Indiana Supreme Court

Massa appointed chair of St. Joe judicial nominating commission

August 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson has appointed Justice Mark Massa chairman of the St. Joseph Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission. Massa is filling the vacancy left by former Justice Frank Sullivan, who recently left the bench to teach.
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Medical malpractice caps challenged in Indiana, fall elsewhere

August 29, 2012
Dave Stafford
Medical malpractice caps are unconstitutional in Missouri. And in Illinois and Georgia. They might be in Indiana, too, if the justices of the Supreme Court grant Timothy Plank the day in court his attorneys say he is entitled to.
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Justices take 1 case, deny 7

August 21, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took a post-conviction case Aug. 13 and sent it back to the Court of Appeals for consideration.
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Pyle leaving Circuit Court Aug. 26

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Madison Circuit Judge Rudolph Pyle III has told the Indiana Supreme Court he will resign from Circuit Court Aug. 26 to take his spot on the Indiana Court of Appeals. Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Pyle an appellate judge Aug. 7.
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JNC’s justice candidate evaluation letter sent to governor

August 16, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission sent its letter to Gov. Mitch Daniels Wednesday explaining the qualifications of justice finalists Hamilton Superior Judge Steven Nation, Tippecanoe Superior Judge Loretta Rush, and Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP partner Geoffrey Slaughter.
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Indiana justice gender issue resurfaces

August 15, 2012
Dave Stafford
Experts say a lack of multiple female Indiana Supreme Court finalists raises concerns.
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Dickson takes oath as Indiana chief justice

August 15, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson formally took the oath of office Aug. 6 before more than 300 people in the atrium of the Indiana Statehouse.
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Concerns rise as revised parenting time guidelines near completion

August 15, 2012
Dave Stafford
A first-ever review of Indiana’s Parenting Time Guidelines is nearing completion. Among the proposed changes: New language dealing with online communication between parents and children, and revised rules regarding overnight visitation.
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Justices again take utility’s case against Fort Wayne

August 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A decade-long legal dispute between the city of Fort Wayne and a water utility will make a second appearance before the Indiana Supreme Court. The case was the only one of 28 in which a petition seeking transfer to the high court was granted for the week ending Aug. 10.
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Justices decline to take Decatur County arson case

August 9, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday unanimously decided to deny the state’s petition for transfer of Kristine Bunch v. State, in which a divided Court of Appeals ruled Kristine Bunch is entitled to a new trial. Bunch was convicted of the murder of her son, who died in a fire in their mobile home.
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Nominating commission picks 3 finalists

August 8, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission has selected the three finalists for the Supreme Court vacancy: Hamilton Superior Judge Steve Nation, Tippecanoe Superior Judge Loretta Rush, and attorney Geoffrey Slaughter. The commission had whittled down the number of applicants from 22 to 10 in July, and then to three Wednesday evening.
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Commission wraps up interviews, begins deliberations

August 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commissions has finished interviewing the semifinalists who want to replace Frank Sullivan Jr. on the Supreme Court. The commission went into executive session around 4 p.m. Wednesday.
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Semifinalists discuss important qualities of a justice

August 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission Wednesday interviewed 10 semifinalists to fill the vacancy on the Indiana Supreme Court created by the retirement of Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. Commission chair and Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson opened the interviews by asking each candidate what factors he or she believed the commission should be looking for in a justice.
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Justice interviews set for Wednesday

August 7, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission will interview the 10 semifinalists for the Supreme Court Wednesday.
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Justices deny 1 case

August 6, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer last week to a civil case out of Owen County involving a quiet title action.
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Dickson takes oath as chief justice

August 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson formally took the oath of office Monday before more than 300 people in the atrium of the Indiana Statehouse.
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Sullivan departs bench, joins I.U. McKinney School of Law

August 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. has departed the Indiana Supreme Court and officially joined the faculty of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.
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Divided court affirms life without parole for 17-year-old who killed younger brother

August 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
A 3-2 decision of the Indiana Supreme Court upheld a sentence of life without parole for a 17-year-old who killed his 10-year-old brother while babysitting and later dumped his body near a school in Rising Sun.
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Justices reduce caregiver’s sentence in child’s killing

August 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court reduced the sentence of a woman who, along with her boyfriend, was convicted in the events that led to the murder of the woman’s 2-year-old cousin while in her care.
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Picking an Indiana Supreme Court justice

August 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
After public interviews, who makes the cut is determined behind closed doors. So what happens when those doors close?
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Justice candidates at a glance

August 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
Meet the 10 semifinalists who hope to replace Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. on the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Private parties liable for attorney fees in open records disputes

July 31, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a trial court’s ruling that held a private party liable for attorney fees in an Access to Public Records Act claim.
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Justices reject jurisdiction in 'bizarre' fatal helicopter crash

July 31, 2012
Dave Stafford
The family of a man killed by a falling helicopter that crashed in British Columbia will not have their case heard in Indiana where the helicopter engine was built, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Monday.
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Divided justices reject opposing summary judgments in church split

July 31, 2012
Dave Stafford
Neither the trial court nor the Court of Appeals got it right in a dispute between an Evansville Presbyterian church and its former denomination when the church left over simmering disagreements on abortion and other matters of doctrine, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a 3-2 decision.
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Justices: Ex-wife must agree to lower sales price

July 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously held that a trial court had no authority to modify a property agreement made by ex-spouses and that the ex-wife is entitled by law to refuse to waive a provision that neither party had to accept a sale that was below specified minimums.
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  2. 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.

  3. 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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