Legal News

Court upholds convictions from controlled drug buys

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that his two Class B felonies for dealing in cocaine should be reversed based on prosecutorial misconduct and his limited cross-examination of the state’s confidential informant.
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COA orders man resentenced with credit time considered

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with a defendant’s argument on appeal, it still found the trial court erred when it ordered him to serve the entirety of his original sentence without any credit time for time spent on home detention.
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SCOTUS says lawyer’s brief absence doesn’t merit retrial

March 30, 2015
 Associated Press
The  Supreme Court of the United States says a Michigan man convicted of murder and armed robbery does not deserve a new trial even though his lawyer was absent for 10 minutes during the original trial.
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High court to hear Kansas plea to reinstate death sentences

March 30, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States agreed Monday to hear Kansas' appeal to reinstate death sentences for two brothers in the fatal shootings of four people and for another man convicted of killing a couple.
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Divided court lets stand suppression of pat-down evidence

March 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
Three of Indiana’s five Supreme Court justices vacated transfer on a suppression-of-evidence case, letting stand a divided Court of Appeals ruling that a trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence obtained in a questionable pat-down search.
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Metzger finishing ILS tenure this week

March 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Norman Metzger will spend this week cleaning nearly 46 years of work from his desk at Indiana Legal Services before beginning his retirement.
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Similar entrapment argument brings different COA ruling

March 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Again faced with the question of whether a defendant had been entrapped by an undercover detective posing as a prostitute, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court, reaching a different conclusion than they had in a similar case a year earlier.
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Indiana plans language to 'clarify' religious-objections law

March 30, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana’s Republican legislative leaders said Monday they’re working on adding language to a new state law to make it clear that it doesn’t allow discrimination against gays and lesbians, while Democrats countered that a full repeal is the only way to stem the widespread criticism.
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Split COA reinstates State Fair stage collapse suit

March 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
The company that leased a temporary stage that collapsed in a windstorm killing seven and injuring dozens prevailed in overturning a trial court ruling in favor of the Indiana State Fair Commission. A dissenting appellate judge wrote that the majority placed form over substance in shifting liability to the state.
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Judge OKs $725K settlement against Whitley County sheriff

March 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
Defendants jailed in Whitley County more than 48 hours without a probable cause hearing in violation of U.S. Supreme Court caselaw will share a $725,000 settlement, a federal judge ruled.
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Medical-Legal partnership gets national honor

March 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Five years after its founding, the Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health Medical-Legal Partnership in Indianapolis is being recognized with a 2015 Outstanding MLP Award from the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.
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House committee removes public record search fee from bill

March 27, 2015
 Associated Press
Lawmakers on Thursday stripped an education bill of major proposed changes to Indiana's open records laws after concerns were raised about how the measure would impact all government agencies and not just schools.
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Panther Racing suit against IndyCar, Rahal Letterman tossed

March 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal breach-of-contract lawsuit alleging damages of more than $17 million resulting from an IndyCar sponsorship dispute has been dismissed.
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COA splits over jury instruction, affirms conviction

March 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals split over whether the jury instruction was erroneous, the panel was unanimous in upholding the defendant’s conviction for theft from Walmart.
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Bartholomew juvenile detentions plummet under JDAI

March 27, 2015
 Associated Press
The number of local juvenile offenders detained each year in Bartholomew County has been decreasing dramatically during the past decade, the Columbus Republic reports.
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Dispute over beach ownership heading back to trial court

March 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Property owners along Lake Michigan will have another chance to make their arguments in a dispute over which part of the beach belongs to them and which belongs to the public.
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States ask court to keep RadioShack from selling customer data

March 26, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Twenty-two states, including Indiana, have rallied around Texas in its legal challenge to RadioShack’s plan to sell personal data on 117 million customers.
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Driving 91 mph in 55 zone supports reckless driving verdict

March 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
A driver’s argument that his speed of 91 mph on a 55-mph country road was insufficient evidence of endangerment cut no ice with the trial court, and the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed Thursday.
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Justices agree to rewrite footnote conflicting with opinion

March 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court agreed to rewrite a footnote that was at least confusing if not in conflict with its opinion in a case reviewing an action of the Department of Insurance.
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Wrongful detention complaints grow against Marion County Jail

March 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Hendricks County man claims he lost his job because the Marion County Jail detained him five days longer than he was sentenced. That’s the latest allegation in a federal lawsuit seeking damages for alleged unreasonable release procedures that may have left thousands behind bars in Indianapolis longer than they should have been.
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Governor signs 'religious freedom restoration' bill into law

March 26, 2015
IBJ Staff
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said he signed the controversial “religious freedom restoration” bill into law Thursday morning in a private ceremony.
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Justice Rucker honored by Valparaiso Law School

March 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker will return to his law school alma mater Thursday to give the first speech in a new lecture series named in his honor.
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IU Maurer gets $20 million gift from Class of ’64 alum

March 26, 2015
IL Staff
Indiana University Maurer School of Law announced that 1964 graduate Lowell E. Baier has made a $20 million estate gift to the Bloomington law school that will enhance facilities and the school’s long-term renovation and expansion.
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Plaintiffs in bar shooting were owed protection

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When a customer pulled a gun and started shooting, the bar had a well-established duty to protect its other customers, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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State statute protects taxpayers from loan dispute

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Ruling that taxpayers should not be penalized for a bank’s lack of diligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held a financial institution cannot recoup the outstanding balance on a loan for a fire truck.
More
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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