Legal News

Additional guidance issued on pro bono reporting

July 24, 2017
IL Staff
With the annual attorney registration set to begin Tuesday in Indiana, the Coalition for Court Access has issued additional guidance for reporting pro bono hours.
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Goff joins high court

July 24, 2017
Olivia Covington
The bench of the Indiana Supreme Court is once again full after former Wabash Superior Judge Christopher Michael Goff joined the high court on Monday.
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Suit: Montgomery Sheriff’s Office violated constitution

July 24, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A complaint filed last week in federal court claims the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department falsely told a man that he had a no-contact order against him and was prohibited from seeing his 12-year-old son.
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COA to hear arguments in fire departments’ tax, annexation dispute

July 24, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hold oral arguments this week to determine whether a trial court has jurisdiction to hear a Fort Wayne case that involves questions of both annexation and tax laws.
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Justices: Plain reading of law supports denial of liquor wholesale license

July 24, 2017
Olivia Covington
Indiana beer and wine wholesalers will not be able to also obtain liquor wholesaling permits after the Indiana Supreme Court reversed a trial court’s order issuing a liquor wholesaling permit to an affiliate of Indiana’s largest beer and wine distributor.
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Ruling casts doubt on lawyer’s Indy photo copyright

July 24, 2017
Dave Stafford
The copyright on a photo of the Indianapolis skyline that a lawyer has used to sue hundreds of people might not be valid, a judge ruled, because the photo was first used on a website of the law firm where the attorney was once employed.
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Suspect to be charged after 9 die in sweltering truck

July 24, 2017
 Associated Press
A man will be charged in federal court Monday in San Antonio, Texas, after his arrest in the deaths of nine people whose “very hot” bodies were found in a sweltering tractor-trailer in a Texas parking lot alongside nearly 20 others who were still alive but in dire condition, federal prosecutors said.
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Woman pleads guilty to cruelty but gets 21 dogs back

July 24, 2017
 Associated Press
A judge ruled 21 dogs can be returned to an Evansville woman who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, months after authorities removed dozens from her property in Vanderburgh County.
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Indiana Supreme Court rejects kidnapping sentence appeal

July 24, 2017
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court is declining to take up an appeal by a Cambridge City man who wants his 76-year kidnapping sentence thrown out or reduced.
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Supreme Court overturns grant of Monarch affiliate’s liquor permit

July 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has reversed a trial court’s order directing the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to grant a liquor wholesaling license to an affiliate of a major Indiana beer and wine wholesaler, finding statutory language prohibits companies with overlapping ownership to hold interest in both liquor and beer wholesaler permits.
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Supreme Court remands child molesting case for resentencing

July 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man who pleaded guilty to molesting his girlfriend’s son and was sentenced to 40 years in prison will return to court for resentencing. The Indiana Supreme Court determined Friday that the trial court considered an incorrect statutory sentencing range.
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COA: Doctor’s report to DCS not protected by anti-SLAPP statute

July 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
A doctor who reported medical child abuse to the Department of Child Services was not protected by the state’s anti-SLAPP statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday in a case of first impression.
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COA orders return of gun to rightful owner

July 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man whose handgun was confiscated after police believed it was stolen will soon have the gun returned to his family. The Indiana Court of Appeals found Friday the man proved his mother was the rightful owner of the firearm.
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Attorney suspended for practicing without a license, renegotiating fees

July 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indianapolis attorney has been suspended for at least 180 days after he practiced law with a suspended license and modified fee agreements to work in his favor.
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BMV intentionally overcharged, lawyer says after fresh settlement

July 20, 2017
 Associated Press, Indianapolis Business Journal, Dave Stafford
The Indiana Bureau of Motor vehicles intentionally overcharged some 5.5 million Hoosiers for years, even after its misconduct was pointed out, said an attorney whose firm announced the second settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the agency.
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COA: Trial courts can waive right to be at commitment hearing

July 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
State statute allows trial courts to waive respondents’ right to be present at their mental health commitment hearings, though the use of such statute should be limited only to cases where the evidence shows respondents’ presence would be injurious to their mental health, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in a precedent-setting case.
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COA affirms GPS monitoring after violation of protective order

July 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Hendricks County man will remain on GPS monitoring after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday his estranged wife presented sufficient evidence of his violation of a protective order and that he had notice of the possibility that he could be put on a GPS tracker.
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COA affirms escapee’s convictions, consecutive sentences

July 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man who escaped in handcuffs from a police vehicle will remain in prison on escape and drug charges after the Indiana Court of Appeals determined Thursday the trial court did not err in instructing the jury or imposing his sentence.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of disability benefits

July 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the denial of a woman’s application for disability benefits after finding an administrative law judge properly determined the woman’s medical impairments did not prevent her from working certain jobs.
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7th Circuit denies rehearing, allows case to proceed to evidentiary hearing

July 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man convicted as a teenager in a 2008 Elkhart murder will still be given a federal evidentiary hearing on his claim of ineffective assistance of post-conviction counsel after a majority of 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judges denied the state’s petition for a panel or en banc rehearing.
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Tax Court rules in favor of exemptions for trucking company

July 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Tax Court has ruled in favor of a northern Indiana trucking company protesting a proposed tax assessment of nearly $500,000, finding the company’s use of its trucks were predominately related to public transportation during the years at issue.
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Appellate court finds man’s conduct constituted just 1 instance of contempt

July 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man originally sentenced to one year in prison for disrupting court proceedings will instead serve only six months after the Indiana Court of Appeals found his contempt citation stemmed from a single incident.
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COA: Group voir dire did not violate right to impartial jury

July 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indianapolis man who attempted to rob a pharmacy in a city more than an hour away was not denied his right to an impartial jury by the use of group voir dire, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Deputy prosecutor appointed to Pulaski bench

July 19, 2017
IL Staff
Pulaski County chief deputy prosecutor Crystal A. Brucker Kocher has been appointed by Gov. Eric Holcomb to fill a vacancy on the Superior Court bench in the northern Indiana courthouse in Winamac.
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Council panel OKs $20M in planning expenses for new justice center

July 19, 2017
Hayleigh Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal
An Indianapolis City-County Council committee on Tuesday night unanimously approved a resolution to issue $20 million in notes to pay for planning and design costs associated with building the new criminal justice center.
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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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