Legal News

COA rules on anonymous online commenter case

February 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered the trial court apply a modified test based on a New Jersey case to determine whether The Indianapolis Star must identify an online user whose comment is part of a defamation lawsuit.
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Small Claims task force meetings begin Wednesday

February 20, 2012
IL Staff
The newly created task force formed by the Indiana Supreme Court to look into the practices and procedures used in Marion County Small Claims courts will hold its first of three hearings Wednesday.
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Guardianship, power of attorney bills on 3rd reading

February 20, 2012
IL Staff
A bill that would prevent the termination of the guardianship of an incapacitated minor once the minor turns 18 and legislation that allows a copy of a power of attorney to have the same effect as the original are before the Indiana House of Representatives on third reading Monday.
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Grant will bring awareness to civil rights laws

February 20, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Civil Rights Commission has received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development to increase public awareness of fair housing rights and responsibilities.
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Judge: facility not exempt from property tax

February 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court has upheld the decision of the Indiana Board of Tax Review that a Tipton County assisted living facility failed to raise a prima facie case that it is exempt from property tax under Indiana Code 6-1.1-10-16.
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Nonsupport of dependent enhancement not based on number of children

February 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that under Indiana Code 35-46-1-5(a), the enhancement of nonsupport of a dependent child to a Class C felony because of an arrearage of $15,000 or more is triggered by the dollar amount owed, regardless of how many children the parent has.
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7th Circuit affirms sentence for sexual involvement with 12-year-old girl

February 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 135-month sentence given to a man who drove from Illinois to have sex with a 12-year-old Westfield girl, finding that although the District Court miscalculated the imprisonment range, the defendant was sentenced within the correct guidelines range.
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Justice semi-finalist interviews Feb. 23

February 17, 2012
IL Staff
The seven lawyers in the running to be the next Indiana justice will be interviewed by the Judicial Nominating Commission Feb. 23.
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Appellate court upholds man's detainment

February 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that he could not have been detained in the hospital for mental health reasons before an application for detention was filed, which occurred after facility security guards restrained him.
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Justices slash amount non-merit state employees can get in back pay

February 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has adjusted the time frame for which state non-merit employees who sued for back pay may be able to recover funds. Instead of the period going back some 20 years, the justices decided the non-merit employee’s time period should be the same as merit employees.
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Judges disagree on state's ability to appeal

February 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued a divided ruling Thursday on whether the state could appeal the denial of its motion to correct error after the trial court granted a defendant’s motion to suppress evidence. The majority decided the state’s appeal should be dismissed as untimely.
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Justices decline Camm prosecutor case

February 16, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court decided Tuesday it will not disturb the ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals that Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson can’t be involved in the retrial of David Camm. Camm is set to be tried for a third time for the murders of his wife and two children.
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Zoeller to serve on national financial fraud task force

February 15, 2012
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is one of three state attorneys general selected to serve on a consumer protection working group aimed at combating financial fraud.
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Justices reformulate jury instruction

February 15, 2012
The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the denial of a man’s petition for post-conviction relief claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. In doing so, the justices addressed the use and language of a jury instruction and rewrote it to make it clearer.
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Liquids banned from Southern District courthouses

February 15, 2012
IL Staff
Beginning March 1, visitors to any courthouse in the Southern District of Indiana will not be permitted to bring in their own liquids or beverages. The change comes following a recommendation from the United States Marshals Service.
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Justice applicant pool reflective of Indiana

February 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The percentage of women in the semi-finalist group to be the next state justice decreased as compared to the state's population.
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Dollars for donors

February 15, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision raises concerns about bone marrow donation.
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Nurses-turned-attorneys have unique insight

February 15, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Attorney Lorie Brown was a nurse for 12 years before becoming a lawyer. Now, she hopes to help nurses avoid some of the common mistakes that could land them in litigation.
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Ruling leads to questions about pregnant women's rights

February 15, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals was asked on interlocutory appeal to determine whether the Marion Superior Court erred in denying bail for Bei Bei Shuai, a woman being held on charges of attempted feticide and murder.
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Indiana Court Decisions Jan. 26-Feb. 8, 2012

February 15, 2012
IL Staff
Read For Publication opinions from Indiana's appellate courts and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Justices dissent on denying transfer in wage payment case

February 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices disagreed with their colleagues about not taking a case on the state’s wage payment statute, issuing dissent that described how they believe the justices should clear up perceived uncertainty about whether the law can be applied to certain claims before the Indiana Department of Labor.
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Justices rule governor doesn't have to testify in IBM case

February 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
On the same day it heard arguments, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed a Marion Superior judge’s ruling and held that Gov. Mitch Daniels does not have to testify or be deposed in an ongoing lawsuit over the cancelled contract to modernize the state’s welfare system.
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Task force will examine Marion County's small claims courts

February 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
A new task force will review the practices and procedures of the nine small claims courts within the state’s largest county, following critical reports last year suggesting litigants may not receive the same access to justice in each court or as parties have in other Indiana jurisdictions.
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Vagueness of policy is grounds for reversal

February 14, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, holding that the language of its insurance policy creates a question of liability for deductible payments.
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On rehearing, COA affirms original opinion

February 14, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
On petition for rehearing, the state Department of Child Services claims that the appellate court imposed an undue burden upon the agency by recognizing that DCS has to make a prima facie showing regarding current conditions before the parent is obliged to come forward with evidence.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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