Legal News

Economic harm is key part of gay marriage argument

September 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
When the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 4 affirmed Indiana’s marriage law was unconstitutional, Judge Richard Posner’s opinion gave special nod to the economic harm married same-sex couples suffer by not receiving the tangible state and federal benefits that are extended to married opposite-sex couples.
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Marion County small claims reform faces hurdles in Legislature

September 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court’s recommendation to merge Marion County’s nine township small claims courts with Marion Superior Court may be too bold for the Indiana General Assembly, a key senator said.
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Legal aid benefits from settlement

September 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A financial boost for legal aid is expected to come from one of the banks that contributed to the 2008 economic collapse. The money will bring much-needed funding to the state’s pro bono districts which have been crippled by dwindling revenues and growing client lists. While the money will help, some say it should have come sooner.
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Lawyers say communication is key to long-term preservation of large estates

September 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
A fortunate few wealthy families are able to preserve their estates for more than a couple of generations, but attorneys say communication can improve the odds that a grantor’s grandchildren will have something left to pass on.
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Indiana files same-sex marriage petition with SCOTUS

September 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
In the race to get a same-sex marriage case before the Supreme Court of the United States this term, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office is arguing the state’s three lawsuits provide the best vehicle for resolving the same-sex marriage issue.
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Appeals court reverses suppression of polygraph in molestation case

September 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday reversed a trial court order suppressing results of a polygraph test against a man who later was charged with child molestation.
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Award of attorney fees reversed in child-support dispute

September 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
The ex-wife in a child-support dispute was improperly awarded a portion of her attorney fees after the trial court rejected her ex-husband’s petition to modify child support.
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Late Fort Wayne program director to be honored with pro bono award

September 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Bar Foundation and the Indiana Pro Bono Commission will recognize the dedication and tireless efforts of the late Terrance P. “Terry” McCaffrey at its 2014 annual pro bono awards ceremony.
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Former Marion Superior lobbyist new court administrator

September 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
The former lobbyist for Marion Superior Courts will now serve as the administrator for the 36 Indianapolis judges and more than 700 employees who work in the county’s judiciary.
 
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Marion Superior judge retirements to shuffle court assignments

September 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
The looming retirement of four judges and the coming election of five new Marion Superior jurists will result in multiple reassignments in the Indianapolis trial courts.
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Marion County justice complex could add civil courts, city official says

September 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
A consolidated criminal justice complex proposed for Marion County could also eventually house civil courts, a city official told judges Monday.
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Justices let stand order that Purdue release report on gender bias claim

September 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court has denied Purdue University’s request to appeal court orders that it release a report investigating a fired chancellor’s alleged gender discrimination and harassment complaint.
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Supreme Court approves requirement for attorneys to report pro bono hours

September 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Starting Jan. 1, 2015, Indiana attorneys will be required to report the number of hours they provide free legal assistance to indigent clients.
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Beer distributor Monarch stepping up booze push

September 8, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
In a campaign to enter the hard liquor business, Monarch Beverage Co. is pursuing a new tactic that takes aim at state regulators.
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Denial of mortgage lender’s license is within state’s authority, COA rules

September 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions had the authority to deny a mortgage lender originator’s license to an applicant who has a criminal record. 
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IU Maurer creates partnership with Princeton University

September 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana University Maurer School of Law’s effort to find and recruit well-qualified undergraduates has hit a milestone, developing a partnership with an Ivy League institution.
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Appeals court reverses summary judgment in freezing-fog fall

September 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
A medical worker who sued her employer after slipping and falling in a parking lot made slick by freezing fog may proceed with her lawsuit, a divided Court of Appeals panel ruled, reversing summary judgment in favor of a Richmond hospital.
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Appeals court bounces IURC ruling favoring Duke on Edwardsport plant

September 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission failed to comply with laws and regulations when it approved an order allowing Duke Energy to pass along to ratepayers certain construction costs for the $3 billion Edwardsport coal gasification plant in Knox County.
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Federal judges allows sex discrimination lawsuit against Catholic diocese to continue

September 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A Fort Wayne school teacher’s allegation of sex discrimination against the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend Inc. can proceed after a federal judge found a jury should decide the issue.
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7th Circuit finds Indiana’s marriage law irrational and unconstitutional

September 5, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s assertion that preventing same-sex marriage encourages responsible procreation among heterosexuals was unequivocally rejected in a blistering opinion from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the state’s argument could not be taken seriously.
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7th Circuit rejects denial of disabled woman’s benefits

September 5, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding repeated fault with the administrative law judge who denied a Chandler woman Social Security disability payments, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case to the Social Security Administration.
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ICRC has jurisdiction in basketball race discrimination case

September 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Civil Rights Commission has jurisdiction in a racial discrimination claim brought by a former basketball player against Cardinal Ritter High School, but the ICRC dropped the ball in the case, the Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Summary judgment affirmed in hysterectomy med-mal case

September 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday affirmed summary judgment in favor of health care providers in a lawsuit brought by a woman claiming doctors did not obtain informed consent before performing a hysterectomy.
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Appeals court reversal reunites mother and children

September 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Grant County trial court abused its discretion in ordering the appointment of guardians for two children, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, reversing a guardianship order and instructing the trial court to reunite the children with their mother.
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Bike rider loses 'no duty to stop' argument in resisting appeal

September 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
A bicycle rider convicted by a jury of resisting law enforcement lost his appeal Friday on his argument that he had no duty to stop after an Indianapolis police officer tripped his siren and followed him in his cruiser.
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  1. OK so I'll make this as short as I can. I got a call that my daughter was smoking in the bathroom only her and one other girl was questioned mind you four others left before them anyways they proceeded to interrogate my daughter about smoking and all this time I nor my parents got a phone call,they proceeded to go through her belongings and also pretty much striped searched my daughter including from what my mother said they looked at her Brest without my consent. I am furious also a couple months ago my son hurt his foot and I was never called and it got worse during the day but the way some of the teachers have been treating my kids they are not comfortable going to them because they feel like they are mean or don't care. This is unacceptable in my mind i should be able to send my kids to school without worry but now I worry how the adults there are treating them. I have a lot more but I wanted to know do I have any attempt at a lawsuit because like I said there is more that's just some of what my kids are going through. Please respond. Sincerely concerned single parent

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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