Legal News

Court of Appeals reverses molestation convictions

February 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has thrown out a man’s convictions of Class A felony child molesting because the trial court erred in admitting improper vouching testimony.
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Appellate court reverses grant of post-conviction relief

February 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that the post-conviction court erred when it concluded that a defendant had not knowingly waived his right to counsel.
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COA overturns drug conviction

February 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because there was no evidence presented as to why a defendant was stopped or that the state’s actions were reasonable, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s conviction of misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
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SCOTUS denies 4 Indiana cases, issues order in pending appeal

February 21, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to hear four cases from Indiana, and it has asked the federal government to weigh in on a pending appeal about alleged workplace harassment involving Ball State University.
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COA upholds judgment in favor of employer in wrongful termination suit

February 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Department of Insurance in a lawsuit filed by a former employee claiming wrongful termination.
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Program enables students to earn degrees from Maurer, Jindal Global Law School

February 21, 2012
IL Staff
Indiana University Maurer School of Law has partnered with the Jindal Global Law School in India to allow students to earn a juris doctor and an LLB in just over four years.
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COA rules on anonymous online commenter case

February 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered the trial court apply a modified test based on a New Jersey case to determine whether The Indianapolis Star must identify an online user whose comment is part of a defamation lawsuit.
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Small Claims task force meetings begin Wednesday

February 20, 2012
IL Staff
The newly created task force formed by the Indiana Supreme Court to look into the practices and procedures used in Marion County Small Claims courts will hold its first of three hearings Wednesday.
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Guardianship, power of attorney bills on 3rd reading

February 20, 2012
IL Staff
A bill that would prevent the termination of the guardianship of an incapacitated minor once the minor turns 18 and legislation that allows a copy of a power of attorney to have the same effect as the original are before the Indiana House of Representatives on third reading Monday.
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Grant will bring awareness to civil rights laws

February 20, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Civil Rights Commission has received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development to increase public awareness of fair housing rights and responsibilities.
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Judge: facility not exempt from property tax

February 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court has upheld the decision of the Indiana Board of Tax Review that a Tipton County assisted living facility failed to raise a prima facie case that it is exempt from property tax under Indiana Code 6-1.1-10-16.
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Nonsupport of dependent enhancement not based on number of children

February 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that under Indiana Code 35-46-1-5(a), the enhancement of nonsupport of a dependent child to a Class C felony because of an arrearage of $15,000 or more is triggered by the dollar amount owed, regardless of how many children the parent has.
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7th Circuit affirms sentence for sexual involvement with 12-year-old girl

February 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 135-month sentence given to a man who drove from Illinois to have sex with a 12-year-old Westfield girl, finding that although the District Court miscalculated the imprisonment range, the defendant was sentenced within the correct guidelines range.
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Justice semi-finalist interviews Feb. 23

February 17, 2012
IL Staff
The seven lawyers in the running to be the next Indiana justice will be interviewed by the Judicial Nominating Commission Feb. 23.
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Appellate court upholds man's detainment

February 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that he could not have been detained in the hospital for mental health reasons before an application for detention was filed, which occurred after facility security guards restrained him.
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Justices slash amount non-merit state employees can get in back pay

February 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has adjusted the time frame for which state non-merit employees who sued for back pay may be able to recover funds. Instead of the period going back some 20 years, the justices decided the non-merit employee’s time period should be the same as merit employees.
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Judges disagree on state's ability to appeal

February 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued a divided ruling Thursday on whether the state could appeal the denial of its motion to correct error after the trial court granted a defendant’s motion to suppress evidence. The majority decided the state’s appeal should be dismissed as untimely.
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Justices decline Camm prosecutor case

February 16, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court decided Tuesday it will not disturb the ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals that Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson can’t be involved in the retrial of David Camm. Camm is set to be tried for a third time for the murders of his wife and two children.
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Zoeller to serve on national financial fraud task force

February 15, 2012
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is one of three state attorneys general selected to serve on a consumer protection working group aimed at combating financial fraud.
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Justices reformulate jury instruction

February 15, 2012
The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the denial of a man’s petition for post-conviction relief claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. In doing so, the justices addressed the use and language of a jury instruction and rewrote it to make it clearer.
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Liquids banned from Southern District courthouses

February 15, 2012
IL Staff
Beginning March 1, visitors to any courthouse in the Southern District of Indiana will not be permitted to bring in their own liquids or beverages. The change comes following a recommendation from the United States Marshals Service.
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Justice applicant pool reflective of Indiana

February 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The percentage of women in the semi-finalist group to be the next state justice decreased as compared to the state's population.
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Dollars for donorsRestricted Content

February 15, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision raises concerns about bone marrow donation.
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Nurses-turned-attorneys have unique insight

February 15, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Attorney Lorie Brown was a nurse for 12 years before becoming a lawyer. Now, she hopes to help nurses avoid some of the common mistakes that could land them in litigation.
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Ruling leads to questions about pregnant women's rights

February 15, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals was asked on interlocutory appeal to determine whether the Marion Superior Court erred in denying bail for Bei Bei Shuai, a woman being held on charges of attempted feticide and murder.
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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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