Indiana Supreme Court

Court rules FSSA notices are unconstitutional

March 22, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held that the notices sent by the state Family and Social Services Administration to inform applicants they were denied Medicaid, food stamps, or family assistance benefits are unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment’s due process clause because they do not sufficiently explain the reasons for being denied.
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Supreme Court examines Indiana's blacklisting statute

March 22, 2012
Michael Hoskins
In declaring precedent from 1904 bad law, the Indiana Supreme Court has determined that individuals who’ve voluntarily left employment can pursue a claim against their former employers under the state’s blacklisting statute.
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Justices disagree on pollution exclusion coverage

March 22, 2012
Michael Hoskins
A divided Indiana Supreme Court has held that the pollution exclusion contained in a general commercial liability policy is ambiguous and should be construed to provide coverage rather than in favor of the insurance company trying to deny coverage.
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Justices rule on construction manager's duty for jobsite safety

March 22, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held that a construction manager on the Lucas Oil Stadium construction project didn’t have a legal duty to ensure jobsite safety to a subcontractor’s employee either by contract or individual actions, and as a result, cannot be held liable for workplace negligence.
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High court upholds stalking conviction

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
It’s up to a trier of fact to determine if someone’s conduct involved repeated or continuing harassment to qualify as stalking, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled, since there is no statutorily determinate timeframe required for this type of conviction.
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Majority upholds finding of contempt

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Three Indiana justices affirmed a trial court order finding a business owner, his attorney and an environmental firm in contempt for doing work on a site with possible environmental issues after a temporary restraining order had been issued.
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Supreme Court declines to set aside tax deed

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has reversed a trial court’s decision to set aside a tax deed, finding the Marion County auditor’s office satisfied the due process requirement articulated by the United States Supreme Court.
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Justices explain opinion in IBM case

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Last month, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Mitch Daniels doesn’t have to testify in the dispute between the state and IBM regarding a cancelled contract to modernize the state’s welfare system. On Wednesday, the justices explained their reasoning.
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Justices affirm ruling in dispute between health care facility and FSSA

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed the outcome of a case between Family and Social Services Administration and a decertified intermediate care facility, in which the net result was a wash for both sides.
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Justices disagree on whether jury instruction requires new trial

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The majority of Indiana justices ordered a new trial on liability for a school corporation being sued for wrongful death, finding one of the jury instructions could have misled the jury about a key issue regarding liability.
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Justices rule on underinsured motorist coverage case

March 20, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held that a tortfeasor’s vehicle was underinsured according to state statute because the benefit amount actually paid to a woman was less than the per-person limit of liability of the underinsurance endorsement of an insurance policy that applied to all the family members involved in the accident.
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Supreme Court rules on habitual-offender filing issue

March 20, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has found that a man convicted of helping to rob a restaurant did not preserve the issue of whether the trial court properly determined he was a habitual offender that could receive an enhanced sentence.
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Justices base ruling on level of intent

March 20, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has determined that not enough evidence of intent existed for a judge to grant summary judgment for a bank alleging a business owner committed fraud.
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Justices rule on railbanking certified question

March 20, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has issued an answer to a certified question about how state law plays into a federal railroad right-of-way case that involves property owners who want their land rights back for easements that once belonged to a railroad company.
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Court may consider SSI in restitution order

March 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court sided with the federal courts that have concluded courts may consider one’s Social Security income when determining how much a person may pay in restitution.
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Supreme Court upholds refusal to give jury instruction

March 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has adopted the full opinion of the Indiana Court of Appeals, which upheld the decision by a trial court not to give a defendant’s tendered instructions on lesser-included offenses of murder.
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Justices take 5 cases

March 19, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted transfer to five cases last week, including a challenge to the school voucher program.
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Supreme Court rules AOL required to pay online use taxes

March 16, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held that companies purchasing online promotional materials from outside the state must pay a use tax when those materials are distributed within Indiana.
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Judges and prosecutors to receive 2.2 percent salary hike

March 16, 2012
IL Staff
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard has approved a 2.2 percent pay increase for judges and prosecutors that will take effect July 1, following the governor’s similar action for executive employees at the start of the year.
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Comment needed on proposed rule changes

March 16, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure is seeking comment on several proposed rule amendments, including revisions to change of venue in civil and criminal cases and continuing legal education.
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Justices rule Charlie White was eligible for office

March 15, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Refusing to go against the will of Indiana voters, the state’s highest court has held that Charlie White was eligible to run for secretary of state and assume that office after being elected in 2010.
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Justices rule that law allows town of Fishers to proceed with reorganization

March 15, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Responding to a certifiable question from Judge Tanya Walton Pratt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the Indiana Supreme Court held that the town of Fishers may proceed with plans to reorganize as a city whose council chooses a mayor.
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Supreme Court rules Charlie White was eligible to assume office

March 15, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held that Charlie White was eligible to assume the office of secretary of state after being elected to that post in the 2010 general election. The justices point out the average voter was aware of concerns surrounding White’s voter registration history and they will not, on the basis of the petition before them, “judicially disenfranchise voters who went to the polls.”
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Questionable results of drug tests

March 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Attorney Fran Watson worries that people have been wrongfully convicted in Indiana, and findings released from a court-appointed task force show that she may be justified in having that fear.
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Marion County small claims under review

March 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
A two-judge task force looking into the operation of Marion County’s small claims courts has listened to complaints from the public about inconvenience and confusion with the current system and will consider if any changes are needed.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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