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Minkler takes over as U.S. attorney in Southern District

June 26, 2015
IL Staff
Josh Minkler was sworn in as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana on Thursday by Southern District Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
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Supreme Court extends same-sex marriage nationwide

June 26, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. The decision was 5-4.
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Woman’s comments to police considered political speech, COA rules

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a woman's misdemeanor disorderly conduct conviction, which was based on her comments to police that she was pulled over because she was black, finding the comments were political in nature.
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Judges deny sentence modifications, but for different reasons

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday that neither of two men who petitioned in late 2013 to have their 1997 sentences modified are entitled to a modification, but the judges' reasoning for the denials differed.
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7th Circuit rules against Anderson mayor in suit following firings

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith lost his appeal of the finding that he is not entitled to qualified immunity regarding all of the fired government workers involved in a lawsuit alleging their discharges violated the First Amendment.
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7th Circuit rejects claim conviction is outside statute of limitations

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with a defendant who claimed the federal DNA tolling statute is unconstitutional as applied to him. The man was convicted in 2013 of attempting to rob an Anderson bank in 2003, thanks to a positive identification in 2010 using DNA collected at the crime scene.
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Judge rejects mistrial in Indianapolis house explosion case

June 25, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana judge has denied a mistrial in the case of a man accused of rigging a deadly Indianapolis house explosion. The defendant's attorneys raised concerns about miscalculations by a witness.
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Gibson County sued over jail inmate’s death

June 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
The estate of an inmate who died in the Gibson County Jail last year has sued the county in federal court.
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Housing-discrimination lawsuits backed by US Supreme Court

June 25, 2015
 Bloomberg News
The Supreme Court of the United States said people who file housing-discrimination lawsuits don’t have to show they were victims of intentional bias, in a blow to lenders and insurers and a surprise legal victory for the Obama administration.
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SCOTUS upholds nationwide health care law subsidies

June 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.
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Woman who allegedly plotted to kill Indiana attorney captured in Montana

June 25, 2015
 Associated Press
Authorities have captured a Florida woman wanted on charges alleging she plotted to kill a suburban Indianapolis divorce attorney seeking money from her boyfriend.
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Pensions vex as ranks of retired partners grow

June 25, 2015
 Bloomberg News
The funding of pension plans remains problematic for many employers, and on June 17 the federal government named well-known attorney and mediation maven Kenneth Feinberg to supervise a new program that allows some pension funds to cut retiree benefits.
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Merrillville attorney disbarred for stealing funds

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A northern Indiana attorney who stole trust account funds belonging to his former law partner and that partner’s clients, and embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from a receivership, has been disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices disbar attorney who abandoned practice for Australia

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Kokomo attorney who took nearly $60,000 from clients but never completed their legal matters – and later abruptly abandoned his law practice to move to Australia – has been disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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COA strikes portion of Indy no-smoking ordinance

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An exception contained in the city of Indianapolis’ no-smoking ordinance for satellite facilities is unconstitutional and invalid, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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ITCA does not apply to lawsuit challenging local firearm law

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville man suing the city for enforcing a local law prohibiting firearms in public parks is not effectively bringing a tort claim, as the city argued in its motion on the pleadings. The Court of Appeals affirmed denial of the city’s motion, finding the claim is being brought pursuant to I.C. 35-47-11.1-5, which creates a private right of action for individuals to enforce that statute’s provisions.
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7th Circuit rejects woman’s suit that credit agency violated FCRA

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Finding several things “wrong” with a woman’s lawsuit against a credit reporting agency, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the company on her lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
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Electricity used by Qdoba restaurants in food prep not taxable, court holds

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court has ruled in favor of a company that operates 19 Qdoba Mexican restaurants in Indiana on its request that electricity used to power certain equipment is not subject to Indiana sales tax.
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COA senior law clerk to become court’s new administrator

June 24, 2015
IL Staff
Attorney Larry L. Morris will succeed Steve Lancaster as the new court administrator for the Indiana Court of Appeals, effective October 1, the court announced Wednesday. Lancaster will retire in September after 20 years with the court.
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Clarksville Town Court reports breach of classified files

June 24, 2015
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana court says it has notified the FBI, local police and the Indiana Supreme Court about a data breach that has exposed personal information of people involved in cases dating from 2005 and earlier.
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Indianapolis house blast trial delayed for mistrial motion

June 24, 2015
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana judge has put the trial of a man accused of rigging a deadly 2012 Indianapolis house explosion on hold so attorneys can prepare arguments on whether he should grant a mistrial because of a miscalculation of a witness who has yet to testify.
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New-crime exception applies in Indiana

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Tackling an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals applied the new-crime exception under the exclusionary rule of the Fourth Amendment as well as under the Indiana Constitution.
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COA split over company’s duty following propane accident

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Tuesday over whether a company that supplied a propane tank which was hooked up to a mobile home without the company’s permission owed a duty to a couple injured after an explosion in that home.
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COA affirms father in contempt for not paying education expenses

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the finding of a trial court that a daughter did not repudiate her father following a fall out over a car, so her father was required to continue paying her post-secondary educational expenses.
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Inmate not entitled to revised sentence under amended statute

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although the recently amended sentence-modification statute now applies to an inmate seeking to revise his sentence, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of Ivan Vazquez’s petition due to untimely filing.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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