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2015 conference of judicial PIOs kicks off in Indianapolis

August 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Media liaisons and judicial spokespeople from around the United States are in Indianapolis for the 2015 annual meeting of the Conference of Court Public Information Officers Aug. 3 - 5. This is the first time the conference has visited Indiana.
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7th Circuit blasts Evansville flash bang search, notes racial factor

August 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
Evansville police “committed too many mistakes to pass the test of reasonableness” in a bungled home search and are not shielded from a federal excessive force lawsuit, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Denial of disability benefits remanded for better explanation

August 3, 2015
 Associated Press
A rejection of a claimant’s application for disability is being remanded after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the “abstruse signals” in the denial did not sufficiently explain the reasons for disregarding new evidence.
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Feds: Action taken to fix mistakenly awarded work permits

August 3, 2015
 Associated Press
Problems have been fixed that led to about 2,100 work permits being mistakenly awarded under President Barack Obama's executive immigration action after a federal judge in Texas had put the plan on hold, the Justice Department said in newly filed court documents.
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NCAA granted stay in O'Bannon case; payments delayed

August 3, 2015
 Associated Press
The NCAA was given a respite Friday when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court delayed the implementation of possible payments to athletes for the use of their names, images and likenesses.
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Cox to join Vanderburgh Circuit Court

July 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Vanderburgh County will officially install its new magistrate with a swearing-in and robing ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 3 in the Vanderburgh Circuit Court.
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Victim’s statements were dying declaration, COA rules

July 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the argument that the victim, who was shot multiple times and eventually did die, could not have made a dying declaration because paramedics repeatedly told him he would live.
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Indiana clears Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing after videos

July 31, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana on Thursday cleared Planned Parenthood facilities that perform abortions in the state of any wrongdoing in the handling of fetal tissue.
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No evidence of officer’s injury voids restitution order

July 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis trial court abused its discretion by ordering a man convicted in a physical altercation with police to pay more than $27,000 in restitution despite a lack of evidence he caused injuries that resulted in those medical bills.
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Insurer off hook in Indy strip club shooting

July 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
A company that insured a westside Indianapolis strip club has no coverage duty for a patron who was shot in the face after an altercation outside the club three years ago, a federal judge has ruled.
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Shepard and Metzger making history

July 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana legal profession will celebrate a pair of firsts July 31, as two of its own receive national honors.
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Justices reinstate grandparent visitation COA deemed excessive

July 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday reinstated a trial court’s grandparent visitation order that included monthly overnight visits and other visitation that the Court of Appeals ruled was excessive.
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Justices affirm molestation conviction despite vouching testimony

July 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction of Class C felony child molestation was affirmed Thursday by the Indiana Supreme Court, which held that even though improper vouching testimony was admitted in error, the defendant failed to preserve the issue for appeal.
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Convictions based on ‘very same behavior’ do not violate double jeopardy

July 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A man was unable to overcome heavy precedent and convince the Indiana Supreme Court his convictions violated the state prohibition against double jeopardy.
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Trial court erred in ruling defendant waived counsel

July 30, 2015
Dave Stafford

A defendant who pleaded with a judge to try to obtain possibly exculpatory video evidence he said his public defender refused to seek did not, by his conduct, waive his right to counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined Thursday.

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Tax Court stands by its original decision

July 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Reiterating the relationship between exclusion and consumption exemption, the Indiana Tax Court upheld its earlier ruling exempting Aztec Partners LLC from paying sales tax on the electricity it used.
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Northwest Indiana jurist receives state honor

July 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Lake County judge was surprised July 29 when he received the Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash award, one of the state’s highest civil honors.
 
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Rehearing finds defendant can raise additional defenses

July 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
In tweaking an earlier reversal, the Indiana Supreme Court has given the defendant the avenue to raise additional unasserted defenses.
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Judge: Indiana prisoner’s peyote suit must proceed

July 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana inmate’s federal lawsuit claiming he has a religious right to use peyote and tobacco must proceed, a judge ruled, though she also made clear state officials may seek a motion to dismiss the case.
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Convicted wife killer gets 47 years for 2nd wife's death

July 30, 2015
 Associated Press
A LaPorte man convicted of killing a former wife in 1979 has been sentenced to 47 years for killing another wife.
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Judge: Landowners can't keep public off Lake Michigan beach

July 30, 2015
 Associated Press
A man who owns a piece of Indiana’s short stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline and said he had “complete and exclusive ownership” of its beachfront holds no such right and cannot deny the public access to that space, a judge has ruled.

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Dissenting judge implies majority reweighed evidence in custody reversal

July 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dissenting judge on an Indiana Court of Appeals panel that Wednesday reversed a child custody order implied the majority reweighed evidence to reach its conclusion.
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COA hands remonstrators another defeat

July 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed another annexation ruling, this time finding the town of Whitestown can move forward with plans to incorporate a portion of Perry Township.
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Authorities warn about jury duty scam telephone calls

July 29, 2015
 Associated Press
Indianapolis authorities are warning about a scam in which people get a phone call from someone demanding payment to avoid a warrant or arrest for failing to appear for jury duty.
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7th Circuit: Statute citation not required to revoke supervised release

July 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A South Bend man whose supervised release on a federal firearms conviction was revoked after he was accused of assaulting a woman wasn’t deprived due process, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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