Indiana Supreme Court

Justices leave man’s life sentence intact

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday upheld a Lake County man’s sentence of life in prison without parole for the murder of a co-worker during a robbery. Ronnie Jamel Rice claimed the trial court improperly relied on non-statutory aggravators when imposing his sentence.
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Justices: parole conditions unenforceable, SOMM constitutional

April 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday ordered a trial court to enjoin the Indiana Parole Board from enforcing the conditions of a man’s parole that prevent him from associating with minors. But the justices denied his request to find the Sex Offender Management and Monitoring program is unconstitutional.
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Justices take 5 cases, deny IBM appeals

April 15, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme accepted five cases last week on transfer, including an appeal of an order that a woman pay $4,000 a month to her ex-husband in spousal maintenance. The justices also denied 18 cases, including appeals by IBM and subcontractor regarding the failed contract to update the state’s welfare system.
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Attorney reprimand based on association with ‘Law Tigers’

April 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court privately reprimanded a Lake County attorney Friday for making misleading communications regarding legal services and not including his office address in a public communications. The charges stem from his affiliation with a national for-profit organization that franchises its registered trademarks, including “Law Tigers,” to law firms around the country.
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Justices grant transfer in 2 wrongful death cases

April 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider whether attorney fees awarded as damages in wrongful death cases from the Indiana Patients Compensation Fund are subject to a 15 percent cap of the total reward. It’s one of two appeals justices accepted last week, both involving wrongful death cases.
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Workshop designed to help educators teach students about the courts

April 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Teachers from across the state will be getting an up-close view of the judicial system through a one-day workshop hosted by the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Bar Foundation.
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Divided high court affirms DNA unnecessary to establish paternity

April 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana Supreme Court justices split 3-2 in affirming that DNA evidence is not required to establish paternity.
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Justices uphold ruling for insurer in negligence claim

April 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Homeowners’ claims after a fire that their insurer was negligent because a policy didn’t fully cover replacement costs was time-barred because the policy limits were discoverable at the time the policy was issued, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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State seeks further discipline against suspended lawyer Paul Page

April 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission has filed a complaint against suspended Indianapolis attorney and developer Paul Page that could result in further sanctions against his law license.
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Justices strike down partial consecutive sentences

April 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana trial court judges do not have discretion to impose partial consecutive sentences, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Three-way opinion affirms marijuana conviction

March 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
Three Court of Appeals judges each wrote opinions but affirmed a Grant County man’s conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana.
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Justices reverse denial of car dealership’s motion to set aside default judgment

March 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a car dealership and its registered agent did not receive notice of a hearing on default judgment, the judgment entered against it was void for want of jurisdiction, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
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Divided court upholds principal’s conviction of failure to report child abuse

March 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A split Indiana Supreme Court Thursday upheld a misdemeanor failure to report child abuse conviction against former Muncie Central High School principal Christopher Smith. The dissent believed the state failed to show he had reason to believe an alleged rape was child abuse.
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Justices reverse termination of parental rights in 2 cases

March 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In two short, per curiam decisions, the Indiana Supreme Court found the parental rights of two Marion County parents should not have been terminated because of due process violations after the magistrate who heard their cases resigned before reporting recommended findings and conclusions.
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Two traffic stops and two motions to suppress result in two different rulings

March 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A pair of opinions from the Indiana Supreme Court examines two Terry stops made by police officers and through opposite rulings emphasizes law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to pull over a driver.
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Justices take post-conviction relief case

March 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will review the reduction from a Class B felony to a Class D felony of a man’s conviction of criminal confinement.
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Public comment invited on Indiana’s child support guidelines

March 24, 2014
IL Staff
The Domestic Relations Committee of the Indiana Judicial Conference is soliciting public input concerning recommendations for changes to the state’s child support guidelines.
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Justices affirm ‘safe harbor’ in Juvenile Mental Health Statute

March 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A juvenile sex offender’s statements in a polygraph test during probation that he molested two more children may not form the sole basis to prove delinquency, the Indiana Supreme Court held Friday in affirming a trial court and rejecting the state’s appeal.
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Convictions stand related to ‘upskirt’ photographs of teens

March 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the attempted child exploitation convictions of a man who used a camera to take pictures up females' skirts at an Indianapolis mall.
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Valparaiso attorney charged with stealing $1.6M resigns

March 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Valparaiso attorney charged with five counts of theft for allegedly stealing more than $1.6 million from business clients he represented has resigned from the Indiana bar.
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Justices take 4 cases

March 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted four cases on transfer last week, which included a decision on a first impression issue on whether third-party carriers are included in the statute regarding filing proposed medical malpractice complaints.
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Committee seeks comment on potential court rule changes

March 17, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure would like to hear from judges, attorneys and the general public on proposed changes to the Indiana Rules of Court.
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Justices: Mother entitled to attorney during CHINS proceedings

March 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a mother was denied her statutory right to counsel during the course of child in need of services proceedings, and those proceedings directly flowed into the action to terminate her parental rights and adopt out her child, the Indiana Supreme Court vacated the judgment terminating her parental rights.
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Injured bus driver entitled to $25,000 under his insurance policy

March 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday held that a man can recover the remaining $25,000 available to him under his underinsured motorist policy because he did not receive the full statutory minimum of $50,000 from the tortfeasor’s insurer.
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Justices uphold order criminal defendant answer civil complaint

March 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday found a Lake Superior judge did not abuse her discretion in ordering a man criminally charged for the hit-and-run death of a woman to respond to her estate’s wrongful death complaint filed against him.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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