Legal News

Divided 7th Circuit affirms dismissal of RTW challenge

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A split panel on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision by a federal judge in northern Indiana to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a union challenging Indiana’s right-to-work law. The majority concluded the law does not violate the union members’ rights under the U.S. Constitution nor is it preempted by federal labor legislation.
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Solo practitioner named to Lake County bench

September 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Merrillville attorney Bruce Parent has been named as a judge in the Lake Superior Court, Civil Division.
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Irsay pleads guilty to misdemeanor in drug case

September 2, 2014
 Associated Press
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay must submit to drug testing for a year after pleading guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated stemming from his arrest after a traffic stop in March.
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Tax Court reverses reduction in school corp.'s exempt debt service fund levy

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court on Friday overturned the decision by the Department of Local Government Finance to reduce the Gary Community School Corp.’s exempt debt service fund levy for the 2011 budget year. Judge Martha Wentworth found the state agency had no authority to reduce the levy.
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Supreme Court recommends abolishing Marion County township courts

September 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
A report from the National Center for State Courts recommends the nine township small claims venues in Indianapolis transition into a unified section of Marion Superior Courts. The Indiana Supreme Court is asking lawmakers to abolish the current system and unify them with the Superior Courts’ Civil Division effective Jan. 1, 2016.
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Same-sex couples seek to have their Indiana marriages recognized

September 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Three same-sex couples who married in the days after Indiana’s marriage law was declared unconstitutional have filed a complaint in federal court, asserting the validity of their unions is not affected by the stay issued from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Man acquitted in triple-slaying seeks new judgment

September 2, 2014
 Associated Press
A former Indiana State trooper acquitted last year in the slayings of his wife and two children is asking a judge to issue a judgment against a man convicted in the case nearly a decade ago, holding him accountable for their deaths.
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Gary courthouse fire forces shift in 2 more courts

September 2, 2014
 Associated Press
Courts officials in northwestern Indiana have relocated two more courts to other buildings following an electrical fire that damaged part of a courthouse.
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Justices halt ruling striking down right-to-work law

September 2, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday put on hold a lower court judge's ruling striking down the state's right-to-work law and denied a request that it be consolidated with a similar case, clearing the way for the justices to hear arguments on the issue next week.
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Court rules against FedEx in drivers' labor case

August 29, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal court has ruled that FedEx Corp. improperly classified about 2,300 drivers in California as independent contractors instead of employees.
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Teen has 1 adjudication overturned, must still pay restitution

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A teenager adjudicated as delinquent after it was determined he was in a stolen car was able to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse one of his adjudications due to double jeopardy. But, the teen must still pay restitution to the victims of his crimes.
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Man waited too long to ask for return of cash bond

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court was not statutorily authorized to retain a man’s cash bond in 2005, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of his motion to release the bond because he waived his argument.
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Judges order new rape trial based on inadmissible evidence

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a detective’s testimony that a man on trial for committing rape was also a suspect in another case likely had a prejudicial impact on the jury finding the man guilty, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a new trial.
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Man acquitted of charges in bar fight death

August 29, 2014
 Associated Press
Jurors have acquitted a southern Indiana man of criminal charges for killing a man when he drove a truck over him after a bar fight.
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COA affirms reduction of incarcerated father’s child support obligation

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion by reducing a father’s child support and arrearage to an absolute minimum level after he requested review of his obligation, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Friday. The man, who is incarcerated, claimed the court did not consider his income or needs when making the reduction.
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COA: Break in employment triggered non-compete agreement

August 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man who joined a competitor immediately after his employment ended at another company did not violate a non-compete agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges agreed that a 10-day break in employment with the prior employer two years earlier constituted the beginning of his non-compete agreement, and his new job falls outside that two-year non-compete restriction.
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PACER removes older 7th Circuit case files

August 28, 2014
IL Staff
Closed cases filed before 2008 in the U.S 7th Circuit Court of Appeals have been removed from the PACER online database, as have older records from several other federal courts.
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Judge refuses inmate's request for execution

August 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana judge has turned down the request of a murder convict who asked to be executed even though he wasn't sentenced to death.
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COA declines to reverse conviction after co-defendant’s conviction overturned

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday did not agree with a defendant that his conviction of attempted aggravated battery should be reversed based on the reasoning of a separate appeals panel that overturned the same conviction of his co-defendant.
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7th Circuit finds ALJ’s methodology flawed, orders more proceedings

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found an administrative law judge’s opinion denying a man Social Security disability benefits reflects a “flawed evaluation of the record of evidence,” so it ordered more proceedings on the matter.
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Fee cap provision in Med Mal Act does not reduce fund’s liability

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has sided with an estate in a dispute over whether the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act's cap on attorney fees from a Patient Compensation Fund award also applies to reduce the fund’s liability. The issue is one of first impression in Indiana.
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Judge rules for defendants in Indy skyline photo copyright suit

August 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
A retired attorney and photographer who has filed numerous infringement lawsuits over the use of his copyrighted photo of the Indianapolis skyline lost a contested case. The ruling judge also said the purported value of the photo is questionable.
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Settlement reached in Nashville shocking case

August 27, 2014
 Associated Press
The southern Indiana tourist town of Nashville has reached a settlement with a Michigan man who accused a deputy marshal of shocking him with a Taser gun while he was having a seizure.
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Rush takes oath as chief justice in understated event

August 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
Choosing an intimate but profound setting in the Indiana Supreme Court Law Library to take the oath Aug. 18 as the state’s first female chief justice, Loretta Rush said the history in the tomes spoke volumes to her.
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$500M Marion County Justice Center relies on novel funding

August 27, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
A mainstay of the travel industry, all-inclusive packages are gaining traction with governments that want a simpler way to deliver new public facilities. For an annual fee, a private-sector consortium will design, build, finance, maintain and operate a new road or building. Indianapolis could become one of the first U.S. cities to ink such a deal with a new jail and courthouse on the former site of the GM stamping plant.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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