Courts

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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Justices take appeal from HHGregg managers denied bonus proceeds

January 24, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear a case weighing whether HHGregg senior managers are entitled to share in $40 million worth of life insurance proceeds from the 2012 death of then-executive chairman of the board Jerry Throgmartin.
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Judson honored with award for court administration

January 24, 2017
Olivia Covington
Former Indiana state court administrator Lilia Judson has been honored with an award recognizing her commitment to the administration of justice throughout the Indiana judiciary.
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Barker rules ballot photo ban unconstitutional

January 24, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana law prohibiting voters from taking photos of their ballots for personal use is an unconstitutional violation of First Amendment rights, a district court judge has decided.
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Statehouse bills would bulk up judiciary in 3 counties

January 24, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Courts in Clark and Shelby counties are gaining support for their requests for additional judicial officers.
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House hearing set for Marion County judicial selection bill

January 24, 2017
IL Staff
An Indiana House committee will hear a bill Wednesday that would institute a new system for selecting the 36 judges of Marion Superior Court but would retain the partisan balance on the court that was a key element of the former system invalidated by a federal court.
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COA: Company cannot withhold ‘voluntary’ deductions from ex-employee's pay

January 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
A plumbing and electrical company cannot impose “voluntary” tax deductions on a former employee’s final paycheck without statutory authority, nor can it force that employee to pay a $1,000 insurance deductible after an auto accident, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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Court allows release of juvenile offender ID for HIV study

January 23, 2017
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has approved the release of identifying information of young offenders in juvenile courts, including full names and partial social security numbers, as part of a scholarly study into health care utilization and quality for juvenile offenders.
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COA: Trial court lacked jurisdiction to order BMV to act

January 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals found in favor of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles Monday after finding that a litigant’s failure to comply with the Administrative Order and Procedures Act left a trial court without jurisdiction to order the BMV to act on the litigant’s petition.
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Lawsuit: Trump businesses violate Constitution

January 23, 2017
 Associated Press
A lawsuit Monday alleged that President Donald Trump is violating the emoluments clause of the US Constitution that prohibits him from receiving money from diplomats for stays at his hotels or foreign governments for leases of office space in his buildings. The suit was filed by a legal watchdog group, but the language of the clause is disputed by some legal scholars, setting the stage for a court fight with the White House.
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Supreme Court rejects Texas appeal over voter ID law

January 23, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday rejected an appeal from Texas in its effort to restore its strict voter identification law, but the case could return to the court later.
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High court won’t hear ‘Sister Wives’ appeal over bigamy law

January 23, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court said Monday it won’t hear an appeal from the family on TV’s “Sister Wives” challenging Utah's law banning polygamy.
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Sexual assault nurse’s testimony qualifies under medical hearsay exceptions

January 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Huntington County man who molested his young relative cannot challenge the admission of the testimony of the nurse who examined the victim because the testimony qualified under the medical treatment exception to hearsay rules, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided.
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IMPD officer was qualified as an expert in stalking case

January 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department sergeant was qualified as an expert to testify about Facebook records and digital trails that led to a man’s multiple convictions for felony stalking, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Friday.
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Oakes to preside over Marion Superior Executive Committee

January 20, 2017
IL Staff
Marion Superior Civil Division 2 Judge Tim Oakes has been elected the presiding judge of the Marion Superior Executive Committee, which oversees the operation and conduct of the court.
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COA overturns judgment in favor of credit card debt collector

January 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed judgment in favor of a credit card debt collector after determining that the collector failed to establish that it owned the account it was trying to collect on.
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Foreclosure suit alleges landscaping firm affiliate owes more than $6M on loan

January 20, 2017
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
An affiliate of Indiana landscaping firm Mainscape Inc. has been hit with a foreclosure lawsuit claiming it owes more than $6 million on a building it owns in Indianapolis.
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Former COO of health firm claims discrimination in firing

January 20, 2017
John Russell, IBJ Staff
A former executive at an Indianapolis-based chain of health clinics says he was fired because of his age, race and national origin, and in retaliation because he stood up for one of his female managers.
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Retiring Rucker says he’s no trailblazer, but urges diversity on court

January 19, 2017
Dave Stafford
As the first African-American to serve on the Indiana Court of Appeals and just the second on the Indiana Supreme Court, retiring 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 of the state.
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