Legal News

Hamilton County establishing veterans court

February 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
A veterans court could be up and running in Hamilton County within 45 days after the county council on Wednesday approved startup funding.
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Anthem data breach already sparks class-action lawsuit

February 5, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, J.K. Wall
Less than 12 hours after Anthem Inc. reported hackers had stolen data on as many as 80 million current and former customers, Indianapolis attorney Irwin Levin already was preparing a class-action lawsuit against the company.
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7th Circuit affirms carjacking enhancement stemming from bank robbery

February 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals quickly dismissed a defendant’s argument that his sentence for bank robbery should not include a two-level sentence enhancement for carjacking because the keys to the car were obtained by rummaging through the victim’s purse and not through force or intimidation.
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7th Circuit stresses holding Pavey hearing separate from summary judgment hearing

February 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the Indiana Department of Correction and its commissioner on a disabled inmate’s claims of violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. The judges also suggested that courts do not hold a Pavey hearing at the same time as a hearing on a motion for summary judgment.
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Defendant must try to prevent crime discovery for statute of limitations to toll

February 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In dealing with an issue of first impression, the Indiana Supreme Court found a robbery charge should be dismissed because it was filed outside of the statute of limitations. The state argued the defendant had concealed evidence of the crime, thus tolling the five-year statute of limitations.
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IU Maurer teams up with 5 women’s colleges for scholarships

February 4, 2015
IL Staff
Indiana University Maurer School of Law announced Wednesday that it has established scholarship and mentoring programs for graduates of five liberal arts colleges for women.
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Majority finds no error regarding potential electronic monitoring

February 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that a trial court had improperly delegated to a community corrections program the authority to decide whether he should be subject to electronic monitoring.
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Second Harper Lee novel to be published in July

February 4, 2015
 Associated Press
Fans and followers of Atticus Finch rejoice. "To Kill a Mockingbird" will not be Harper Lee's only published book after all.
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Court rules in favor of hospital in contract dispute

February 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake County medical center prevailed in an appeal filed by the other party in a contract to provide anesthesiology services for patients. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the hospital on several breach of contract claims.
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Man’s conviction for murdering neighbor upheld

February 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Citing a wide array of circumstantial evidence to support a Cass County man’s murder conviction in connection with his neighbor’s death, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction.
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Oden pleads guilty to battery in deal with prosecutors

February 4, 2015
 Associated Press
Former NBA No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden has struck a plea deal with prosecutors to settle battery charges involving a former girlfriend.
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Settlement reached in former IPFW chancellor's lawsuit

February 4, 2015
 Associated Press
Attorneys for Purdue University say the school has settled a federal lawsuit over the forced retirement of Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne's former chancellor.
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Supreme Court seeks state funds for technology, access to courts

February 3, 2015
IL Staff
A group of four representatives of the Indiana Supreme Court explained to the House Ways & Means Committee Tuesday morning why the state should give the judiciary millions of dollars for court technology, access to courts and criminal code reform.
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Indiana will get share of $1.38B Standard & Poor’s settlement

February 3, 2015
IL Staff
A billion-dollar settlement stemming from allegations that Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC misled investors in the lead up to the 2008 financial crisis will net Indiana $21.5 million.
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Man’s criminal confinement conviction reversed, battery conviction reinstated

February 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a Class B felony criminal confinement conviction reversed based on insufficient evidence, but judges ordered a battery conviction previously dismissed over double jeopardy concerns reinstated.
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COA affirms father must pay $876 in child support to non-custodial parent

February 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
There was no error by a trial court when it ordered a father to pay his ex-wife, who is the non-custodial parent of their two children, nearly $900 a week in child support, the Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday. The order and figure are supported by the Indiana Child Support Guidelines.
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Nominee for Southern District bench could be named by summer

February 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana could be filled by the end of the year, according to Indiana’s Democratic U.S. senator.
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COA reverses summary judgment in personal injury claim, abandons volunteer doctrine

February 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A negligence case involving a Terre Haute HVAC business and a man injured while helping move a furnace will move forward now that the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed summary judgment in favor of the company.
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COA reverses conviction based on unreasonable police search

February 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer had no reasonable suspicion to believe that a container found in a man’s pocket during an arrest held any illegal substances, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. As such, it reversed his Class D felony possession of schedule III controlled substance conviction, ruling it violated the Indiana Constitution.
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Justices send post-conviction case back to COA for consideration

February 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has vacated the dismissal of a Marion County post-conviction case and remanded it to the Court of Appeals. That was one of two cases justices took action on last week.
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Judge orders revenue department to produce handwritten notes

February 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Two pages of handwritten notes prepared by an Indiana Department of State Revenue employee must be turned over to an Illinois company challenging the denial of four refund claims, the Indiana Tax Court held Friday.
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Appeals court finds high-fence deer hunting not prohibited in Indiana

February 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana law does not prohibit “high-fence” hunting of deer in Indiana, nor does it allow for the Department of Natural Resources to create regulations relating to the practice, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Winter storm delays child neglect trial in South Bend

February 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A winter storm that brought as much as 19 inches of snow to northern Indiana has delayed a South Bend child neglect trial.
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Judges deny request to modify probation to allow contact with daughter

January 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The judges on an Indiana Court of Appeals panel had different reasons for affirming the denial of an incarcerated man’s petition to modify his probation so that he could have contact with his daughter.
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7th Circuit rules man entitled to new hearing on crack-cocaine sentence

January 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a prisoner’s motion for a reduced sentence for distributing crack cocaine, finding that he is allowed to bring his petition for relief under 28 U.S.C. Section 2255.
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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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