Courts

Supreme Court last day notable for what was and wasn't said

June 26, 2017
 Associated Press
The last day of the United States Supreme Court's term Monday was notable not only for what was announced but also for what wasn't.
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Supreme Court rules for Missouri church in playground case

June 26, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that churches have the same right as other charitable groups to seek state money for new playground surfaces and other nonreligious needs.
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Justices take up Lake Michigan shore property rights case

June 26, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether the beach of Lake Michigan belongs to the public or to private property owners along the shoreline.
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Double sentencing enhancements don’t violate precedent

June 26, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled double enhancements that added 25 years to a man’s sentence did not violate precedent because each was given for a different offense.
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Judge considering freeze on Iraqi deportations

June 26, 2017
 Associated Press
Lawyers for Detroit-area Iraqi nationals who fear they could be tortured or killed if they’re kicked out of the U.S. asked a judge on Monday to extend his freeze on their deportations to all Iraqis who have been ordered to leave the country.
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Prosecutor: No charges against 2 officers in man’s shooting

June 26, 2017
 Associated Press
Two central Indiana police officers won’t face charges for shooting a man who they said tried to run them down with his car after an attempted traffic stop.
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Trump travel ban partly reinstated; fall court arguments set

June 26, 2017
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court is letting a limited version of President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries take effect, a victory for Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency.
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Anthem agrees to $115M settlement over data breach

June 26, 2017
 Bloomberg News
Anthem Inc. has agreed to pay $115 million to resolve consumer claims over a 2015 cyber-attack that compromised data on 78.8 million people, marking what attorneys in the case called the largest data-breach settlement in history.
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7th Circuit: Colts not required to renew season tickets

June 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indianapolis Colts season tickets holder did not automatically have the right to transfer ownership of his tickets from one season to the next, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in a diversity suit against the professional football team.
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Kansas jury awards $218M to farmers in Syngenta GMO suit

June 23, 2017
 Associated Press
A Kansas federal jury awarded nearly $218 million on Friday to farmers who sued Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta over its introduction of a genetically engineered corn seed variety.
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Justices hear arguments in case seeking bond proceeds

June 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
The justices of the Indiana Supreme Court held arguments Thursday in a case where the question is whether a man who was awarded a judgment from a defendant in a civil case will be able to collect the bond proceeds from the defendant’s unrelated criminal case.
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Probation department must reimburse offender’s fees

June 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Marion County probation department must reimburse an offender’s probation fees after the Indiana Court of Appeals held the trial court erred by allowing the probation department, and not the court, to impose such fees.
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Summary judgment affirmed for Conour associate in legal malpractice case

June 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
A former associate of now-disgraced Indianapolis attorney William Conour scored a victory in the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday when the court found he did not breach a duty to one of Conour’s clients who accused him of providing inaccurate or misleading information.
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Appellate court says paved asphalt can be a ‘deadly weapon’

June 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
Determining that the paved surface of a parking lot can be considered a “deadly weapon” in the context of certain cases, the Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed a man’s conviction for felony battery.
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Madison park focus of man's drug conviction appeal before Supreme Court

June 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man’s felony drug conviction level depends on whether the Indiana Supreme Court believes he sold drugs near a public park where children were “reasonably expected” to be.
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Supreme Court: Rules of Evidence allowed admission of gun

June 22, 2017
Olivia Covington
In a decision reaffirming the notion that the doctrine of res gestae is defunct and is not grounds for admission of evidence, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the admission of a gun and resulting convictions in a joint Lake County resisting law enforcement and battery trial for two defendants.
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COA remands dispute over attorney fees owed to doctor

June 22, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A cardiologist who was denied his request for attorney fees totaling $450,000 will get a second chance to make his argument after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the trial court abused its discretion in awarding nearly $423,000 less.
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Prosecutor’s involvement in judge’s re-election committee doesn’t require recusal

June 22, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Howard County prosecutor’s membership on a sitting judge’s re-election campaign committee did not require the judge to recuse himself in two separate cases, two panels of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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High court rejects new trial request in Boston murder case

June 22, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday ruled against a Boston man seeking to overturn his murder conviction because his lawyer failed to object when the trial judge closed the courtroom during jury selection.
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Apple seeks to void patent claims, fees in Qualcomm dispute

June 22, 2017
 Associated Press
Apple is seeking to void some of Qualcomm's patent claims and licensing agreements, intensifying its legal battle with the chip maker over the technology in iPhones and iPads.
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SCOTUS limits ability to strip citizenship

June 22, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday limited the government's ability to strip U.S. citizenship from immigrants for lying during the naturalization process.
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Pharmakon owner, compliance director face criminal charges

June 22, 2017
Indianapolis Business Journal
The owner and the director of compliance for Noblesville-based Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals Inc. have been charged with multiple criminal counts related to the sale of compounded painkillers that were as much as 25 times more potent than they should have been, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.
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Suspended lawyer in estate misappropriation case receives 8-year sentence

June 22, 2017
 Associated Press
A suspended Indiana attorney has been sentenced to eight years in prison in connection with the alleged misappropriation of funds from six estates totaling more than $700,000.
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Special judge to hear suit in deadly Indiana van crash

June 22, 2017
 Associated Press
A special judge has been appointed to hear a lawsuit filed in a van crash that killed two immigrant workers in southwestern Indiana.
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Man convicted for punching officer at Elizabeth Smart event

June 21, 2017
 Associated Press
An Indiana jury has convicted an 80-year-old man of felony battery for punching a police officer who stopped him from approaching kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart with a knife at a January book signing.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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