State agencies

‘Second haircut’ nixed by tax court

December 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A finance company that purchased car loans at a discounted price is entitled to recoup all the sales tax on the loans which have since gone into default.
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Fired IDEM employee entitled to unemployment benefits

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a 25-year state employee did not breach a duty reasonably owed to her employer when she failed to meet monthly quotas because she thoroughly reviewed cases instead of quickly approving expenses.
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Death records law causing headache for genealogists

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Supreme Court recently confirmed that death certificates listing the cause of death are public records, the state is continuing to grapple with questions over privacy and online access to the documents.
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Court hears ex-Indiana elections chief's appeal

December 10, 2014
 Associated Press
An attorney for former Secretary of State Charlie White faced tough questioning Tuesday from Indiana's three-judge appeals court during White's latest bid to overturn the voter fraud convictions that forced him from office.
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Bennett probe called for prosecution

December 3, 2014
 Associated Press
A months-long investigation into former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett's use of state staff and resources during his 2012 re-election campaign found ample evidence to support federal wire fraud charges, according to a copy of the 95-page report viewed by The Associated Press.
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Indiana ethics chief seeks changes after scandals

November 21, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana Inspector General David Thomas has published a series of ethics reforms, asking for improved disclosure and new rules for state officials after a trio of Statehouse scandals.
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State seeks greater damages from township embezzler

November 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
The former Marion County Center Township accountant who pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $340,000 also should pay the cost of investigating his wrongdoing, the Indiana State Board of Accounts says.
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OneAmerica pays $800K over fraud orchestrated by ex-employee

November 12, 2014
Cory Schouten, IBJ Staff
OneAmerica Securities Inc. has agreed to pay the state $805,000 to settle allegations it failed to supervise a former employee who helped orchestrate an $8.9 million Ponzi scheme in Ohio, Kentucky and southeastern Indiana.
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Oral argument set for ex-Indiana elections chief

November 11, 2014
 Associated Press
The next step in former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White's fight to overturn his voter fraud conviction is set for next month.
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Big GOP wins create questions for Indiana Democrats

November 5, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana Democrats are looking for places to rebuild after an election drubbing that saw Republicans capture all three statewide offices on the ballot, build on an already overwhelming supermajority in the state Senate and protect their supermajority in the House.
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BMV lawyers defend embattled state agency

October 17, 2014
 Associated Press
Lawyers for the embattled Bureau of Motor Vehicles are speaking out this week in the ongoing legal battles over overcharges by the state agency.
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Justices uphold fired DWD employee’s ban from executive branch employment

October 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A fired Indiana Department of Workforce Development employee who argued that she shouldn’t be sanctioned and barred from future executive branch employment because of her misuse of state property lost her appeal before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday.
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Domestic violence shelters get $1.2M more, but extra funds held back

October 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Four dozen shelters around the state will receive an additional $1.2 million to provide immediate assistance and short-term support for victims of domestic violence, a roughly 43 percent increase compared with state funding allocated last year.
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Indiana cuts some public audits over shortages

October 13, 2014
 Associated Press
The State Board of Accounts no longer is auditing the financial records of Indiana libraries, conservancy districts, some public school accounts, and small towns and townships, its leader says.
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State holds $1.2 million in domestic violence funds

September 19, 2014
 Associated Press
The trustees of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute have decided to stick by a plan that withholds $1.2 million in domestic violence prevention funds from private agencies until they submit spending plans.
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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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Omitted information in notice does not bar entry of summary judgment

September 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Failure in a notice of dissolution to describe information that must be included in a claim filed against the company does not make the notice invalid, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. Since the notice was valid, a convenience store owner’s lawsuit is time-barred. 
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Indiana gives initial OK to off-site manure ponds

September 11, 2014
 Associated Press
A state panel gave preliminary approval Wednesday to Indiana's first rules governing big stand-alone ponds and lagoons built to hold manure trucked in from livestock farms.
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Deal may be near in stage collapse suit

September 10, 2014
 Associated Press
A lawsuit filed by victims of the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse appears to be nearing a settlement, a mediator's report indicates, more than three years after the fatal accident that killed seven people and injured more than 40.
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Beer distributor Monarch stepping up booze push

September 8, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
In a campaign to enter the hard liquor business, Monarch Beverage Co. is pursuing a new tactic that takes aim at state regulators.
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Denial of mortgage lender’s license is within state’s authority, COA rules

September 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions had the authority to deny a mortgage lender originator’s license to an applicant who has a criminal record. 
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Appeals court bounces IURC ruling favoring Duke on Edwardsport plant

September 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission failed to comply with laws and regulations when it approved an order allowing Duke Energy to pass along to ratepayers certain construction costs for the $3 billion Edwardsport coal gasification plant in Knox County.
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State can exclude fuel ethanol plants from ‘chemical process plant’ classification

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the decision by state environmental agencies to no longer consider fuel ethanol plants to be a “chemical process plant” under the Clean Air Act. By removing fuel ethanol plants from this classification, those plants may not be subject to stricter regulations.
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Tax Court reverses reduction in school corp.'s exempt debt service fund levy

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court on Friday overturned the decision by the Department of Local Government Finance to reduce the Gary Community School Corp.’s exempt debt service fund levy for the 2011 budget year. Judge Martha Wentworth found the state agency had no authority to reduce the levy.
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Duke can charge ratepayers for time construction delayed on Edwardsport plant

August 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed grant of Duke Energy Indiana’s request to include the amount spent during an 80-day delay in construction of the coal gasification plant in Edwardsport in a rate adjustment rider. Several parties intervened, claiming construction delays attributable to Duke should not be chargeable to ratepayers.
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  1. 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)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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