Drugs

States ban kratom supplement over abuse worries

May 20, 2016
 Associated Press
Kratom, a little-known plant-based substance often sold as an herbal supplement to address chronic pain, is raising alarm bells in states concerned that it could be as addictive as heroin.
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COA: Search under probation did not violate Fourth Amendment

May 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a warrantless search of property did not violate a man's Fourth Amendment and Indiana Constitutional rights and upheld the denial of his motion to suppress evidence after he was convicted of two methamphetamine counts.
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COA upholds conviction, trims sentence in heroin case

May 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's conviction but reduced his sentence for dealing heroin even though he didn't actually participate in the transaction in one of the counts.
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Statewide crisis of CHINS stretches judicial resources

May 18, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The increase in filings of juvenile children in need of services petitions across the state has been growing steadily since 2011 but ballooned to 14,227 in 2014 and could likely top 17,500 for 2015.
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Indiana sues to keep silver bars, coins seized from property

May 12, 2016
 Associated Press
The state of Indiana is suing to retain ownership of 458 silver bars valued at $220,000 that were seized from a northern Delaware County property last November.
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Scientific basis for laws on marijuana, driving questioned

May 10, 2016
 Associated Press
Six states that allow marijuana use have legal tests to determine driving while impaired by the drug that have no scientific basis, according to a study by the nation's largest automobile club that calls for scrapping those laws.
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Gilead judge re-opens case amid claim Merck scientist lied

May 2, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A federal judge re-opened Merck & Co.’s patent case against Gilead Sciences Inc. over a hepatitis C drug amid claims that an ex-Merck scientist lied to a jury that awarded the company $200 million in damages.
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Nebraska, Oklahoma join suit to halt Colorado marijuana law

April 29, 2016
 Associated Press
Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson and his counterpart in Oklahoma are joining a lawsuit aimed at halting legal marijuana in Colorado.
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Wayne County prosecutor creates drug treatment program

April 28, 2016
 Associated Press
An eastern Indiana prosecutor is starting a new treatment program for drug offenders that he hopes will end the cycle of addiction.
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Supreme Court upholds felony dealing conviction

April 26, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a man's conviction for Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug within 1,000 feet of school property and being a habitual substance offender. The decision went against the Indiana Court of Appeals, which overturned his conviction based on lack of evidence.
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COA: Time expired in bringing criminal trial

April 22, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s felony and misdemeanor charges after it found the state did not bring him to trial within a 365-day time period.
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7th Circuit: Prisoner denied due process

April 20, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a prisoner could not defend the possession of heroin charge against him and thus remanded his case for rehearing.
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Painkiller distributors face trials

April 20, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Insurer argues to 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that it has no duty to defend in opioid prescription suit.
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Judge accepts 3rd plea deal in Granger party overdose case

April 14, 2016
 Associated Press
A South Bend judge has accepted a third plea agreement for a teenager accused of bringing drugs to a party that two brothers attended before dying of overdoses.
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Man must pay to clean up meth mess, court affirms

March 31, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a man must pay to clean up the remnants of his meth lab after it found Indiana Code justified the payment and there was a victim to whom restitution should be paid.
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Pharmacists, state court administration enlisted in fight against meth labs

March 21, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A comprise bill that would allow pharmacists to deny the sale of over-the-counter medicines containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine was signed into law Monday.
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Pence approves mandatory minimums for drug dealing

March 21, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Gov. Mike Pence toughened sentences for drug dealers Monday, signing legislation that would mandate repeat offenders serve at least 10 years if their crime involves methamphetamine or heroin.
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Suit rightly decided for IMPD detective, appeals court rules

March 17, 2016
Dave Stafford
A plaintiff who sought to sue an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police detective for alleged abuses related to a drug search failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that the officer could be held personally liable.
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Pharmacist discretion bill heads to governor's desk

March 10, 2016
 Associated Press
A bill to allow pharmacists to serve as gatekeepers for cold medicines that contain the common methamphetamine ingredient pseudoephedrine is on its way to the Gov. Mike Pence for consideration.
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7th Circuit: cousins conspired to sell heroin; another gets new trial

March 9, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said two cousins conspired to distribute heroin, despite the claim from the defendants they were running separate heroin businesses.
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Bill giving longer sentences to drug dealers headed to governor

March 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill imposing mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders has been approved by the Indiana Legislature and is expected to be signed by Gov. Mike Pence.
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Residential substance abuse treatment grant applications sought

February 25, 2016
IL Staff
Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners grant applications are being accepted until March 31, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute announced Thursday.
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Senate panel approves bill to punish meth, heroin dealers

February 24, 2016
 Associated Press
Meth and heroin dealers in Indiana will face harsher penalties if they are convicted and have a criminal history under a bill passed by a state Senate panel Tuesday.
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Mandatory minimums for drug dealing splits Statehouse

February 24, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Roughly 18 months after Indiana’s reformed criminal code took effect, emphasizing treatment over incarceration for drug offenses, the General Assembly is considering proposals that would boost certain crimes to a higher level felony, stiffen punishments for possession of controlled substances and make some cold medicine more difficult to purchase.
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Court reverses marijuana, nuisance convictions

February 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s convictions after finding the probable cause affidavit did not contain enough information to support issuing a search warrant.
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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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