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COA finds homeowners association committed slander of title

June 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of an Iowa couple, finding the homeowners association where the couple lived and subsequently rented out their home committed slander of title. The homeowners association recorded a lien against their home after finding the couple did not comply with the covenant's requirements when leasing their home.
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Nominating Commission names 3 finalists

June 10, 2015
IL Staff
The next Indiana Court of Appeals judge will be Marion Superior Judge Robert R. Altice Jr., Wabash Superior Judge Christopher M. Goff or Patricia McMath of the Marion County Public Defender Agency. They are the three finalists that the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission selected Wednesday after holding interviews most of the day.
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COA reverses blanket exclusion for testimony of eavesdropping officers

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In a split decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided on interlocutory appeal that a trial court should not have issued a blanket exclusion order preventing all of the officers who eavesdropped on a defendant’s conversation with his attorney from testifying in any matter in the case.
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Hussmann to retire from Southern District

June 10, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann Jr. has announced plans to retire Jan. 31, 2016, opening another vacancy in the Indiana federal judiciary.
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Wife loses appeal of custody arrangement, contempt finding

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it found a wife in contempt of the court’s preliminary order regarding parenting time and visitation and when it entered a custody arrangement not requested by the parties, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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War vet says Indianapolis house explosion caused flashback

June 10, 2015
 Associated Press
A war veteran has testified that a 2012 explosion that heavily damaged an Indianapolis neighborhood and killed two people caused a flashback to his time in Afghanistan.
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Court ruling against gay marriage could cause legal 'chaos'

June 10, 2015
 Associated Press
Gay and lesbian couples could face legal chaos if the Supreme Court of the United States rules against same-sex marriage in the next few weeks.
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COA: Accomplice liability instruction is harmless error

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court erred in instructing the jury during a man's murder and attempted murder trial regarding accomplice liability as it applied to attempted murder, the error was harmless, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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INDOT not entitled to immunity in wrongful death action

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of Transportation failed to convince the Court of Appeals that it is entitled to discretionary function immunity under the Indiana Tort Claims Act in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the estate of a construction worker killed while working on an interstate project.
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COA reverses probation revocation of man unable to fully pay restitution

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court should not have revoked the probation of a man who was ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution as a condition of his probation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The man was able to prove that he could not fully pay off the balance owed because he was unable to obtain a reverse mortgage on his home.
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Care facility’s petition for judicial review barred by res judicata

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Merrillville nursing facility’s third petition seeking judicial review of the state Department of Health’s decision to deny a full license to the facility was barred by a previous petition for judicial review of the matter, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit: No evidence officer was victim of racial discrimination

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of defendants' motion for summary judgment on a St. Joseph County Police sergeant's lawsuit claiming discrimination because he is African-American. The judges held the man was unable to prove discrimination after he was passed over for promotions or began working in the department's property room.
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Evidence seized from probationer’s roommate violated 4th Amendment

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed the partial denial of a man's request to suppress drug evidence found during a routine warrantless search of the residence he shared with a man on probation. The probationer only consented to searches based on reasonable suspicion.
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ABA denies provisional approval to Indiana Tech Law School

June 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The American Bar Association has denied provisional accreditation to Indiana Tech Law School.
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Retired ILS leader gets national honor

June 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Norman Metzger, retired executive director of Indiana Legal Services, is receiving national recognition for his work and dedication to providing legal assistance for the poor. 
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Suing wrong man over Indy skyline photo costs lawyer $34K

June 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A lawyer and photographer who sued hundreds of people claiming copyright infringement of his Indianapolis skyline picture must pay almost $34,000 in legal fees to a defendant who never used the image.
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Justices decline to make bright-line rule on admission of coverage limits

June 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the admission of a couple’s uninsured motorist policy limits at a trial in which the couple sued its insurer to recover under that provision. But in doing so, the justices declined requests by the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association and the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana to adopt a bright-line rule on the admission of coverage limits.
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Appeals court tosses suits challenging climate change plan

June 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out a pair of high-profile lawsuits challenging the Obama administration's sweeping plan to address climate change, saying it's too early to challenge a proposed rule that isn't yet final.
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Judicial candidate serving as juror was not fundamental error

June 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of child molesting argued that an attorney and judicial candidate should not have been allowed to serve as a juror on his trial. But he failed to object to her placement on the jury at the time of the trial, and the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected his claim of fundamental error.
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COA orders foreclosed Golden Corral to be in sheriff’s sale

June 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the holding of a Lake County court that allowed the mortgage holder of a restaurant in Merrillville to immediately take possession of the parcel of land. Under Indiana law, the parcel should go into a sheriff's sale, the majority held.
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Attorney: House explosion stupid, selfish plan gone awry

June 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A man accused of plotting a deadly explosion that damaged or destroyed more than 80 homes in an Indianapolis neighborhood should have known the scheme could kill people, even if that wasn't his intent, a prosecutor told jurors Monday as the murder trial began.
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Prosecutor offers parents behind on child support amnesty

June 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A northeastern Indiana prosecutor is offering parents who lost driving privileges because they're behind on child support payments a chance to get back behind the wheel.
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Indianapolis City-County Council to sue over $32M electric-car contract

June 9, 2015
 Associated Press, IBJ Staff
The Indianapolis City-County Council has voted to sue the city as a way to prevent it from implementing a $32 million plan to rent 425 electric cars for its vehicle fleet.
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Council votes not to consider revised justice center plan

June 9, 2015
IBJ Staff
The City-County Council voted 16-13 Monday night against considering a scaled-down plan for a new Marion County criminal justice center.
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Opening statements set for Indianapolis house explosion trial

June 8, 2015
 Associated Press
The final three jurors have been seated in the trial of an Indianapolis man charged in a deadly house explosion that ravaged a neighborhood.
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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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