Court opinions

Greenfield police officer loses suit over discipline for profane texts

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Greenfield police officer has lost his federal lawsuit filed against the city after he was suspended for allegedly sending profane text messages that insulted and threatened his superior officers.
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ISP officer loses whistleblower appeal

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
State workers alleging retaliation for whistleblower activities must first exhaust all administrative remedies before suing, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, affirming a trial court ruling against a 27-year Indiana State Police officer.
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7th Circuit affirms jury verdict in injured railroad worker's suit

October 27, 2016
Olivia Covington
A jury correctly ruled against an employee of the railroad company CSX Transportation Inc. who sued his employer after an on-the-job accident that resulted in severe back pain, citing evidence that proved the pain existed before the accident, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Thursday.
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COA affirms woman’s involuntary commitment despite moot appeal

October 27, 2016
Olivia Covington
Although the term of her commitment in an Indiana mental health facility had already expired, the Indiana Court of Appeals chose Thursday to hear a woman’s moot appeal of her commitment and affirm it, writing that the case needed to be heard as a matter of great public importance.
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COA will not allow specialized driving privileges for man with 27 traffic violations

October 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
An Indiana man now living in Mississippi whose Indiana driver’s license was suspended for life after more than two dozen traffic violations cannot receive special Indiana driving privileges that would enable him to obtain a license in Mississippi.
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Homeowner can be liable for party injuries resulting in death, but not for furnishing alcohol

October 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday that a woman whose party guest died at her home after a drunken brawl could be considered negligent because she did not seek care for the guest, but not on the basis of supplying alcohol to the men involved in the fight.
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IN Supreme Court holds that bar shooting was not foreseeable

October 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
After deciding that foreseeability in the context of duty in a negligence case is different than in the context of proximate cause, the Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday that a Grant County bar was not negligent in a shooting that injured three people because the shooting was not foreseeable.
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Supreme Court upholds burglar’s sentence, rejects COA assessment of appellate argument

October 25, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Tuesday a burglar’s felony conviction and sentence, but also rejected a harsh Court of Appeals assessment of the his argument appealing his sentence.
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7th Circuit upholds drug offender’s conviction, vacates life sentence

October 25, 2016
Olivia Covington
A man convicted of multiple drug offenses and sentenced to a life term in prison will soon receive a new sentence after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated it on Tuesday.
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Indiana Supreme Court upholds decision granting convicted felon’s motion for relief

October 25, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court will allow a convicted felon to bring his case for post-conviction relief back to court to be heard on the merits after finding that his motion for relief was filed in a timely manner, despite a seven-year delay.
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Justices dismiss misconduct charge against White County deputy prosecutor

October 25, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has entered judgment in favor of a White County attorney after finding that the state Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission failed to prove that the attorney had violated a rule of professional conduct, resulting in a man’s erroneous convictions of child molestation.
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Appeals court rules that DCS employee can proceed with caseload claims

October 25, 2016
Olivia Covington
An employee of the Department of Child Services can continue in her complaint that alleges violations of the state-mandated caseload maximums despite a ruling that the employee has no private right of action under Indiana Code.
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COA reaffirms decision in church breach of contract case

October 25, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted a church’s petition to rehear its breach of contract case and reaffirmed its previous ruling that the church had failed to carry out the terms of the lease in question.
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Stanley ruling extends to government medical reimbursements

October 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday extended the admission of evidence of reduced health care payments in personal injury suits to include reimbursements from government payers.
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COA prevents INDOT from seeking more than $100k in damages after bridge accident

October 18, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the denial of summary judgment for the Indiana Department of Transportation after the department had argued that it should be allowed to seek the more than $100,000 it spent to repair a state bridge damaged in an accident, an amount that was double the estimated cost.
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Stepfather’s molestation convictions affirmed

October 14, 2016
Olivia Covington
A former stepfather accused of molesting his 6-year-old stepdaughter on multiple occasions cannot have his convictions or sentenced reduced after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Friday that there was enough evidence to support his 32-year sentence.
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COA upholds judgment against ex-husband accused of violating protective order

October 14, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Friday that an Allen County man must serve out his prison sentence after he knowingly violated the protective order his ex-wife had taken out against him and that he intentionally locked her out of a house that legally belonged to her.
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Appeals panel affirms murder conviction, sentence

October 13, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man who objected to his murder trial being scheduled later than permissible under the speedy trial rule failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse his murder conviction.
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Divided COA tosses $2M DUI crash verdict over old convictions

October 13, 2016
Dave Stafford
The majority of an Indiana Court of Appeals panel held Thursday that a drunken driver’s decades-old convictions for alcohol-related offenses were irrelevant and prejudicial in a civil suit following a personal-injury crash. A dissenting judge, though, wrote the admissibility of such evidence should go to its weight rather than its age.
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7th Circuit allows Michigan man to sue Indiana body shop for fire that destroyed his vehicle

October 12, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned summary judgment in favor of a northern Indiana body shop Wednesday after finding that a Michigan man has legal ground to sue the body shop for a fire that destroyed his car.
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Justices say inmates can’t sue private employer for unpaid wages during incarceration

October 12, 2016
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer and affirmed Wednesday a trial court’s decision to dismiss a complaint seeking unpaid wages brought by inmates who claim they were underpaid while working for a private company while they were in prison.
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COA: Hotel did not conspire to commit theft from guests' room

October 12, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that an Evansville hotel cannot be considered negligent after its employees allowed a man into a guest room without the guests’ permission, resulting in the theft of the guests’ personal property.
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COA maintains that belatedly filed records result in dismissal

October 11, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed an Allen Superior Court decision after finding that the trial court erred when it did not dismiss a case despite the fact that the record was not filed in a timely manner.
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Federal court: No back pay for ex-central Indiana marshal

October 10, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana federal court has ruled against a former central Indiana marshal who is seeking back pay from the town of Summitville.
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7th Circuit rejects former Bloomington employee’s request to defer restitution

October 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a former Bloomington city employee’s argument that his restitution debt should be deferred to his release from prison because he is limited to paying only 10 percent of his income toward that debt each month.
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  1. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

  2. A high ranking bureaucrat with Ind sup court is heading up an organization celebrating the formal N word!!! She must resign and denounce! http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

  3. ND2019, don't try to confuse the Left with facts. Their ideologies trump facts, trump due process, trump court rules, even trump federal statutes. I hold the proof if interested. Facts matter only to those who are not on an agenda-first mission.

  4. OK so I'll make this as short as I can. I got a call that my daughter was smoking in the bathroom only her and one other girl was questioned mind you four others left before them anyways they proceeded to interrogate my daughter about smoking and all this time I nor my parents got a phone call,they proceeded to go through her belongings and also pretty much striped searched my daughter including from what my mother said they looked at her Brest without my consent. I am furious also a couple months ago my son hurt his foot and I was never called and it got worse during the day but the way some of the teachers have been treating my kids they are not comfortable going to them because they feel like they are mean or don't care. This is unacceptable in my mind i should be able to send my kids to school without worry but now I worry how the adults there are treating them. I have a lot more but I wanted to know do I have any attempt at a lawsuit because like I said there is more that's just some of what my kids are going through. Please respond. Sincerely concerned single parent

  5. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

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