Indiana Supreme Court

Justices consider conversion of felony to misdemeanor after plea agreement

December 1, 2016
Olivia Covington
The effect of legislative changes to state sentencing laws was at center in oral arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday.
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Indiana Supreme Court considers general contractor’s duty of care to subcontractors

December 1, 2016
Olivia Covington
In oral arguments on a petition to transfer a case regarding a general contractor’s duty of care to its subcontractors, the justices of the Indiana Supreme Court considered the meaning of the phrase “monitor and implement.”
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Justices consider transfer in chemical breath test case

December 1, 2016
Olivia Covington
Indiana’s rules regarding chemical breath tests can be read as a recipe, with each rule laid out for the process of testing someone’s blood alcohol content meant to be followed sequentially, said the attorney for a woman challenging her misdemeanor drunken-driving charges.
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Justices: warrantless search OK because of ‘objectively reasonable’ concerns

November 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a man’s drug conviction Tuesday, reiterating that if an officer encounters an emergency situation, then he or she may investigate further without a warrant.
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Justices rule in favor of woman alleging 'warrantless intrusion' by officer

November 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
Although a police officer believed that a Hamilton County woman could have been injured after being stuck under her car, the facts surrounding the situation did not lend themselves to an emergency situation that could justify the “warrantless intrusion” of stopping the woman’s car after she drove away.
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High court takes alcohol wholesaler case

November 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could decide whether beer and wine wholesalers can also be legally permitted to sell liquor in Indiana.
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Justices consider transfer of 2 cases related to traffic stops, strip searches

November 23, 2016
Olivia Covington
The justices of the Indiana Supreme Court are deciding whether to grant transfer in two cases related to the permissibility of certain police officer actions after hearing arguments on petitions to transfer Tuesday.
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Justices consider relevance of immigration status in undocumented worker’s lawsuit

November 22, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on whether introducing an injured man's immigration status to a jury in his lawsuit for future wages would be prejudicial enough to outweigh its probative value.
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New law creates murkiness on private university police records

November 18, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court left no doubt that it considered the Notre Dame Police Department exempt from the Access to Public Records Act when it affirmed dismissal of ESPN’s lawsuit seeking records of the department’s interactions with 275 student athletes. But a bill signed into law this year dealing with access to police body cameras could change that.
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Justices dismiss ESPN suit, find Notre Dame police not public agency

November 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
Notre Dame Police are not a public agency, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, turning back a lawsuit from ESPN that sought records of the university police’s interactions with student athletes. The ruling means Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act does not apply to university police at private institutions.
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Justices weigh whether child abuse reporter can sue DCS for breach of confidentiality

November 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A southern Indiana church van driver who suspected children to be in need of services due to dangerous living conditions in his small community followed the law requiring him to report his suspicions. He didn’t want to provide his name, but he did so after a Department of Child Services hotline worker assured him his identity would remain confidential, as the law also requires.
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DCS insists no right to sue over disclosed identity

November 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
A state attorney argued before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday that the Department of Child Services cannot be sued by a man who reported suspected child abuse but whose promise of confidentiality was violated when his identity was disclosed to those he reported.
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Indiana lawyers now must report misdemeanor convictions

November 8, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana attorneys now are explicitly required to report to the Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission any misdemeanor or felony conviction under sweeping changes to Admission and Discipline Rule 23.
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Supreme Court grants transfer in cellphone data privacy case

November 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
After an Ohio man’s convictions of armed robbery in Dearborn County were overturned by a divided Indiana Court of Appeals in August, the Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear the state’s appeal and decide if cellphone users have a reasonable expectation to the privacy of their tracked location information.
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Courts open comment period on online records access plan

November 4, 2016
Dave Stafford
Trial court orders and judgments in most non-confidential civil and criminal cases will be posted and universally available online, but attorneys and parties to cases initially will have far greater access to filings than the public, according to recommendations now open for public comment.
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DCS insists no right to sue over disclosed identity

November 3, 2016
Dave Stafford
A state attorney argued before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday that the Department of Child Services cannot be sued by a man who reported suspected child abuse but whose promise of confidentiality was violated when his identity was disclosed to those he reported.
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Undocumented worker's injury suit puts major issues before justices

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
An undocumented immigrant’s workplace injury — and how much he may be entitled to — has put the rising number of foreign-born workers, the rights they can expect, and the responsibilities of employers squarely before the Indiana Supreme Court.
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AG files for emergency stay in case against beer wholesaler

November 1, 2016
IL Staff
The state is fighting a court order that would require it to grant a wholesaler permit to Spirited Sales LLC, a company affiliated with Monarch Beverage that wants to sell liquor.
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Seymour attorney with Alzheimer’s suspended for disability

October 28, 2016
IL Staff
A Seymour attorney who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and who is facing a felony fraud charge has been suspended from the practice of law in Indiana because of his mental disability.
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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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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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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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Justices hear arguments in Lawrence wrongful-firing suit

October 20, 2016
Olivia Covington
After the newly elected mayor of the city of Lawrence fired him from his position as superintendent of the city Utility Services Board, counsel for Carlton Curry told the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday that the mayor had no legal right to terminate the former superintendent without actual cause.
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  1. 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.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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