Justices/Judges

High court vacates transfer order

November 10, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has decided not to take the case of a man who claimed he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel.
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Court divided on invasion of privacy charge

November 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today as to whether a woman who had an order for protection against her should have been convicted of invasion of privacy when she spoke to the protected party during a court hearing.
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Ticket can't constitute 'testimonial hearsay'

November 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Because a chemical breath-test evidence ticket is a mechanically produced readout that can’t be considered “testimonial hearsay” under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the Indiana Court of Appeals held a man’s Sixth Amendment rights weren’t violated when the equipment technician didn’t testify at his drunk-driving trial.
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DOC violated religious rights in denying kosher meals

November 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has found the Indiana Department of Correction was wrong to stop serving kosher meals to those whose religious practices required them to eat the specially prepared meals.
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Judges: early retirement ends unemployment benefits

November 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of unemployment benefits for an auto worker who accepted an early retirement package after she was laid off.
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Dozens apply for new federal magistrate spot

November 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
More than 40 attorneys have applied for a new magistrate spot in the Southern District of Indiana, the first new position since the 1980s.
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COA affirms man not falsely arrested, imprisoned

November 4, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to address whether a pro se prisoner is “incapacitated” for purposes of the Indiana Tort Claims Act in a man’s appeal of his suit involving false arrest and false imprisonment.
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Judge grants attorney summary judgment in collections suit

November 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge ruled in favor of an Indianapolis attorney involved in a class-action suit alleging he violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The judge granted summary judgment to the attorney after finding the class representative fell outside the class definition.
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Order asks for attorneys, court to use more professionalism

November 1, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court denied a request for a writ of mandamus Friday, but noted that the attorneys and court involved had failed to act as professionally as they should regarding schedules.
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COA finds voyeurism statute not vague

October 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The state’s voyeurism statute is not unconstitutionally vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today by rejecting a man’s claims that the statute would prevent taping a surprise birthday party.
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Court divides over injury claim under insurance policy

October 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today on whether a couple’s emotional distress claim constitutes “bodily injury” under their uninsured motorist coverage.
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Judges split on court's role in garnishments with pro se debtors

October 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided on whether a trial court should assert exemptions in garnishment actions on behalf of debtors who aren’t represented by counsel.
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Attorney, legal services organization receive access to justice awards

October 28, 2010
IL Staff
The Muslim Alliance of Indiana presented two awards today at its second annual Access to Justice luncheon.
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Judges' right to bear arms (sometimes)

October 27, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Commission on Courts didn't recommend any state statute changes that would have allowed judges authority to carry weapons in places county ordinances or laws currently prevent.
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SCOTUS asked to take both judicial canons appeals

September 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Terre Haute attorney wants the nation’s highest court to review two appellate cases out of Indiana and Wisconsin that uphold judicial canons and pose free speech questions about what judicial candidates can say or do when campaigning for office.
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Indiana gets new federal magistrate

September 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
For the first time since the early 1980s, the Southern District of Indiana has gotten approval to hire a new full-time federal magistrate. The U.S. Judicial Conference, which is the policy-making arm of the federal court system, approved during its annual fall meeting on Tuesday the Indianapolis-based magistrate spot along with three others throughout the country.
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Southern District names new magistrate

August 27, 2010
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana announced today the selection of Mark J. Dinsmore as magistrate judge.
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9 semi-finalists in running for justice spot

July 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Nine attorneys remain in the running to be the next Indiana Supreme Court justice after a seven-member commission narrowed down a list of nearly three-dozen applicants earlier this month for the court opening.
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Marion Superior Traffic judge charged with misconduct

July 16, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has charged Marion Superior Judge William E. Young with misconduct for his handling of traffic court cases.
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Justices address habitual-offender statute

June 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court tackled the state’s habitual-offender statute today in two separate rulings, finding that an instant offense of drug dealing, coupled with a prior conviction, can qualify a defendant as a habitual offender.
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COA balances free speech vs. minor's privacy rights

June 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was faced with competing constitutional rights today: a mother’s right to free political speech versus her daughter’s right to privacy as to whether her father allegedly sexually abused her.
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Justices answer certified question

June 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Monday answered the certified question sent to them by the U.S. District Court in New York about what standard should be applied in determining whether a director is “disinterested” under Indiana Code Section 23-1-32-4(d).
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2 new judges on federal court make history

June 23, 2010
Michael Hoskins
History has been written within the state’s legal community, thanks to a pair of new federal judges who within days of each other joined the Southern District of Indiana.
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Eyeing new magistrate openings

June 23, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Within a year, the federal court system that covers the southern half of Indiana could have two new full-time magistrates, one being a newly created position that would be the first creation of its kind in almost three decades.
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Judge Pratt makes history in move to federal bench

June 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
With approval from the U.S. Senate, Marion Superior Judge Tanya Walton Pratt is ready to make a historic move to the state’s federal court system.
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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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