Legal News

COA agrees sellers must pay $280,000 in damages for ‘downright dangerous’ home

October 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A couple who sold a house they built themselves that contained numerous structural issues is on the hook for $280,000 to the buyers of the home. The Court of Appeals found that the sellers made misrepresentations on their real estate sales disclosure form.
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Judges affirm Indiana retailer owes Levi’s $315,000 after violating policies

October 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana company that operates a website selling jeans must pay Levi Strauss North America more than $315,000 after the company violated Levi’s Internet policies for distributors.
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COA: Court must rule on incarcerated father’s request for counsel

October 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the adoption of a child by the maternal grandparents after finding the trial court violated the father’s due process rights when it did not rule on his request for counsel.
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Indiana Legal Services still planning to hire new executive director by year’s end

October 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Still set on hiring a new executive director by the end of the year, Indiana Legal Services Inc. has narrowed it search to six candidates.
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Justices order COA to reconsider dismissed termination appeals

October 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In light of a September ruling in which the Indiana Supreme Court held it had jurisdiction to entertain a biological father’s appeal of an adoption, the justices granted transfer and ordered the Court of Appeals to reconsider two cases.
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Judge rejects sentence modification for ex-cop

October 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana judge has rejected a sentence modification for a former police officer convicted of pointing a gun at his girlfriend during a confrontation in front of his two children.
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Acquitted ex-Ind. trooper sues police, prosecutors

October 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A former Indiana State Police trooper acquitted in the slayings of his wife and two children has sued prosecutors, investigators and others for false imprisonment and other counts.
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Judges reject property owner’s interpretation of tax sale statute

October 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the purchaser of property in a tax sale substantially complied with the statutory requirement that the owner of record is notified about the buyer’s intent to petition for a tax deed.
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Simon CEO's bonus reversal still triggers investor suit

October 24, 2014
 Bloomberg News
Seeking to avoid investor litigation, Simon Property Group Inc. earlier this year eliminated a $120 million stock award to Chief Executive Officer David Simon in favor of a performance-based bonus. Now the company and its directors have been sued anyway.
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Student sues Megabus over crash near Indianapolis

October 24, 2014
 Associated Press
A student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis claiming permanent injuries from a Megabus crash on Interstate 65 is suing the carrier.
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Judge questions $75M NCAA concussion settlement

October 23, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge overseeing a first-of-its-kind head injury settlement with the NCAA expressed concerns Thursday about some terms and the scope of the $75 million deal that encompasses all athletes going back decades.
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Legislative committee recommends making annexations more difficult

October 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The legislative committee examining Indiana’s annexation laws underscored how complex and difficult the issue is when committee members looked at the laws Wednesday. The members took a third of the time allotted for the meeting to decide that a remonstrance should succeed if a simple majority of property owners oppose a municipality’s effort to incorporate their land.
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Democrats push to be on Marion County judge ballot

October 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County Superior judge elections ruled unconstitutional this month should not proceed Nov. 4 as the current ballot is drawn, according to court pleadings from candidates who were left out of the general election.
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Alternate theories disallowed in trial on 4 deaths

October 23, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge is blocking testimony about other possible suspects during the trial of a man charged with killing four people in a southern Indiana home.
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Man suspected of killing 7 refuses to answer judge

October 23, 2014
 Associated Press
A man who allegedly confessed to killing seven women in Indiana refused to speak or even acknowledge his name to a judge Wednesday, and a sheriff explained later that the suspect was upset his hearing was in open court before dozens of journalists.
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Charges filed in 2nd case in Gary killings

October 22, 2014
 Associated Press
A man who told police he killed seven women in Indiana now faces charges in a second death.
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Zoeller details casino millions funneled to E. Chicago pols

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
A former Indiana Democratic Party chairman and a longtime Lake County political activist enriched themselves with millions of dollars in casino revenue, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Wednesday, closing the book on long-running litigation that resulted in a $154,042 settlement payment to the city of East Chicago.
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COA affirms seizure of gun from apartment without search warrant

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a man’s misdemeanor handgun charge after finding the police did not need a search warrant to retrieve the gun after the man placed it inside an apartment in view of the officers.
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COA: Bank should be allowed to intervene in foreclosure matter

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of JPMorgan Chase Bank’s motion to intervene in a homeowners association’s attempt to foreclose on a home to fulfill a judgment. The COA found that the bank did not have actual notice of a pending action against the homeowner in 2007, as the association argued.
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COA: Gas station did not commit spoliation regarding mat

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision to not instruct a jury in a personal injury action regarding the spoliation of evidence. Margaret Dawson, the injured party, had ample time to inspect the mat she tripped on before the store replaced it.
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Justices rule on ‘exhaustion rule’ issue

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court tackled issues of first impression Wednesday involving peremptory challenges and removing jurors for cause. The justices held that parties satisfy the “exhaustion rule” the moment they use their final peremptory challenge – regardless of whom they strike.
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Majority reverses termination of incarcerated father’s parental rights

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the state did not prove that the parental rights of a man – who learned he was a father while incarcerated pending trial – should be terminated, two of the three judges on a Court of Appeals panel reversed.
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Judges say Circuit split requires clarification from sentencing commission

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 117-month prison sentence on drug and weapons charges, but two judges believed the case should have been heard en banc based on the importance of a sentencing issue.
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Court reverses $1,660 attorney fee award in parenting time action

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because there is nothing in the record to show the court considered the resources of the parties when it awarded a guardian $1,660 in attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Wednesday.
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Daughter’s cheating negates father’s obligation to pay for college

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the “F” a Purdue University student received after her teacher discovered the student plagiarized comments from other students amounted to disciplinary action from the school, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision that her father no longer had to pay a portion of her school expenses based on a previous court order.
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  4. 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.

  5. 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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