Court opinions

Supreme Court denies transfer to four

June 10, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger

The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer in four cases June 3. As of today’s Indiana Lawyer daily deadline, the court had not yet posted transfers since those from the week ending June 4.

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Judges: no private cause allowed for not reporting abuse, neglect

June 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Standing behind a decision made by appellate judges about 20 years ago, the Indiana Court of Appeals has again declined to interpret state statute in a way that allows for a private right of action for failing to report child abuse or neglect.
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Judges uphold sentence increase on appeal

June 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s sentence that they had increased on appeal in March in an opinion on rehearing today and addressed the characteristics of an Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B) review.
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Justices differ on defining 'youth program center'

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices objected to affirming a man’s drug sentence for possession within 1,000 feet of a “youth program center” because the church that ran the programs wasn’t easily identifiable as regularly running programs for kids.
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Articles about pending cases raise concerns

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
At least two attorneys are questioning how some legal publications have included articles, columns, or other types of coverage on pending cases, and they worry that these articles may influence the judges on the cases.
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Justices order new trial based on traffic judge's conduct

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has set the stage for a judicial disciplinary action against a Marion County Traffic Court judge for his courtroom conduct on a speeding and suspended license case last year.
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Officer's questions went beyond seat belt act

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The inquiry by a police officer to a driver stopped for a seat belt violation about the "large, unusual bulge" in his pants went beyond the state's Seatbelt Enforcement Act, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Man's suit filed after all statutes of limitations

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed a Logansport resident has standing to sue his city over the operation and management of a city park, but that his suit is barred by statutes of limitations.
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7th Circuit upholds denial of alien's motion to dismiss

June 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals sidestepped ruling directly on the exhaustion requirement of a federal law dealing with an alien’s challenge to the validity of a deportation order. The appellate court could affirm the denial of the man’s motion to dismiss because he failed to meet any of the law’s exhaustion requirements.
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SCOTUS reverses 7th Circuit on sex offender registration

June 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court reversed the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today on an Indiana case, holding that that a federal sex offender registry law does not apply to those convicts whose interstate travel happened before the 2006 statute took effect.
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Court sets drug-court termination requirements

May 28, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
An Indiana Court of Appeals ruling today sets requirements for drug court terminations after a man’s participation was terminated without minimum due process.
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COA: Breathalyzer certificate is not testimonial

May 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
For the first time since the Supreme Court of the United States’ 2009 ruling that found a defendant had a Sixth Amendment right to confront the analysts who prepared lab certificates certifying the defendant had cocaine, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a trial court did not violate the defendant’s right to confrontation by allowing the inspection certificate for a breathalyzer into evidence, even though the certifier of the equipment did not testify at trial.
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Justices rule on case about worker's compensation, damages

May 27, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Upholding a trial court ruling in a case stemming from a construction site accident, the Indiana Supreme Court has offered guidance for future trials about how juries should calculate a plaintiff’s already-paid compensation benefits when determining punitive damage awards.
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Court rejects stale trash evidence argument

May 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected an argument that evidence found in a trash search was stale because no other garbage had been collected in the past two weeks and that seized material could have been too old.
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Debate swirls around citations, use of the NFP

May 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Envision a world in which lawyers successfully defended a client on what all parties thought was a significant legal issue, but future attorneys couldn't use that case result to help persuade judges in their litigation.
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Attorneys say ruling confuses discovery regarding expert materials

May 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A liability lawsuit filed by the victims of a water-heater explosion a year after the May 2004 blast has erupted in its own metaphorical explosion of discovery disputes.
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Supreme Court analyzes appellate review rule on sentences

May 25, 2010
Addressing an issue that’s divided the state’s intermediate appeals judges, the Indiana Supreme Court has held that review under Appellate Rule 7 may include consideration of a person’s total penal consequences within a trial court sentence.
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Sexually violent predator petitions must be refiled

May 24, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The status as a sexually violent predator for two inmates stands for now, but the Indiana Court of Appeals directed the men to refile their motions to remove that status pursuant to the recently amended statute dealing with this issue.
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Judges rule on pre-existing condition case

May 21, 2010
Highlighting the highly controversial health care debate that’s played out during the past year, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled on a pretty straightforward case about a pre-existing condition clause that denied a man’s claim for long-term disability benefits.
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COA upholds 125-year child-molesting sentence

May 19, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In upholding multiple child-molesting convictions and a 125-year sentence, the Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected a woman’s argument about why her penalty should be reduced based in part on the very young ages of the victims.
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Court: Police shouldn't have made traffic stop

May 19, 2010
Michael Hoskins
An appellate decision today in a drunk-driving traffic stop case out of Fort Wayne illustrates how a lack of knowledge about a particular road’s layout can derail the prosecution of someone who may have been intoxicated behind the wheel.
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7th Circuit rules against Indianapolis attorney

May 18, 2010
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis attorney has lost a federal appeal that involves his being forced to resign as manager of the title insurance division after writing a memo that criticized his boss.
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Security concerns should be part of record

May 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court wants state trial judges to offer written guidance if and when courthouse or jury security concerns come up during trial.
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Court rules on sex offender status decisions

May 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Tackling the issue of who determines whether a convicted sex offender is considered a “sexually violent predator,” the Indiana Court of Appeals today issued the latest ruling in a line of cases about the state’s sex offender registry and how convicts’ names are removed.
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Indiana justices answer certified question from federal court

May 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court says that a person or business that buys and later sells a wrecked vehicle must apply for a salvage title as required by state law, even if that vehicle’s been sold by the time that certificate is received.
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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