Legal News

Judgment favoring policeman’s meth-exposure claim reversed

September 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
A police officer who claimed disability resulting from his work dismantling methamphetamine labs had a favorable trial court ruling reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday.
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Ex-Conseco board member owes legal fees, may pursue malpractice claim

September 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
A pre-bankruptcy board member of Conseco Inc. was ordered to pay $127,592.21 in outstanding legal fees, but he may pursue legal malpractice claims, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
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Supreme Court posts annual report

September 19, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has posted its annual report, providing details of the 995 cases it reviewed in the fiscal year ending June 30 and elaborating on plans to roll out electronic filing in trial courts statewide.
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DCS settles adoption subsidy lawsuit

September 18, 2014
IL Staff
Families who sued the Department of Child Services will receive $15.1 million in state foster child adoption subsidies withheld from 2009 to 2014, DCS announced Thursday.
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Judges disagree over enhanced sentence for child molesting conviction

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Thursday over whether a Johnson County man convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old girl deserved to have his sentence enhanced above the 30-year advisory sentence.
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Judge rules for revenue department on man’s claim for sanctions

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man who argued that the Indiana Department of State Revenue should be sanctioned for allegedly producing his ex-wife’s transmittal envelope for her tax return and passing it off as his own lost his case before the Indiana Tax Court Thursday.
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Lawsuit filed against Wal-Mart after PCB found at Indy facility

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A proposed class-action lawsuit alleges Wal-Mart and its corporate entities were negligent after PCB was found at a returns facility located in Indianapolis.
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COA: Attorney’s calendar mistake doesn’t support relief from judgment

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with a woman’s argument that because she was twice granted extension of time to respond to a summary judgment motion involving her credit card debt, the trial court’s discretion to consider a belated response was preserved.
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Justices reverse grant of post-conviction relief

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a defendant’s claim that his attorneys were ineffective for not arguing that, based on a Supreme Court case, his conviction for Class B felony criminal confinement should be reversed or reduced. But the man inappropriately relies on the case, and what he claims his attorneys should have argued is not the law.
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Judiciary study committee to consider new judges, consent to adoption

September 17, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana General Assembly’s Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary meets Thursday for the first time this year and will look at the addition of judges in several counties.
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Dyer firm replaces stolen Boy Scout money

September 17, 2014
IL Staff
A northwest Indiana personal injury law firm has replaced the cash stolen from a Boy Scout troop at the Popcorn Festival in Valparaiso earlier this month.
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Death penalty sought in shooting death of Gary cop

September 17, 2014
 Associated Press
A northwest Indiana prosecutor has notified the court he plans to seek the death penalty for a man charged with murder in the shooting death of a Gary police officer.
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County sheriffs tell dire stories of mentally ill held in local jails

September 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
From different communities in different parts of Indiana, two county sheriffs told lawmakers very similar stories about the mentally ill individuals who end up in their jails.
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COA denies State Farm’s request for new trial on $14.5M defamation verdict

September 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The $14.5 million defamation verdict awarded against State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. in favor of a contractor who accused the insurer of defaming him remains in place after the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the company’s claim that fraud requires a new trial.
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State’s inaction does not allow man to appeal sentence

September 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that he should be given an opportunity to appeal his sentence, an option he waived by entering into a plea agreement, even though the trial court erroneously indicated he had a right to appeal and the state did not object to that advisement.
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Court must give man time to object to ex-wife’s motion

September 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior Court erred when it granted a woman’s motion to vacate a hearing on contempt charges against her without giving her ex-husband 15 days to file a response, as permitted under local rules, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Court announces 378 successful applicants on July bar exam

September 16, 2014
IL Staff
The list of applicants who were successful on the July Indiana bar examination is posted on the court’s website. Those who meet the other requirements of being admitted will participate in an admission ceremony Oct. 6.
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7th Circuit stays same-sex marriage decisions

September 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the motion for a stay of mandate filed by the defendants in Indiana’s same-sex marriage lawsuits.
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Judiciary notes Constitution Day with school program, naturalization ceremony

September 15, 2014
IL Staff
In honor of Constitution Day, Indiana judges will commemorate, educate and celebrate with schoolchildren and new United States citizens at events throughout the week.
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Justices decline Kokomo mayor’s request for stay of contempt order

September 15, 2014
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will not stay a contempt order entered against the mayor of Kokomo over construction at the Howard County courthouse.
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BMV seeks to block release of video depositions

September 15, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has asked a court to block the release of video depositions in a lawsuit that claims the agency overcharged motorists.
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Attorney’s attempt to expunge arrest record denied again

September 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Monroe County attorney who was arrested in 2008 on allegations of misconduct involving his clients and violations of the Indiana Securities Act was unsuccessful in his attempt to have similar charges filed in 2006 expunged.
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Felony murder convictions upheld in Elkhart home invasion, but sentences amended

September 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The appeals of three teens involved in a daytime home invasion that turned fatal gave the Court of Appeals a chance to examine the felony murder statute and its application for juveniles.
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Indiana agrees to recognize another same-sex marriage involving ill spouse

September 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The state will recognize the out-of-state marriage of a Whiting couple in which one woman is receiving hospice care for terminal cancer.
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COA affirms stripping ‘helicopter mom’ of custody of teen son

September 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The decision to modify custody to give a father sole legal and physical custody of his 15-year-old son was not clearly erroneous, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. In affirming the decision, the judges noted that the mother is overbearing and has forced the teen to participate in activities he has little interest in.
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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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