Legal News

Despite constitutional concerns, judicial nomination bill advances

March 18, 2013
Dave Stafford
Proposed changes to the panel that recommends judges for the Indiana Supreme Court and Court of Appeals advanced to the House floor Monday, but not before some lawmakers said they reserved judgment on whether the measure was constitutional.
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COA affirms Pennsylvania proper forum for complaint

March 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a producer of limestone and other products must file its complaint for indemnification in Pennsylvania based on its contract with a trucking company, and not Lake County, Ind.
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Reagan administration counsel to participate in symposium at McKinney

March 18, 2013
IL Staff
A former Reagan administration official will join the group of academic, government and business leaders making presentations next month at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law’s symposium on the Law and Financial Crisis.
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Judge says bank can pursue suit against broker

March 18, 2013
Scott Olson
The Peoples State Bank of Ellettsville can move forward with its lawsuit against broker Stifel Nicolaus & Co., which the bank claims duped it into investing $13 million in auction-rate securities just before those markets froze up.
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Evidence shows stabbing by inmate wasn’t in self defense

March 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Bartholomew County jail inmate had his conviction and sentence for Class B felony aggravated battery upheld Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The judges ruled the evidence disputes his claim that a fight he got into with a fellow inmate was in self defense.
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Judges affirm reduction of subrogation lien

March 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected State Farm Insurance Company’s argument that its subrogation lien regarding one couple’s policy shouldn’t be reduced based on State Farm’s refusal in a policy held by another family to pay the full amount of the couple’s claim following a car accident.
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Man’s statement on drug allowed at trial

March 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday that a trial court did not commit fundamental error in admitting Charles Meriwether’s statement to police that he had marijuana in his car.
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Wabash College sophomore will design art project honoring Shepard

March 15, 2013
IL Staff
A child’s handprint designed by Wabash College sophomore John Vosel has been chosen as the monument to honor former Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard in a new Evansville park.
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Interviews Monday for St. Joseph judicial opening

March 15, 2013
IL Staff
The St. Joseph Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission meets Monday to conduct interviews of applicants to fill a vacancy on the court due to Judge Michael P. Scopelitis’ retirement.
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DCS centralized hotline undergoes changes in advance of legislation

March 14, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Prior to the Indiana General Assembly implementing recommendations from an interim study committee, the Indiana Department of Child Services is making changes.
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Man must reinstate original complaints for lawsuits to proceed

March 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday that a man with a propensity to sue over purchases made online may not file a new lawsuit in Marion County after a similar one was dismissed without prejudice.
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COA affirms angry ex-boyfriend’s battery convictions

March 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A northern Indiana man, angry that his ex-girlfriend was in a new relationship, had his convictions of battery by means of a deadly weapon upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The convictions stemmed from his ramming of the new boyfriend’s car with his.
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Synthetic drug ban, human trafficking bills move out of committee

March 14, 2013
IL Staff
Senate bills stiffening the state’s synthetic drug ban and strengthening Indiana’s human trafficking laws were approved unanimously by the House of Representatives Committee on Courts and Criminal Code Wednesday.
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ACLU of Indiana claims ordinances on door-to-door canvassing violate First Amendment

March 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The ACLU of Indiana announced Thursday it has filed lawsuits against the town of Yorktown and the city of Jeffersonville because their ordinances regulating the activities of door-to-door canvassers violate the right to free expression under the U.S. Constitution.
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Gerdt Furniture owners embroiled in $4M court fight

March 14, 2013
Scott Olson
A family dispute involving the owners of Gerdt Furniture & Interiors Inc. has led to a lawsuit accusing them of owing nearly $4 million in unpaid rent and loans.
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Judges deny prisoner’s request to appeal without paying fees

March 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that he and other prisoners do not need to pay appellate filing and docketing fees, and so a District Court’s certification of appeal is irrelevant.
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Woman suing for unpaid wages passes ‘duck test’

March 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Justice Mark Massa made repeated references in Wednesday’s decision to the “Duck Test” – if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck – in a day laborer’s lawsuit to recover unpaid damages from a Fort Wayne company. The justices found Brandy Walczak’s lawsuit may proceed under the Wage Payment Act.
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7th Circuit again reverses drug sentence for minor role reduction

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of a federal charge that he transported drug money will be sentenced a third time after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a nonprecedential opinion that a resentencing the court ordered in 2010 did not sufficiently consider his minor role compared with conspirators.
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House Committee approves CHINS bill returning power to prosecuting attorneys

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill giving prosecuting attorneys the ability to file a Child in Need of Services petition continues to garner strong support in the Indiana General Assembly.
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Indiana's longest-serving attorney will retire from practice at 96

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Alexis “Alex” Thomas Cholis is winding down his law practice. More than 70 years after admission to the bar, he’s decided it’s time.
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Indiana Senate president pro tem pushes for Constitutional Convention

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long admits his effort to convene a state-driven Constitutional Convention will be a struggle.
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Spotlight: Change of venue case requires planning, preparation and packing

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Moving a trial from one court to another can be cumbersome and brings with it logistical matters that have to be worked out so the lawyers can focus on presenting their case. Transporting office supplies, reserving hotel rooms, securing conference rooms and learning the demographics of the community before selecting the jury are among the tasks that have to be addressed.
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Moberly breaks barrier on federal bench

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana's first female bankruptcy is judge one of two new jurists in the Southern District.
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Is COA opinion on threat to judge a threat to rights?

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Advocates say imprisoned blogger's ruling out of the Indiana Court of Appeals imperils the First Amendment.
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Justice Clarence Thomas visits Notre Dame Law School

March 13, 2013
IL Staff
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas visited the Notre Dame Law School March 5 and 6 as the Judge James J. Clynes Jr. Visiting Chair.
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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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