Legal News

Family did not follow statutory remedies before suing bank

December 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal court properly dismissed a family’s lawsuit against an Indiana bank and employee alleging they breached a fiduciary duty to a veteran in managing his benefits, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Monday. The family is required to seek review of the fiduciary appointment as outlined under statute.
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7th Circuit upholds bank robbery conviction despite errors

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although a federal court in Indianapolis committed some errors in admitting certain evidence at a man’s bank robbery trial, those errors were harmless based on DNA evidence and the defendant matching the robber’s description, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Tax Court invalidates contract distinction in administrative regulations

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In ruling for a national home improvement chain on whether it had to collect sales tax from customers who used its contractor services, the Indiana Tax Court invalidated a distinction contained in Department of Revenue administrative regulations regarding the type of contract a contractor uses.
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COA affirms 100-year sentence for 2 murders

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man with a history of mental illness was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his 100-year sentence for his role in the murder of two market employees in Elkhart is inappropriate.
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COA cuts down man’s claims grass ordinance unconstitutional

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Bloomington man who opposes treating or cutting his lawn for environmental reasons could not convince the Court of Appeals that a city ordinance is unconstitutional or void for vagueness.
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Marion County sheriff sued for illegal detentions

December 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit from defendants who were jailed in some cases for days after being found not guilty, posting bond or being ordered released by a judge.
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Jury awards Indiana teacher nearly $2M in firing over IVF

December 22, 2014
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A federal jury awarded a former teacher nearly $2 million Friday after finding that a northern Indiana Roman Catholic diocese discriminated against her by firing her after church officials learned she was trying to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization.
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Gov. Pence hasn't issued single pardon in 2 years

December 22, 2014
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence, who has said he wants Indiana to be a leader in giving criminals who've served their time a second chance, hasn't granted a single pardon during his first two years in office.
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Disputed Nativity scene will stay up until Dec. 26

December 22, 2014
 Associated Press
A county in southeastern Indiana reached an agreement Friday with a group suing to force the removal of a Nativity scene on the courthouse lawn that will allow the decades-old display to remain in place through Christmas.
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Sugarland, promoter settle with state fair victims

December 22, 2014
 Associated Press
Country duo Sugarland, concert promoter Live Nation and 16 other defendants have agreed to pay $39 million to settle claims stemming from the deadly 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse, lawyers for the victims and their families announced Friday.
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T-Mobile settles ‘mobile cramming’ suit

December 19, 2014
IL Staff
For the second time in three months, Hoosiers who have a mobile phone may be eligible for a refund after T-Mobile USA Inc. settled a national lawsuit over “cramming” practices.
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Judges reverse 2 convictions based on double jeopardy violations

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the state relied on the same evidence to convict a man of three charges after he fired a gun at police while fleeing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered one of those convictions vacated and the other reduced.
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COA finds woman owes friend $800 more for unauthorized use of his money

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that a woman improperly spent her friend’s money on repairs to a property he conveyed to her but found the trial court miscalculated how much she owes.
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Woman committed UPL, forgery in divorce filing

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County woman who forged a name and attorney number on a divorce filing had her criminal convictions upheld Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The woman gave false attorney information because she didn’t want the litigant to have to watch a video about filing pro se.
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Fired IDEM employee entitled to unemployment benefits

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a 25-year state employee did not breach a duty reasonably owed to her employer when she failed to meet monthly quotas because she thoroughly reviewed cases instead of quickly approving expenses.
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Justices suspend Muncie City Court judge

December 19, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court issued an order Thursday suspending Dianna L. Bennington, the Muncie City Court judge who faces 13 counts of misconduct.
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Judge delays hearing on Indiana Nativity scene

December 19, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge has delayed a hearing on a bid to remove a Nativity scene that's been erected each winter for more than a half-century on a southeastern Indiana county's courthouse lawn.
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COA: Terminating guardianship is in child’s best interest

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a contentious guardianship case involving a child’s father and her former stepgrandmother, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the guardianship should be dissolved and the father should have custody of the child.
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COA affirms convictions despite erroneously admitted testimony

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a man’s convictions, including forgery and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, after finding the errors by the trial court in admitting certain testimony were harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.
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Grandparents lose second challenge of parental custody

December 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Grandparents who largely were the sole caregivers of a child until about age 3 lost a second custody challenge and bid to regain visitation with the child.
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Whistleblower’s claim ‘sufficiently specific’ to continue with lawsuit

December 18, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A woman who claims she was fired after she blew the whistle about alleged accounting violations by her boss can move forward with her lawsuit against her former employer.
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New trial ordered after expert testimony improperly excluded

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A couple who brought a products liability claim against a ladder manufacturer and the store that sold the ladder are entitled to a new trial after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the magistrate judge should not have struck their expert witness’s testimony. The couple lost their case as a result of the judge’s decision.
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COA affirms East Chicago judge’s request for more money

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An East Chicago City Court judge carried her burden to establish that the $65,000 in requested funds were reasonably necessary, the Court of Appeals held Thursday in affirming the grant of her mandate request. The appellate judges also decided the city court is entitled to appellate fees and expenses.
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Public intoxication statute constitutional, but ‘annoying’ man’s conviction vacated

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court vacated a man’s public intoxication conviction after finding his agitation does not rise to the level that would annoy a reasonable person. But the justices did find that the statute is not unconstitutionally vague.
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Conour victim settles suit naming Doehrman

December 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Victims of convicted fraudster and former attorney William Conour have settled a lawsuit that named a one-time Conour associate as a defendant.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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