Legal News

Hearing set on Eagle Creek deer hunt injunction bid

November 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
A request for a preliminary injunction to stop a planned deer hunt at Indianapolis’ Eagle Creek Park will get a hearing just days ahead of the scheduled hunt.
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Delay of protection order hearing called ‘disturbing’

November 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals called a trial court’s delay in setting a hearing on a petition for a permanent protection order “disturbing” and found the lower court’s denial of the order did not comply with the state’s trial rules.
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Language of trust overrides statutes, COA rules

November 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man’s promise to sue his brother and deplete their father’s trust of its assets resulted in him being ordered to pay $13,166 in attorney fees to the trust.
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Human trafficking prevention training to be held Tuesday

November 17, 2014
IL Staff
A “train the trainer” event Tuesday aims to provide tools to increase youth awareness of human trafficking and sexual exploitation crimes.
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Denomination loses appeal in favor of breakaway church

November 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
A church denomination failed to prove to the Indiana Court of Appeals that it was entitled to the property of a congregation that broke away.
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Conviction for hit-and-run fatality affirmed

November 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
The conviction of a driver who struck and killed a woman while she walked on a busy street during a rainstorm was affirmed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Court to consider when second mortgage can be void

November 17, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide whether homeowners who declare bankruptcy can void a second mortgage if the home's market value has dropped below the amount they owe on the first mortgage.
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Same-sex marriage issue squarely before high court

November 17, 2014
 Associated Press
A same-sex couple from Michigan is putting the question of the right to marry nationwide squarely before the Supreme Court.
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COA rules contract with missing elements is still valid

November 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A Hamilton County man failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the absence of start and completion dates along with his name rendered his contract with a home improvement company invalid.
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COA reverses judgment for driver in fatality, rules for moped rider’s dad

November 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday turned upside down a trial court’s judgment in favor of a driver who collided with a moped rider who died at the scene of the Indianapolis crash in August 2012.
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Lawyer: Affirmed $1.4M judgment against Walgreen sets HIPAA precedent

November 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Marion County jury verdict affirmed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals upholds a $1.4 million verdict for a Walgreen pharmacy customer whose prescription information was provided to a third party and sets a national precedent, according to the lawyer who argued the case.
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In affirming conviction, justices clarify required meth evidence

November 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
Authorities improperly charged a man with meth manufacturing based on the volume of an intermediate mixture, but other evidence was sufficient to affirm his conviction of Class A felony manufacturing methamphetamine, the Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday.
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Government’s legal error requires another look at convictions

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The United States government conceded on appeal that its treatment of vehicle titles and license plates as “property” from the perspective of Indiana in order to convict defendants of conspiracy to commit mail or wire fraud was a legal error. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the convictions but did not foreclose the possibility of retrial.
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Agency record required for judicial review of agency action

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A petitioner seeking judicial review of an agency action must file with the trial court the agency record as defined by the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act. Not doing so will result in dismissal of the petition, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday.
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COA upholds order man pay ex-wife’s appellate attorney fees

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that the same standard for awarding attorney fees should apply regardless of the forum. The judges affirmed the order that he pay his ex-wife’s appellate attorney fees because he is in a better position than she is to pay them.
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School police justified in searching student’s backpack, COA holds

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The search by school police of a student’s backpack was justified based on a teacher’s suspicion that the backpack may have contained drugs or weapons, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The officer’s search turned up a gun.
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Law firm disqualified based on attorney’s previous representation of doctor

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a case involving the conflicts that arise and obligations that remain when lawyers move from one firm to another, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a law firm hired to represent plaintiffs in a medical malpractice lawsuit must be disqualified based on an attorney’s prior representation of the doctor being sued.
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Judge urges high court to look at counsel assistance during state psychiatric exam

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed citing court precedent that a defendant who was to be examined by the state’s expert based on his insanity defense has no right to the presence of counsel during the psychiatric exam. But Judge Terry Crone argues the Indiana Supreme Court needs to take another look at this issue.
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2 charged with kidnapping woman want trials moved

November 13, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys for the two people charged with holding a southwestern Indiana woman captive for two months say they plan on asking for their trials to be moved to another county.
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New Indiana state senator sued by ex-employer

November 13, 2014
 Associated Press
A newly elected Indiana state senator is being sued by his stepmother's company over allegations that he misspent about $55,000 on himself.
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US Supreme Court weighs state tax authority

November 13, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Wednesday considered placing new limits on how states can assess income tax on money that residents earn across state lines.
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Appeals court upholds burglary conviction but sends matter back to trial court

November 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found sufficient evidence to conclude that a man’s house qualified as a dwelling, thereby supporting a defendant’s burglary conviction. But the judges sua sponte reviewed the trial court’s entry of judgment and sentencing order and decided to send the matter back to the lower court.
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COA: Judge should dismiss habeas petition

November 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Henry County judge erred when he denied an inmate’s petition for habeas corpus challenging a disciplinary decision from the Indiana Department of Correction. The judge should have instead dismissed the petition.
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ABA to prosecutors: Don’t give official letterhead to debt collection companies

November 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The American Bar Association released a formal opinion Wednesday warning prosecutors that providing official letterhead to a debt collection company for its use may violate Rules of Professional Conduct.
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Oral argument set for ex-Indiana elections chief

November 11, 2014
 Associated Press
The next step in former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White's fight to overturn his voter fraud conviction is set for next month.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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