Court opinions

U.S. justices rule on challenges to health care law

June 28, 2012
IL Staff
The U.S. Supreme Court released its highly anticipated decision on the challenges brought by states and other organizations to the Affordable Care Act.
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7th Circuit dismisses case for mootness

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The appeal of an eviction initiated by the Housing Authority of South Bend was dismissed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals because the woman and her son have already been evicted.
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Appellate courts may consider credit time status

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana appellate courts can take into account the potential consequences of an offender’s status as a credit restricted felon when reviewing a sentence, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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LaPorte County prosecutor suspended by Supreme Court

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob “Z” Szilagyi has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court for forging the names of his ex-wife and secretary on a quitclaim deed on the former couple’s marital home.
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Judges reverse football player’s operating while intoxicated conviction

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with the state’s argument that prosecutorial discretion extends to the determination of which conviction should be vacated after a finding of double jeopardy.
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Judges disagree on applicable child support guideline

June 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Against the advice of their attorneys, a divorcing couple entered into a settlement agreement that included a “true up” provision for calculating child support each year. That provision is now at issue before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA: exhaust administrative remedies before filing appeal

June 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because a manufacturer didn’t exhaust its administrative remedies regarding a challenge to a search of its Indianapolis facility by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed the manufacturer’s appeal.
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Judges find no error in division of marital assets

June 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the equal division of marital assets of a divorcing LaPorte County couple but found the trial court erred in its calculation of how much the ex-husband owes in child support.
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Language of easement allows parking

June 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that the language of an easement dating back to the 1800s allows for a family to park its cars on that easement.
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Indiana justices outline ‘improvement to real property’

June 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
For the first time, the Indiana Supreme Court addressed what constitutes an “improvement to real property” as mentioned in the construction statute of repose. In doing so, the justices reversed the trial court’s grant of a contractor’s motion for summary judgment in a wrongful death claim.
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Appeals court affirms breach ruling in truck dispute

June 25, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a Floyd Superior breach of contract ruling for a defendant who made a contract with a purchaser who defaulted after assuming payments on a Freightliner truck.
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SCOTUS rules on immigration case, life sentences for juveniles

June 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The U.S. Supreme Court Monday affirmed in part and reversed in part Arizona’s controversial immigration law. The justices also found that a life sentence without possibility of parole for juveniles violates the Eighth Amendment.
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Judge upholds sex offender ban from Facebook

June 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana’s law banning certain registered sex offenders from using social networking sites that allow minors is not unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled Friday.
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COA: Prosecutor had ability to provide use immunity

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals relied on state Supreme Court precedent to find a Shelby County prosecutor could compel parents to testify by providing use immunity. The parents argued the prosecutor couldn’t grant use immunity because there were no grand jury proceedings and they hadn’t been charged with a crime.
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Judges affirm teen’s sentence for robbery, conspiracy

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart teenager convicted in adult court for her role in several armed robberies of gas stations lost her appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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CNO shareholder loses appeal

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County court didn’t err when it granted insurance holding company CNO board of directors members’ motion to dismiss a shareholder’s lawsuit for failure to make pre-suit demand, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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Court split on man’s forgery conviction

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided over whether a man who used another person’s Social Security number and a false identification should have been convicted of forgery under a 2005 amendment to the law.
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Judges order dispute be arbitrated

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A complaint filed by a client against financial services companies and a former employee must be arbitrated per an agreement the client signed when opening an IRA account, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. The court split over whether one of the companies could compel arbitration.
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Supreme Court affirms death sentence in 2001 rape, murder

June 22, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man whose death sentence and murder and rape convictions previously were reversed on appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court remains condemned after the justices on Thursday affirmed a trial court’s denial of post-conviction relief.
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Justices reverse Tax Court in UPS case

June 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court found that two reinsurance companies of the United Parcel Service are foreign companies that don’t do business within Indiana, so they aren’t exempt from Indiana adjusted gross income tax.
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COA: Don’t include sales tax in forfeiture calculation

June 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a trial court erred in adding sales tax to the value of goods stolen, which allowed the state to seize the car used by the thief.
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SCOTUS rules on FCC case, still no health care decision

June 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The highly anticipated decision by the United States Supreme Court on health care will come another day. The justices released four opinions Thursday, which did not include the challenges to the health care law. They did decide the case before them involving the Federal Communications Commission.
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Justices disbar Evansville attorney

June 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has disbarred an Evansville attorney who pleaded guilty in 2011 to Class D felony theft for exercising unauthorized control over more than $17,000 that belonged to 24 current or former clients.
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Man loses insanity defense appeal

June 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County court correctly rejected the insanity defense entered by a man who suffers from bipolar disorder and alcoholism in his attempted murder bench trial, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
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Zionsville wins in appeal of zoning dispute with airport authority

June 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The portion of Indiana Code that gives an airport authority the power to “fix and determine exclusively the uses” to which airport land may be put does not give the Hamilton County Airport Authority complete zoning jurisdiction over an airport it owns in Boone County, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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