Legal News

ITCA does not apply to lawsuit challenging local firearm law

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville man suing the city for enforcing a local law prohibiting firearms in public parks is not effectively bringing a tort claim, as the city argued in its motion on the pleadings. The Court of Appeals affirmed denial of the city’s motion, finding the claim is being brought pursuant to I.C. 35-47-11.1-5, which creates a private right of action for individuals to enforce that statute’s provisions.
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7th Circuit rejects woman’s suit that credit agency violated FCRA

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Finding several things “wrong” with a woman’s lawsuit against a credit reporting agency, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the company on her lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
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Electricity used by Qdoba restaurants in food prep not taxable, court holds

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court has ruled in favor of a company that operates 19 Qdoba Mexican restaurants in Indiana on its request that electricity used to power certain equipment is not subject to Indiana sales tax.
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COA senior law clerk to become court’s new administrator

June 24, 2015
IL Staff
Attorney Larry L. Morris will succeed Steve Lancaster as the new court administrator for the Indiana Court of Appeals, effective October 1, the court announced Wednesday. Lancaster will retire in September after 20 years with the court.
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Clarksville Town Court reports breach of classified files

June 24, 2015
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana court says it has notified the FBI, local police and the Indiana Supreme Court about a data breach that has exposed personal information of people involved in cases dating from 2005 and earlier.
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Indianapolis house blast trial delayed for mistrial motion

June 24, 2015
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana judge has put the trial of a man accused of rigging a deadly 2012 Indianapolis house explosion on hold so attorneys can prepare arguments on whether he should grant a mistrial because of a miscalculation of a witness who has yet to testify.
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New-crime exception applies in Indiana

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Tackling an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals applied the new-crime exception under the exclusionary rule of the Fourth Amendment as well as under the Indiana Constitution.
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COA split over company’s duty following propane accident

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Tuesday over whether a company that supplied a propane tank which was hooked up to a mobile home without the company’s permission owed a duty to a couple injured after an explosion in that home.
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COA affirms father in contempt for not paying education expenses

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the finding of a trial court that a daughter did not repudiate her father following a fall out over a car, so her father was required to continue paying her post-secondary educational expenses.
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Inmate not entitled to revised sentence under amended statute

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although the recently amended sentence-modification statute now applies to an inmate seeking to revise his sentence, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of Ivan Vazquez’s petition due to untimely filing.
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Shepard to receive ABA John Marshall Award

June 23, 2015
IL Staff
Former Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, the longest-serving chief justice in Indiana, is the recipient of the 2015 John Marshall Award, named after the longest-serving chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
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Justices take fired principal, battery cases

June 23, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether an elementary school principal fired for having a consensual relationship with a teacher will be allowed to continue his breach of contract lawsuit. That case is one of two the justices accepted on transfer last week.
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Inmate not disadvantaged by appearing at trial by video

June 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Monday that a New Jersey inmate who filed a retaliation lawsuit against officials at an Indiana prison while he was housed there was not disadvantaged when the judge denied his request to be transported to Indiana for the trial. The judge instead ordered he appear by video conferencing.
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COA split over whether officer had suspicion suspect was armed

June 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel was split Tuesday as to whether a man’s firearm conviction should be affirmed.
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Public defender charged with sex offenses involving inmates

June 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis attorney and ex-judge working as a Shelby County public defender has been charged with three counts of sexual misconduct and one count of official misconduct after he was accused of inappropriately touching inmates at the Shelbyville jail. Authorities said one instance was recorded on video.
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Indiana judge rejects mistrial motion in house blast trial

June 23, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana judge rejected a defense motion Monday for a mistrial over alleged prosecutorial misconduct in the case of a man accused of using natural gas to cause a house explosion that killed two people and gutted an Indianapolis neighborhood.
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Battle over plant annexation stirs controversy in Reynolds

June 23, 2015
 Associated Press
Leaders in Reynolds have stirred controversy after annexing an iron pellet plant just outside of the small White County town.
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Angie's List lawsuit charges Amazon stole trade secrets

June 23, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal
Angie’s List Inc. has filed a federal lawsuit against online goliath Amazon.com, charging the company stole service-provider lists and other proprietary information in its quest to build a direct competitor, Amazon Local.
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Post-conviction relief unavailable for traffic infractions

June 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man ticketed for a traffic violation and speeding is not entitled to post-conviction relief or relief from judgment, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. Post-conviction relief is only available when someone has committed a crime.
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Teen’s arrest did not violate 4th Amendment

June 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a teen’s adjudication for carrying a handgun handed down after police arrested the occupants of the car he was riding in after smelling burnt marijuana during a traffic stop. The judges unanimously held the officers had probable cause to arrest the car’s occupants, including the teen.
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Ex-firefighter sues over drug tied to compulsive gambling

June 22, 2015
 Associated Press
A former Indianapolis firefighter has sued two drug companies, saying they failed to act on reports that a medication she was prescribed for restless leg syndrome causes compulsive behaviors such as gambling.
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US Supreme Court sides with inmate in excessive force case

June 22, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States is making it easier for inmates who are accused of crimes — but not yet convicted — to bring cases of excessive force against jail officials.
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AG sues Indianapolis-based test preparation company

June 22, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana's attorney general is suing a college test preparation company, alleging it engaged in "unfair and abusive practices" when selling study materials for college equivalency exams.
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SCOTUS strikes down raisin program as unconstitutional

June 22, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that a 66-year-old program that lets the government take raisins away from farmers to help reduce supply and boost market prices is unconstitutional.
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High court rules against Spider-Man toy inventor

June 22, 2015
 Associated Press
The inventor of a popular Spider-Man web-shooting toy can't keep reeling in royalties after his patent ran out, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday.
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  2. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  3. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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