Courts

Indiana sues county over I-69 noise ordinance

July 16, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Department of Transportation is suing the commissioners of a southern Indiana county, saying they have no authority to limit construction of the Interstate 69 extension near Bloomington with an ordinance that restricts overnight noise.
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Task force: Keep pro bono hours anonymous

July 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A task force at the recommendation of the Indiana Supreme Court recently looked at five areas concerning pro bono work and the reporting of hours, including whether attorneys' reported pro bono hours should be disclosed publicly.
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Lawyer registration fee increase to cover program shortfalls, aid pro bono districts

July 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Attorney registration fees set to increase nearly 25 percent will cover shortfalls in the judiciary programs they fund and give a temporary emergency boost to the state’s pro bono districts.
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Ice cold beer? Not here

July 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The challenge to Indiana cold beer regulation continues in state court and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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New Indiana criminal code being implemented in courtrooms

July 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Prosecutors, public defenders and judges around the state have been attending special seminars, updating computer programs and reading through the new criminal code in preparation for the switch. Many say they will need about six months before they feel comfortable with the new code, and they expect they will be juggling cases charged under the old code for at least another 12 to 18 months.
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Ruling may expedite demise of Marion County township venues

July 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County’s unique township small claims courts may be on the verge of extinction, hastened by a game-changing ruling this month by the full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Advocates: Suit over unpaid subsidies emblematic of DCS' shortcomings

July 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Adoptive families who’ve sued the state and likened the Department of Child Services to deadbeat parents for failing to pay promised subsidies to people who adopt foster children aren’t alone in feeling slighted, child and adoption advocates say.
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Personal, practical reasons guide adult adoptions

July 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Children become consenting adults when they turn 18, but that’s also the age at which a few will seek to legally become someone’s son or daughter. Adult adoptions are fairly rare, but they’re sought for a host of reasons from the sentimental to the sensible, family law attorneys say.
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Admission of video and recorded statements did not violate Sixth Amendment

July 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The defendant in a drug trial was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his constitutional right to confront a witness was violated when the confidential informant did not testify at trial.
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Court rejects automatic change in custody for moving mom

July 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
A mother will not automatically lose custody of one of her children if she chooses to relocate to Texas, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday, reversing in part a trial court order in favor of the child’s presumptive father.
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Ex-HHGregg manager's lawsuit grows into class-action

July 15, 2014
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
A lawsuit brought by a former HHGregg Inc. manager charging that the company failed to pay incentive bonuses has been granted class-action status by a Marion Superior Court judge.
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Woman loses appeal over stillbirth medical malpractice claim

July 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman who claimed medical malpractice contributed to a stillborn child failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that a trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of defendants.
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Appeals court affirms post-conviction relief not justified for rapist

July 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who pleaded guilty in 1997 to raping his 6-year-old daughter committed a crime so heinous that his sentence of 50 years in prison was justified, and he raised no issues in a post-conviction relief appeal on which the sentence could be reduced.
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Convenience stores continue fight for cold beer

July 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana convenience stores are pushing forward with their effort to persuade the courts to upend the state’s restrictions on cold beer sales.
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Divided COA reverses grandparent visitation order

July 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana Court of Appeals judges split on their views of the best interests of a child Tuesday, reversing a trial court order granting visitation to the paternal grandparents of a 4-year-old whose father committed suicide before the child was born.
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Court to hear gay marriage arguments Aug. 13

July 15, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court in Chicago will hear arguments in challenges of gay marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana on Aug. 13.
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Justices add 4 cases

July 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
A long-running dispute between the owners and former owners of a home with electrical and structural issues will return to the Indiana Supreme Court, one of four cases justices added last week
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7th Circuit: Indiana's marriage solemnization statute violates Constitution

July 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding that Indiana’s statute specifying who many solemnize marriage “discriminates arbitrarily among religious and ethical beliefs,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state must allow certified secular humanist celebrants to perform wedding ceremonies.
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No ‘clean hands’ in dispute over muscle car work, COA finds

July 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
A dispute over work done on a 1973 Dodge Challenger led the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday to find the car’s owner may challenge a mechanic’s lien that a shop used to auction the car.
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Task force makes recommendations for pro bono reporting

July 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
As the Indiana Supreme Court continues to consider mandating all Indiana attorneys report the number of pro bono hours they work, a task force has proposed that the donated hours be disclosed publicly only in an aggregate form rather than identifying the number of pro bono hours performed by an individual or a firm.
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ACLU asks fed attorney to recognize Indiana gay marriages

July 14, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys on Friday asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to step in on behalf of hundreds of same-sex couples who were wed before a federal appeals court stayed an order striking down Indiana's gay marriage ban.
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Dozing juror should have stayed in deliberations

July 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A juror who gave the lone vote to acquit and eventually refused to deliberate did not meet the criteria for removal, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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New chief justice to be selected Aug. 6

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
The next chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court will be chosen by the Judicial Nominating Commission Aug. 6, the court announced Friday.
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Dissent: ‘No evidence’ tying convicted man to crime scene

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
While a majority of the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an Indianapolis man’s trespassing conviction, another judge warned in dissent that the ruling went against the tenet of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
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County treasurer's attorneys want charges dropped

July 11, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys for a central Indiana county treasurer want charges that he mishandled public money dismissed, arguing that other officials who've done the same thing haven't been prosecuted.
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  1. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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