions

January 27, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the convictions of a man convicted on a litany of drug-related charges after finding that the evidence was sufficient to support his convictions and that there were no constitutional violations or court errors that harmed his case.
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ILAS sees red ink flow into budget

January 27, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Even coming off a holiday fundraiser that pulled in just over $150,000, the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society is expecting the 2016 expenditures will throw its budget in the red for the first time in decades.
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Indiana pain medicine doctor faces 55 felony charges

January 27, 2017
 Associated Press
An Indiana doctor faces 55 felony charges after federal investigators say he traded pills for work on his farm among other accusations.
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Delaware County approves $16K for dog to help kids in court

January 27, 2017
 Associated Press
Delaware County officials have approved plans to acquire a service dog to aid young people in the juvenile court system.
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Senate to hear bill banning attorney indemnification clauses

January 26, 2017
Olivia Covington
A bill designed to prevent attorneys from prohibiting clients from filing legal malpractice claims will soon be heard by the full Indiana Senate.
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COA reverses denial of summary judgment to bank

January 26, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that U.S. Bank is a bona fide purchaser of an Indianapolis property and was entitled to summary judgment after finding that the mortgage an investment company held on the property could not be found by an adequate title examination.
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Judge rules for Teamsters, notes plaintiff’s gambling bills

January 26, 2017
Dave Stafford
The owner of a defunct trucking business who sued an Indianapolis Teamsters local alleging interference with business relationships lost her case, and a judge used his order to point out that money withdrawn from the company’s bank account for gambling sprees occurred at the same time the union alleged its health benefits went unpaid.
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House panel advances Marion County judicial selection bill

January 26, 2017
Dave Stafford
Despite public concerns that a bill for choosing Indianapolis judges would reduce diversity on the bench, deprive Marion County residents of the right to directly elect jurists and elevate political considerations, a House committee Wednesday advanced a merit-selection measure supported by lawyers, judges and the business community.
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Supreme Court upholds man's life sentence

January 25, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
An Elkhart County man who smoked synthetic marijuana then stabbed his girlfriend to death was unable to convince the Indiana Supreme Court that his sentence of life without parole was unconstitutional.
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Bankruptcy filings continue to fall

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
Bankruptcy filings hit a 10-year low nationwide in 2016, a new federal judiciary report shows.
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Justices revise sentence of man with mental illness

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The justices of the Indiana Supreme Court have revised the sentence of a Daviess County man with a history of mental illness who was convicted of burglary, drawing on the dissent of Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Paul Mathias, who advocated for treatment for offenders who are mentally ill.
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7th Circuit vacates denial of prisoner’s request for help finding counsel

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated a district court order denying a request to help an inmate living in another state recruit counsel for an Indiana case, noting that without counsel or a medical expert, the inmate will be unable to build a strong legal case.
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COA: Restitution must be based on value of damaged car, not upgraded vehicle

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
Trial courts must award restitution based on the cost of an item that was stolen or damaged, not the cost of upgrading to a new item, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, so the Marion Superior Court erred when it ordered restitution based on the cost a woman incurred in purchasing a newer vehicle after a wreck.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of evidentiary hearing, post-conviction review

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The appointed public defender for a man convicted and sentenced for distributing cocaine tried to advise his client to accept a plea agreement, so that client cannot appeal on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Trump intends to announce his Supreme Court pick on Feb. 2

January 25, 2017
 Associated Press
President Donald Trump said Wednesday he intends to announce his nominee for the Supreme Court on Feb. 2, and three federal appeals court judges are said to be the front-runners to fill the lifetime seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon.
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Retiring Rucker urges diversity on court

January 25, 2017
Dave Stafford
As the first African-American to serve on the state’s appellate bench, retiring Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker said he doesn’t think of himself as a trailblazer, but he said it’s important the state’s high court look like the population it serves.
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Rush praises ‘Partners in Justice’ during address

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
In her third State of the Judiciary address as chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, Loretta Rush highlighted how partnerships in the state’s judicial system are serving to further three initiatives to the benefit of litigants and legal professionals alike.
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Former IDEM employee's lawsuit highlights risks, rewards for whistleblowers

January 25, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Suzanne Esserman claims the Indiana Department of Environmental Management fired her for questioning payments to private contractors, so she's filed a whistleblower lawsuit.
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Funding ‘critical’ to continue criminal code reform initiatives

January 25, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
As lawmakers hammer out another biennial budget, officials backing Indiana’s criminal justice reform say money is the key to keeping the effort moving forward.
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Open government advocates find victory in Groth decision

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
Not much was changed in terms of government transparency when the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected former Gov. Mike Pence’s argument that the Indiana executive branch’s responses to open record requests are exempt from judicial review. But, according to open government advocates, that lack of change is actually a good thing.
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Indiana Court Decisions

January 25, 2017
IL Staff
Read recent appellate court decisions.
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District court declines to stop Supreme Court disciplinary hearing

January 24, 2017
Olivia Covington
A federal judge has declined to intervene in an Indiana Supreme Court disciplinary proceeding against a northern Indiana attorney who claims he is being discriminated against in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Supreme Court suspends attorney for misrepresentation, domestic battery

January 24, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended from practice a Chicago attorney who misrepresented his abilities to a client and was convicted of battery against his wife.
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Birth certificate battle headed to 7th Circuit

January 24, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana’s battle over who can be listed on a birth certificate is headed for another round with the state filing an appeal of a federal court’s ruling that allows non-birth mothers to be listed on their children’s birth certificates.
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  1. Bob Leonard killed two people named Jennifer and Dion Longworth. There were no Smiths involved.

  2. Being on this journey from the beginning has convinced me the justice system really doesn't care about the welfare of the child. The trial court judge knew the child belonged with the mother. The father having total disregard for the rules of the court. Not only did this cost the mother and child valuable time together but thousands in legal fees. When the child was with the father the mother paid her child support. When the child was finally with the right parent somehow the father got away without having to pay one penny of child support. He had to be in control. Since he withheld all information regarding the child's welfare he put her in harms way. Mother took the child to the doctor when she got sick and was totally embarrassed she knew nothing regarding the medical information especially the allergies, The mother texted the father (from the doctors office) and he replied call his attorney. To me this doesn't seem like a concerned father. Seeing the child upset when she had to go back to the father. What upset me the most was finding out the child sleeps with him. Sometimes in the nude. Maybe I don't understand all the rules of the law but I thought this was also morally wrong. A concerned parent would allow the child to finish the school year. Say goodbye to her friends. It saddens me to know the child will not have contact with the sisters, aunts, uncles and the 87 year old grandfather. He didn't allow it before. Only the mother is allowed to talk to the child. I don't think now will be any different. I hope the decision the courts made would've been the same one if this was a member of their family. Someday this child will end up in therapy if allowed to remain with the father.

  3. Ok attorney Straw ... if that be a good idea ... And I am not saying it is ... but if it were ... would that be ripe prior to her suffering an embarrassing remand from the Seventh? Seems more than a tad premature here soldier. One putting on the armor should not boast liked one taking it off.

  4. The judge thinks that she is so cute to deny jurisdiction, but without jurisdiction, she loses her immunity. She did not give me any due process hearing or any discovery, like the Middlesex case provided for that lawyer. Because she has refused to protect me and she has no immunity because she rejected jurisdiction, I am now suing her in her district.

  5. Sam Bradbury was never a resident of Lafayette he lived in rural Tippecanoe County, Thats an error.

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