Legal News

Incredible dubiosity argument does not sway Indiana Supreme Court

March 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Inconsistencies from witnesses on the details of a crime did not convince the Indiana Supreme Court to overturn a jury’s verdict that found a South Bend man guilty of two murders.
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Justices find no public school transportation mandate

March 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dispute over a suburban Indianapolis school system’s fees for bus service ended Tuesday with the state Supreme Court ruling that public schools are not constitutionally required to provide transportation for students.
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Justices reverse trespass conviction of man near break-in scene

March 24, 2015
Dave Stafford

The Indiana Supreme Court reversed the trespassing conviction of a man arrested by Indianapolis police who saw him running in a field near the scene of a reported break-in.

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Mistaken interpretation of law by officer created reasonable suspicion

March 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed its earlier reversal of a trial court ruling after the Supreme Court of the United States found that reasonable mistakes of law do not violate the Fourth Amendment.
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Divided court returns forfeited Buick to owner

March 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman working at a Wal-Mart return center who helped herself to four iPhones on the way out the door wrongly had her car seized as a result of the conviction, a majority of the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. Justices reversed lower court civil forfeiture orders.
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Pence set to sign ‘right to try’ trial drugs bill

March 24, 2015
 Associated Press
A proposal to give terminally ill patients in Indiana easier access to experimental drugs not yet on pharmacy shelves is about to become law.
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Lawsuit: Angie's List manipulates ratings to lift advertising

March 24, 2015
Greg Andrews, Indianapolis Business Journal
A new federal lawsuit takes aim at Angie’s List Inc. on a new front, charging that it manipulates consumer reviews, ratings and search results in the interest of extracting more advertising revenue from service providers.
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Court declines Evansville woman’s suit over flood damage

March 24, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of an Evansville woman who sued the city over flood damage to her home that she blames on a storm sewer pipe.
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Indiana House OKs religious objection bill

March 24, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana House approved by a wide margin Monday a proposal strengthening protections for religious objections in state law that opponents say could provide legal cover for discrimination against gay people.
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Simon wins $150M after long legal battle with 16 insurers

March 24, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal
Simon Property Group has been awarded a major victory in a nearly five-year legal battle against 16 insurers following a flood that severely damaged one of Simon's shopping malls in May 2010.
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Pence administration's concerns stall bill to open adoption records

March 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
Adopted adults deprived by law of access to their birth records were dealt a setback Monday when a Pence administration official testified against a bill that would open those records to some 350,000 Hoosiers.
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Ex-BMV chief, others knew about overcharges, report says

March 23, 2015
 Associated Press
Former Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles Commissioner R. Scott Waddell and other top officials knew for years that residents were being overcharged for driver's licenses and other fees but did nothing to stop it until a class-action lawsuit was filed in 2013, a newspaper investigation found.
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SCOTUS turns away challenge to Wisconsin voter ID law

March 23, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday turned away a challenge to Wisconsin’s voter identification law, after having blocked the state from requiring photo IDs in November’s general election.
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Bill addressing foreclosure-prevention options under fire

March 23, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana law that has helped thousands of residents at risk of foreclosure keep their homes could be "gutted" under a bill being considered by state lawmakers, housing advocates say.
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Yorktown tweaks canvassing ordinance after ACLU lawsuit

March 23, 2015
 Associated Press
A central Indiana town sued by a consumer advocacy group over its restrictions on door-to-door canvassing has changed a town ordinance to remove the contested language.
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Supreme Court won't hear case of wrongly convicted men

March 23, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States won’t hear an appeal from two former Louisiana inmates who were wrongly convicted of murder and wanted to sue prosecutors for damages after spending 28 years in prison.
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Life insurance bankruptcy exemptions apply to nondependent spouses, children

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Friday settled a certified question on whether nondependent spouses and children enjoy the exemption granted to life insurance policy beneficiaries who are “the spouse, children, or any relative dependent upon” the debtor. They do, the court concluded.
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Floyd County prosecutor accused of misconduct

March 20, 2015
 Associated Press
A complaint has been filed against an attorney who led the prosecution against a former Indiana State trooper acquitted of killing his wife and two children.
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COA judge: Parole board 'should do better'

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who killed no one but who’s been in prison for almost 40 years for a felony murder conviction was entitled to a more thorough parole board review than one based on a 13-year-old psychological evaluation, a Court of Appeals judge wrote Friday.
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Steak n Shake parent wins court victory amid proxy challenge

March 20, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal
Biglari Holdings Inc. has won a major legal victory as a separate fight with a dissident shareholder turns personal. A lawsuit brought by shareholders of the Steak n Shake parent accusing CEO Sardar Biglari and directors of breaching their fiduciary duties has been dismissed by a federal judge in Indiana.
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Reversal: Ex-AM General exec must go to court for compensation

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
The ex-president, CEO and chairman of South Bend Humvee maker AM General will have to go to court to seek cash compensation that the company instead paid in the form of a promissory note, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Justices reverse Marine veteran's involuntary commitment

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Marine veteran was wrongly committed for mental health treatment, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Justices reversed a trial court involuntary commitment order affirmed in a memorandum Court of Appeals opinion and swept away precedent in similar cases.
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Judge approves $10M settlement in Target data breach

March 19, 2015
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A Minnesota judge has endorsed a settlement in which Target Corp. will pay $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over a massive data breach in 2013.
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COA affirms finding liquor stores violated rules on home delivery of wine

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission’s final order fining a northern Indiana liquor store company for using common carriers to transport wine to customers, which is a violation of its liquor permit.
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COA: Husband’s motion to set aside divorce decree time-barred

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the type of fraud a man alleged his ex-wife committed is considered “ordinary,” it was subject to the one-year time limit of Indiana Trial Rule 60(B)(3), the Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges affirmed the refusal of the trial court to set aside a 2008 dissolution decree.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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