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Lanane seeks new rights for people in U.S. illegally

September 21, 2015
 Associated Press
The leader of Indiana's state Senate Democrats is calling for new laws extending driving privileges and in-state college tuition rates to people living in the country illegally.
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Justices take appeal involving eavesdropping cops

September 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
Whether Michigan City police officers should be forbidden from testifying in a murder case because they eavesdropped on the suspect’s conversation with attorneys will be decided by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Tax Court reverses assessment after ‘trial by ambush’

September 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Board of Tax Review abused its discretion and conducted a “trial by ambush” when it heard the appeal of a property owner who challenged the assessment of a property in Long Beach.
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Conviction affirmed despite Spanish jury waiver form omissions

September 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Spanish-speaking litigant failed to persuade an appeals court Monday that omissions on a jury trial waiver form merit reversal of his rape conviction.
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Ex-husband may argue contempt in seeking arrearage

September 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
An ex-husband who a trial court determined is owed $76,173 from his wife’s teacher retirement benefits was wrongly denied an opportunity to argue the arrearage can be pursued through contempt, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Carmel tables sexual-orientation ordinance

September 18, 2015
 Associated Press
A proposal to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has been tabled by city officials in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel.
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Ex-auditor convicted of taking money from government, in-law

September 18, 2015
 Associated Press
A former auditor for a northwestern Indiana county has been convicted of embezzling more than $150,000 in government funds and defrauding her father-in-law of at least $400,000.
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Split decision: Bicyclist killed by driver can’t sue insurer

September 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
A bicyclist killed by an unlicensed motorist who took her boyfriend’s truck without his permission may not seek damages against the company that insured the truck’s owner, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Women attorneys who opened doors honored by peers

September 18, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
With jokes and stories of fond memories, Barnes & Thornburg and the Indiana Bar Foundation honored the legacy of Shirley Shideler, the law firm’s first female attorney and female partner, and recognized three women who are creating impressive legacies in the law of their own.
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Justices vacate murder convictions for 3 of ‘Elkhart 4’

September 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
Three members of the “Elkhart 4” convicted of murder in a controversial, highly publicized case in northern Indiana had their murder convictions vacated Friday by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Marshal’s wage suit against town fails on appeal

September 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A former marshal in a small southern Indiana town is not entitled to unpaid wages, overtime and other damages because the town employed fewer than five law enforcement officers, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday in a matter of first impression.
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Zoeller deals blow to plan to postpone test impact

September 17, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana’s attorney general dealt a major blow to a proposal by state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz that would spare schools from being penalized for low scores on this year’s ISTEP exams.
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General Motors settles criminal case over ignition switches

September 17, 2015
 Associated Press
General Motors admitted it failed to disclose to the public a deadly problem with small-car ignition switches as part of a $900 million deal reached with federal authorities to avoid criminal charges, authorities announced Thursday.
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Rape victim’s work as prostitute does not excuse assault, COA rules

September 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A felon’s attempt to get his rape conviction overturned because his victim was a prostitute drew a sharp rebuke from the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Altice robing ceremony set for Monday

September 17, 2015
IL Staff
Former Marion Superior Judge Robert Altice’s public robing ceremony will be at 2 p.m. Monday in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom, with Chief Justice Loretta Rush administering the oath to the state’s newest Court of Appeals judge.
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Final defendant in state fair stage collapse suit dismissed

September 16, 2015
 Associated Press
A security company named in a class-action lawsuit filed by victims of the deadly 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse has become the final defendant dismissed from that case.
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Attorney fees award was reasonable, COA rules

September 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
After a former employee was awarded nearly $100,000 in attorney fees, R.L. Turner Corp. asserted the amount was unreasonable given the employee’s total award for damages was less than $12,000.
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Federal court hosts naturalization ceremony

September 16, 2015
IL Staff
About 100 new Americans will become citizens Thursday during a naturalization ceremony sponsored by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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California man charged with murder in Indiana cold case

September 16, 2015
 Associated Press
Central Indiana authorities say a murder warrant in a 2002 cold case has been issued against a man currently jailed in California.
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Double jeopardy voids two cocaine convictions

September 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court violated the prohibition against double jeopardy by convicting a man in a bench trial of three felony cocaine possession counts, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in tossing out two of the convictions.
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July 2015 bar exam results announced

September 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Board of Law Examiners has posted results of the state’s bar exam given in July 2015.
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Rural central Indiana landowners fight town's annexation bid

September 15, 2015
 Associated Press
The state's highest court is set to hear a legal battle by a group of rural landowners fighting to prevent an adjacent central Indiana town from annexing their land and subjecting them to higher taxes.
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Woman asks court to allow marijuana use per church beliefs

September 15, 2015
 Associated Press
A Minnesota woman accused of violating probation says she should be able to use marijuana for religious reasons because she belongs to a pot-smoking church based in Indiana.
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Facebook message, other evidence proper in molester’s trial

September 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
Evidence including a Facebook message sent to a 15-year-old girl was properly admitted in the trial of a man convicted of sexually abusing her at knifepoint, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Attorney Lawrence Reuben remembered for community activism

September 15, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indianapolis attorney Lawrence M. Reuben, who created a strong legacy of community activism, died Sept. 11, 2015. He was 67 years old.
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  4. 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.

  5. 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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