Indiana Supreme Court

Justices to decide dealership relocation dispute

December 3, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court is going to decide whether a Toyota dealership can relocate from Anderson to Fishers over the objections of three existing greater Indianapolis Toyota dealers.
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‘Elkhart Four’ ruling stands

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court has denied the state’s petition for a rehearing in the "Elkhart Four" felony murder case.
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Insurance agents denied summary judgment in lawsuit filed after fire

December 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s lawsuit will continue against an insurance agent and his agency after they insured his rental property but then denied coverage after a fire, alleging the man misrepresented the property’s condition.
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Justices disbar lawyer for theft of $150K from clients, ‘brazenness’

December 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis lawyer has been disbarred for stealing about $150,000 from his clients, “disclosing client confidences for purposes of both retaliation and amusement, threatening and intimidating his office staff (and) lying pervasively to all comers,” according to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Annexation battle over ‘reasonably near future’ continues in Indiana Supreme Court

November 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The second in a series of annexation battles was presented to the Indiana Supreme Court Nov. 25, this time asking the justices to review the Legislature’s intent when allowing cities and towns to bring in unincorporated areas for development.
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Retiring Indiana justice praises state selection process

November 30, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana Supreme Court justice who is stepping down says he believes the state's process for picking his replacement contributes to public confidence in the court system.
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Dickson: ‘I was ready and the time was right’

November 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
Retirement of the second-longest serving justice opens up the fourth Supreme Court vacancy in five years.
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Justices weigh whether state RICO-inspired statute applies to street crimes

November 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
Ashonta Kenya Jackson was the wheelman, driving a getaway car while younger men robbed an Anderson liquor store twice in a month and held up a bank. Is he a racketeer?
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Supreme Court justice applications due in late January

November 12, 2015
IL Staff
Those interested in becoming the 109th Indiana Supreme Court justice tentatively have until Jan. 25 to apply. Applications for the vacancy to be created by Justice Brent Dickson’s retirement are now available online.
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4 vie for Judicial Nominating Commission position

November 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
Lawyers mostly in southern Indiana are selecting one of their peers to have a say in who will be the next justice appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Man loses appeal to revoke spousal maintenance

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An ex-husband who sought “all-or-nothing” relief when he asked the court to terminate his ex-wife’s incapacity support instead of reducing it after she remarried lost his appeal before the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices: Jury should hear defense of necessity instruction

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ordered a new trial for a man convicted of a misdemeanor gun charge after finding he presented sufficient evidence to have the jury instructed on his defense of necessity.
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Justice Brent Dickson announces retirement

November 9, 2015
IL Staff
Even if Justice Brent Dickson wasn’t required to give up his seat on the Indiana Supreme Court when he turns 75 in July, he said Monday his decision to retire would be the same.
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Justices: Personalized licenses plates are government speech

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Friday upheld the Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ process for approving or denying requests for personalized license plates after finding the plates are government speech. A Marion County judge ruled last year the statute governing personalized license plates is unconstitutional.
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E-filing to begin Monday in Indiana appeals courts

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The e-filing pilot project that kicked off in Hamilton County in July will now include the Indiana Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Chief Justice Loretta Rush signed an order Friday expanding the project to the appellate courts beginning Monday.
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Justices acquit mother involved in fistfight turned fatal

November 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court acquitted the woman involved in a planned beatdown that resulted in one man dying and she, her son and another man being convicted of attempted aggravated battery. The justices previously this year ordered the other two perpetrators’ convictions reversed and said the “basic principle of justice” requires the same result in the woman’s case.
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Porter and Lake counties welcome Indiana justices

November 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The 1,100 seat auditorium at Portage High School was nearly full Oct. 30 as students from 10 schools along with members of the legal community attended the Indiana Supreme Court’s oral arguments.
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Supreme Court takes up property tax refund dispute

November 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
Whether the owners of an industrial property who were in default on a mortgage are entitled to a property tax refund is a question the Indiana Supreme Court will decide.
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Jurists honored for longevity of service

October 30, 2015
IL Staff
Eight Indiana jurists were honored by Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush for 24 years of service on the bench at an annual judicial conference, the court announced Thursday.
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Indiana Supreme Court hears police eavesdropping case

October 29, 2015
 Associated Press
A group of police officers were "pretty blatant" when they eavesdropped on conversations between a man facing a murder charge and his attorney and later found a gun based on what they had overheard, Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush said Wednesday.
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Supreme Court to head north for oral arguments

October 28, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments in a domestic battery case Friday at Portage High School in Porter County. The traveling oral argument allows students, the public and press in other areas of the state to see how the court works.
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Detective’s testimony on drug buy inadmissible, but harmless error

October 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled the admission of a detective’s statement regarding a controlled drug buy should not have been admitted because it resolved the issue of the defendant’s guilt, but that admission into evidence was a harmless error.
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Indiana asks state's high court to rehear 'Elkhart 4' case

October 26, 2015
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The state has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to reconsider its decision to throw out murder convictions against three Elkhart men whose accomplice in a burglary was shot and killed by a homeowner.
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$450,000 in court reform grants awarded

October 19, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Monday announced $450,000 in court reform grants awarded to 15 counties, five pro bono districts, and one committee. The grants will help courts better manage an increasing caseload of unrepresented or pro se litigants and improve delivery of court services to litigants not proficient in English.
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Justices affirm attorney fees award in domestic arbitration

October 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court ruling ordering an ex-husband to pay his ex-wife’s legal fees in a divorce settled under the Family Law Arbitration Act was affirmed Friday by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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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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