Indiana Supreme Court

Federal act preempts state law claims

January 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson

The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Act preempts state law claims brought by a man’s first ex-wife seeking to keep her and her grandchildren as beneficiaries of the man’s life insurance policy.

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Jasper County joins Odyssey

January 24, 2011
IL Staff
Jasper County became the state’s 26th county to go live on the Indiana Supreme Court’s Odyssey case management system. The county’s courts and clerk’s office joined the system Jan. 21, bringing the total of courts on Odyssey to 81.
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AG swears in new victims’ advocate

January 21, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
The new director of victim advocacy programs for the Indiana Attorney General’s Office was sworn in at 11 a.m. today in the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis Wynne Courtroom.
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Justices hear 3 cases, including robo-calls appeal

January 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court heard three arguments this morning, including one case that it had granted emergency transfer to regarding whether the state should be constitutionally allowed to restrict robo-calls to residents.
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New tax court judge takes the bench

January 19, 2011
IL Staff
Martha Wentworth started her new position as Indiana Tax Court judge this week.
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Annual address praises court activity despite economy, changing times

January 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Even though times are tough, the Indiana chief justice says the Hoosier judiciary remains strong and continues to be a leader that other states look to as an example.
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Arguments set in Medicaid appeal

January 19, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
In a case that involves whether Medicaid applicants who were rejected can include information that was not in their initial applications when they appeal, the Indiana Supreme Court has set oral arguments for March 3 at 9 a.m.
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Comments welcomed for many court rule amendments

January 18, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A multitude of Indiana court rules are being examined for potential revision, and the legal community has a chance to offer comment about how those changes are made.
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SCOTUS refuses to accept two Indiana cases

January 18, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court has refused to take two Indiana cases, including the high-profile abuse and neglect case of 3-year-old TaJanay Bailey that revealed fatal flaws in the state’s child welfare system.
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Court clarifies rules relating to filing deadlines

January 17, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Filing deadlines are important for attorneys in any case. But some recent confusion in a child custody appeal brought to light some uncertainty about how the state’s appellate rules compute some of those deadlines when “non-business days” or “calendar days” are applied to the motions practices before the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.
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Supreme Court takes public intoxication case

January 17, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will rule on whether a woman’s conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication should be reversed because she wasn’t in a public place within the meaning of Indiana Code at the time police stopped her car. This issue divided the Indiana Court of Appeals, which reversed Brenda Moore’s conviction.
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State urges SCOTUS to deny judicial canons case

January 17, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office has filed a brief with the nation’s highest court, urging the justices to not hear a case about whether Indiana’s judicial canons constitutionally infringe on the free speech rights of those on or vying for seats on the bench.
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Indiana judiciary continues to lead by example

January 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Even though times are tough, the Indiana chief justice says the Hoosier judiciary remains strong and continues to be a leader that other states look to as an example.
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New Supreme Court lineup could change pro se case outcome

January 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is thinking about rehearing a case it ruled on four months ago, in which a majority at the time created a new rule but offered no guidance for trial judges on informing future defendants about the dangers of proceeding pro se.
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Order addresses selection of special judges

January 13, 2011
IL Staff
To allow time for counties to amend their local rules to conform with Indiana Administrative Rule 3 regarding the selection of special judges, the Indiana Supreme Court has issued an order establishing temporary procedures for selecting these judges.
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Justices set man's execution date

January 12, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered the man convicted of killing his wife, her ex-husband, and her son be put to death in April.
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Judges find enhancement doesn't violate double jeopardy principles

January 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals tackled an issue of first impression in a case involving double jeopardy principles. A defendant’s sentence was enhanced under the Firearm Enhancement Statute following a conviction for reckless homicide.
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Chief justice to give State of Judiciary Wednesday

January 11, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard will give his 24th State of the Judiciary Wednesday in the Indiana House Chambers.
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SCOTUS declines to consider Indiana case

January 10, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court has refused to consider an Indiana case involving whether a defendant’s no contest plea to an out-of-state murder can be used to qualify him as a serious violent felon on a conviction here.
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Justices accept 4 cases

January 10, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took four cases for the week ending Jan. 7, including a case in which a convicted child molester asked for his sentence to be reduced but ended up having it ordered to be increased due to a sentencing error.
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Brizzi disciplinary case poses 'actual prejudice' question

January 7, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Former Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi took the stand today, defending himself against attorney misconduct charges alleging that he violated professional conduct rules by public statements made on pending cases.
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General Assembly returns for 2011 session

January 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Senate and House of Representatives reconvened this afternoon to begin the 2011 long session. The legislators still have time to file bills, but there are already several bills introduced that may affect Indiana courts and the legal community.
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Indiana Supreme Court to hear arguments on victim-advocate privilegeRestricted Content

January 5, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Domestic violence victims’ advocates and criminal law attorneys are waiting on the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision in a case involving a criminal defendant’s subpoena for records from a victim’s advocacy organization.
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Justices appoint Terre Haute judge pro tempore

January 4, 2011
IL Staff
Judge Sarah K. Mullican was appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court as judge pro tempore in Terre Haute City Court, effective Jan. 1, 2011. She was previously the commissioner for the Title IV-D Court in Terre Haute, which deals with the non-payment of child support.
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Justices take case involving stillborn fetus and Med-Mal Act

January 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case in which the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a mother of a stillborn fetus satisfied the actual victim requirement under the Medical Malpractice Act.
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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