Indiana Supreme Court

Justices split, deny grandparent visitation appeal

June 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
Divided 3-2, the Indiana Supreme Court last week declined to hear the appeal of a grandparent stripped of visitation rights in a Court of Appeals ruling.
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Humane Society ‘disappointed’ justices won’t hear canned-hunt suit

June 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
A deadlocked Indiana Supreme Court declined to hear the state’s appeal of a ruling allowing captive-hunting preserves to operate in the state without regulation. The Humane Society condemned the decision on the controversial hunting practice.
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Justices: Adoption agency didn’t breach duty to couple

June 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled 4-1 in favor of an adoption agency that it did not have any duties with respect to the putative father registry in excess of statutory requirements. A couple who adopted a baby through the agency – only later to have her removed from their care after the biological father contested the adoption – sued the agency alleging negligence.
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Supreme Court pulls plug on audio-video transcript pilot project

June 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
Transcripts generated by video cameras have had their day in court in Indiana. The verdict is in favor of keeping paper records.
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Supreme Court appoints team to look at pro se litigant problems

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Less than two years after appointing a commission to expand civil legal services for the indigent, the Indiana Supreme Court has assembled another group to examine the nagging problems caused by pro se litigants.
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Plan to establish commercial courts in Indiana moves forward

June 2, 2015
IL Staff
The move to create commercial courts in Indiana, first mentioned by Chief Justice Loretta Rush during her State of the Judiciary address in January, is a step closer to becoming a reality. The Indiana Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it has named a working group to recommend policies and procedures for the courts, which could be hearing cases as early as 2016.
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Justices reinstate med-mal suit against doctor in stillbirth

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court reinstated a medical malpractice case against a Richmond doctor accused of failing to meet the standard of care in examining a pregnant woman whose child subsequently was stillborn.
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Justices affirm stabbing conviction in evidence appeal

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Anderson man convicted of stabbing his son-in-law lost his appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday. The man claimed the trial court wrongly excluded evidence that the victim told others that he had struck the man with a two-by-four piece of lumber before the knife attack.
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Court rejects Meyers’ claims his trial counsel was ineffective

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
John R. Myers II, the man convicted of killing Indiana University student Jill Behrman in 2000, was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his father-son trial counsel team was ineffective during his murder trial.
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Certified question regarding Patient’s Compensation Fund dismissed

May 21, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has dismissed as moot a certified question sent to it from the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana regarding a claim the Patient’s Compensation Fund sought to pursue against an insurer.
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Justices find nature of murders supports death penalty

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Gary man who shot and killed his wife and her two children at close range will remain on death row, the Indiana Supreme Court concluded Wednesday.
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Man’s life without parole sentence upheld

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
There is sufficient evidence to affirm a Fulton County man’s sentence of life without parole for his connection in the murder of an elderly woman during a home invasion, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
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Double jeopardy requires reversal of 1 of prisoner’s convictions

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An inmate in the Miami Correctional Facility scored a partial victory before the Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday. The justices reversed one of his convictions for battering a correctional officer, but declined to reduce his eight-year sentence.
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Former Lake County clerk given 4-year suspension

May 19, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The former clerk of Lake County who used federal funds to pay himself bonuses has been suspended from the practice of law after the Indiana Supreme Court found he had betrayed the public’s trust and violated both his oath of office and of attorneys.
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Justices author dissents in appeal denials

May 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court won't hear two cases in which justices felt compelled to write dissents arguing why they believed toxic-litigation and marital estate distribution appeals should be heard.
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Justices to determine if ‘Spice law’ void for vagueness

May 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will determine whether Indiana’s “Spice law” banning synthetic drugs as new formulations appear is void for vagueness, as separate divided panels of the Court of Appeals ruled in January.
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Justices acquit two involved in fistfight turned fatal

May 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis teen and another man convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for their roles in a planned beatdown that ended with a fatal gunshot will be freed after the Indiana Supreme Court reversed their convictions and ordered them acquitted.
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Divided Supreme Court declines to take med mal case

May 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court by a vote of 3-2 decided this week to not take the case of a man who sued for medical malpractice those who treated his now-deceased wife. The lower court and Court of Appeals found no existence of a physician-patient relationship between the on-call hospital specialist and the wife, the issue that caused two justices to dissent.
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Justices adopt ‘any insurance’ approach in subrogation dispute

May 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Deciding an issue of first impression stemming from a fire that heavily damaged the Jefferson County courthouse in 2009, the Indiana Supreme Court on Wednesday decided Indiana should follow the "any insurance" approach in deciding when property owners waive subrogation rights in certain cases. In doing so, the justices rejected the "work versus non-work" approach that the Court of Appeals has used.
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Supreme Court suspends Vanderburgh County attorney for 240 days

May 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A southern Indiana attorney has been suspended for violating several professional conduct and discipline rules after he failed to adequately manage his trust account and neglected a client’s case, among other actions constituting misconduct.
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Man not entitled to separate molestation trials, justices hold

May 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a man's argument that he was entitled to three separate trials on the allegations he molested his three granddaughters. In doing so, two justices said they believe the Supreme Court needs to give more guidance on motions to sever.
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Justices decline to review $1.4M verdict against Walgreen

May 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will not review a $1.4 million jury award against Walgreen Co. in favor of a woman whose private prescription records were disclosed to a third party by a pharmacist.
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Indiana attorney disbarred by Supreme Court for 'profoundly disturbing' behavior

May 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
R. Mark Keaton lost his license to practice law recently, but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing his vendetta against a woman who ended what the Indiana Supreme Court called “a tempestuous long-distance relationship.”
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Website domain dispute pulled from justices’ calendar

May 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dispute over a website address that had been scheduled for oral arguments Wednesday before the Indiana Supreme Court has been settled, an attorney involved in the case said.
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Indiana Supreme Court approves amended pro bono reporting rule

May 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court has amended the state’s new pro bono reporting rule, narrowing the focus to measuring only the direct representation given to indigent litigants.
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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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