Indiana Supreme Court

Justices decide golf ball injury case

May 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Taking a swing at an issue of first impression, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled on a golf ball injury case and rejected the concept that a sporting event participant owes no duty of care to protect others from inherent risks of the sport in all situations.
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Justices suspend former judge for misconduct

May 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended a northwest Indiana attorney for helping a litigant whose cases he’d presided over more than a decade ago when he was a Jasper Superior judge.
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Former Marion County spokesperson given public reprimand

May 18, 2011
IL Staff
Marietto “Mario” V. Massillamany, an attorney and former spokesperson for then-Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, has been publicly reprimanded by the Indiana Supreme Court for driving drunk.
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High court rules man could be retried

May 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. Constitution doesn’t prevent the state from retrying a man who was acquitted by a jury in the murder of one person, but in which the jury couldn’t return a verdict on the defendant's attempted murder charge of another man, the Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday.
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Supreme Court receives threats after ruling

May 17, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has received threatening calls and emails following a ruling last week in which the high court said Hoosiers can’t resist unlawful entry into their homes by police.
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Justices take 6 cases

May 17, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to six cases and declined to take 22 others.
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Lawyer sentenced for theft, corrupt business practice

May 16, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A northeast Indiana attorney who pleaded guilty to stealing from his clients has been sentenced to 11 years in prison, with five and one-half of those years suspended to active probation.
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Disciplinary charges filed against Hamilton County judge

May 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed disciplinary charges against Hamilton Superior Judge William Hughes. The charges are related to the judge’s arrest for driving while impaired and later guilty plea to misdemeanor reckless driving in North Carolina.
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Governor vetoes forfeiture legislation

May 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Gov. Mitch Daniels has vetoed Senate Enrolled Act 215, which designated what percentage of funds from forfeitures would go to prosecutors, law enforcement, and the Indiana Common School Fund.
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Justice: Ruling lets government agents enter homes illegally

May 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices dissented from their colleagues in a case involving the right to resist unlawful police entry into a home, with one justice writing that he believes the majority is “essentially telling Indiana citizens that government agents may now enter their homes illegally.”
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Justices divided on whether case should be before Tax Court

May 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court split Thursday on whether the attorney general’s attempt to recover an erroneously issued “tax refund” to a company should proceed in state court or in the Indiana Tax Court.
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Schools dropping school-funding lawsuit

May 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The three Indiana school districts and parents who filed a lawsuit against the governor and other state officials over school funding are dropping the suit due to recent legislative action.
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High court vacates transfer order

May 11, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has decided not to accept transfer of a Marion County woman’s invasion of privacy case.
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Governor signs courts, judicial age bills

May 11, 2011
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed into law changes to various courts around the state, as well as the legislation that removes age restrictions of certain judges who run for office.
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Enduring legal process doesn't change parents' desire for justice

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins

For 11 years, Dale and Connie Sutton’s lives as parents have been about ensuring what they see as justice for their murdered daughter.

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State death penalty cases averaged 17 years

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When the moment of death finally arrives, it ends what may be described as a long legal journey to justice within the capital punishment system.
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Mental aspect of capital cases can be challenging

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When it comes to tallying the total price of capital punishment, the cost of those cases for the legal community is more than just expansive legalese and court procedures that span a decade or two.
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Disciplinary actions - 5/11/11

May 11, 2011
IL Staff
Read about disciplinary actions imposed by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Supreme Court splits on Barrett Law sewer payment case

May 10, 2011
Michael Hoskins

A divided Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that the City of Indianapolis didn’t violate the constitution by refusing to grant some homeowners’ refund requests for sewer project assessments they’d paid in full when other homeowners who’d made partial installment payments had the remaining balance of assessments owed discharged.

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Justices rule on 'no-knock' warrant executions

May 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Constitution doesn’t require prior judicial authorization for a “no-knock” execution of a warrant when justified by exigent circumstances, the Indiana Supreme Court held Tuesday. This is the case even if those circumstances are known by police when the warrant is obtained.
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Justices take felony murder, child support cases

May 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to two cases - a convicted murder’s appeal and a case involving child support nonpayment.
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Federal judge upholds death sentence

May 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in northern Indiana has denied a condemned inmate’s request to take him off death row, rejecting multiple claims that include one that would basically create a new rule prohibiting those who are severely mentally ill from being executed as is the standard for the mentally retarded.
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Greene County goes online with Odyssey CMS

May 6, 2011
IL Staff
The Greene County courts and clerk have adopted the use of the Indiana Supreme Court online Odyssey Case Management System.
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Justices address judicial-temperance presumption

May 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court used an opinion Thursday to reaffirm the limitation described in Fletcher v. State on the judicial-temperance presumption.
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Chief Justice given Circle of Hope Award

May 5, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard received the Richard M. Fairbanks Circle of Hope Award Wednesday in Indianapolis. He received the award at the 10th annual Fairbanks Circle of Hope Dinner.
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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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