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Council members: Delay justice center decision until after election

February 23, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, Kathleen McLaughlin
The odds the Indianapolis City-County Council will approve plans for a new criminal justice center this year are tanking fast.
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Menard: Toss Hilberts' attorneys for wrongdoing

February 23, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, J.K. Wall
Lawyers for Indianapolis power couple Steve and Tomisue Hilbert are slinging “ludicrous allegations” of witness tampering just to cover up their own wrongdoing, according to the latest broadside from the attorneys representing John Menard, the Hilberts’ former business partner.
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Friedlander to resign from Court of Appeals

February 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Ezra Friedlander will retire in August, the court announced Monday, about a year-and-a-half before he would have faced mandatory retirement.
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Justices won’t give lawyers access to secret court records

February 23, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States will not consider giving a man accused of trying to ignite a bomb in downtown Chicago access to secret intelligence-court records.
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Report: Ex-Purdue chancellor’s forced retirement bungled

February 23, 2015
 Associated Press
A newly released report that Purdue University had fought in court to keep secret concluded that school officials bungled the forced retirement of Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne's former chancellor, causing his departure to turn into an “ugly situation.”
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Lawmakers poised to vote on allowing Sunday alcohol sales

February 23, 2015
 Associated Press
State lawmakers are poised to vote on bills to legalize Sunday carry-out alcohol sales and repeal Indiana's law that sets wages for public construction projects.
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7th Circuit reverses denial of disability benefits

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
An administrative law judge’s denial of Social Security disability benefits for a man who the Veterans Administration determined was totally disabled cannot be sustained, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA finds dual conviction violated double jeopardy

February 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
On a sua sponte review, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned one conviction of a Hamilton County woman who was found guilty of charges surrounding the death of an infant in her care.
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Appeals court opens RX database to defendant’s subpoena

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman charged with possession of a controlled substance who claimed she had a prescription may seek information from the state prescription database, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a reversal.
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Tax Court affirms denial of exemptions on lake property

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Lake Wawasee homeowners association failed to persuade the Indiana Tax Court to overturn Board of Tax Review denials of exemptions for waterfront property it claimed was maintained to retain and preserve the natural characteristics of land and water.
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Absence of evidence douses tobacco charge

February 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana inmate’s punishment for allegedly trafficking in tobacco was snuffed out when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found he was convicted without evidence of guilt.
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Texas attorney general argues gay couple's marriage is void

February 20, 2015
 Associated Press
As a newlywed lesbian couple in Texas celebrate defying a statewide ban on gay marriage, the state's Republican attorney general is preparing to tell a court Friday why it should rule their nuptials invalid.
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House rejects changes to Sunday alcohol sales bill

February 20, 2015
 Associated Press
An effort to dial back proposed restrictions on grocery, convenience and drug stores in a bill that would legalize Sunday carryout alcohol sales was narrowly defeated Thursday in the Indiana House of Representatives.
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COA returns housewares theft case to trial court

February 19, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A department store sales clerk who was convicted of two counts of theft is entitled to a rebate on her convictions and restitution amount, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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COA looks to Illinois for guidance on admission of naprapath’s testimony

February 19, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals found that a naprapath licensed in Illinois could testify about a woman’s injuries following a slip and fall.
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Judges rule father may tell daughter he's her dad

February 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
An out-of-state father may tell his 6-year-old daughter that he is her dad, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in reversing that part of a trial court's orders.
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Bill banning abortion due to gender, disability advances

February 19, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana would prohibit abortions based on fetal disabilities such as Down syndrome under a bill endorsed Wednesday by an Indiana legislative committee, after women who faced such pregnancies spoke on each side of the issue.
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Indiana panel sidetracks US constitutional convention call

February 19, 2015
 Associated Press
The conservative cause asking states to call the first constitutional convention since the nation's founding is facing some skepticism among Indiana legislators.
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Greenfield seniors have identities stolen

February 19, 2015
 Associated Press
Two Indiana law enforcement agencies are investigating an identity theft ring that has made off with more than 100 identities and about $100,000.
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Justices affirm death penalty for man who killed 2 children

February 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Vanderburgh County man convicted of the murders of his girlfriend’s eight- and five-year-old children after setting fire to hishome in 2010 will remain on death row. The Indiana Supreme Court declined to reverse his convictions or revise his sentence.
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7th Circuit grants habeas relief for man on death row

February 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville man sentenced to death for the 2001 murders of his wife and two daughters is not entitled to habeas relief on his claim of intellectual disability, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. But his petition should be granted because the state courts unreasonably applied federal due process standards in adjudicating his competency to stand trial.
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Attorney fee lien invalid if filed before judgment entered

February 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An attorney who filed a lien for attorney fees prior to judgment being entered in a dissolution proceeding lost his case before the Court of Appeals after it determined Indiana statute requires the lien be filed after a judgment in the case is entered.
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6 central Indiana dental employees reach plea deals

February 18, 2015
 Associated Press
Prosecutors have struck plea agreements with six former employees of a central Indiana dental clinic in connection with a Medicaid fraud investigation.
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Senate panel quickly advances religious freedom bill

February 18, 2015
 Associated Press
Republicans on an Indiana Senate committee quickly advanced a proposed religious freedom law before any of the Democratic members arrived to vote.
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Medical malpractice bill killed in Senate

February 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A proposal to allow clear medical malpractice claims to go directly to court rather than through medical review panels was defeated Monday in the Indiana Senate.
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  2. 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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  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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