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Supreme Court creates Office of Judicial Administration

February 10, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court announced Wednesday it is creating a single Office of Judicial Administration in an effort to improve its internal governance.
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Prosecutors appeal Indianapolis coach's release to parents

February 10, 2016
 Associated Press
Federal prosecutors have appealed a judge's decision to allow a former Indianapolis high school boys' basketball coach to live with his parents while he faces charges that he enticed a 15-year-old girl into a sexual relationship.
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Defense claims case against man in 1975 death circumstantial

February 10, 2016
 Associated Press
The defense for a Terre Haute man accused of killing his first wife in 1975 claims the case against him is circumstantial.
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East Chicago City Council seeks guidance on jailed member

February 10, 2016
 Associated Press
The East Chicago City Council has decided to ask the Indiana attorney general and the State Board of Accounts for guidance as one of its members remains jailed.
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Obama vows to press ahead on Clean Power Plan after setback

February 10, 2016
 Associated Press
The administration of President Barack Obama is vowing to press ahead with efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions after a divided U.S. Supreme Court put his signature plan to address climate change on hold until after legal challenges are resolved.
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Hoosier roots still strong for D.C. Circuit jurist

February 10, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Judge Robert Wilkins returns to Indiana for a Black History Month celebration in the Southern District of Indiana.
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Suit alleges pattern of illegal detentions in Fort Wayne

February 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
Three Fort Wayne residents – and perhaps scores more – were illegally detained by police without warrants, probable cause or even the accusation that they had broken the law, a federal lawsuit alleges.
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30 justice applicants bring varied backgrounds

February 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
The lawyers and judges vying to become the next Indiana justice include a one-time Swiss Alps guide, an aerobics instructor, and a former Indiana University football player. At least three got their start working at McDonald’s, and more have lived in Rensselaer (three) than were born in Indianapolis (two).
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Treatment of mentally ill prisoners changing

February 10, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
After more than seven years of litigation, the Indiana Department of Correction is instituting major changes by providing treatment and mostly eliminating solitary confinement for severally mentally ill prisoners.
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Neutral Corner: Reaction to SCOTUS’ recent arbitration decision

February 10, 2016
John Van Winkle
Comments following the DirecTVdecision have been consistent: Unless Congress acts or the makeup of the court fundamentally changes, mandatory arbitration of consumer disputes and the corresponding limitations of some remedies (such as class actions) is here to stay.
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Taking a 'side step' in the legal profession

February 10, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
From her desk, Elizabeth Ellis watched the attorneys in her office work and realized as many other paralegals have – I can do that.
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E-filing takes baby steps in Hamilton County

February 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
What could be easier than filing court documents from your desktop or tablet with automatic service and immediate filing confirmation? If you can see the courthouse from your office, it may seem easier to do things the old way — dashing to the clerk’s office or having a runner do the same. That seems to be true in some cases, at least for now.
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Magistrate Judge Hussmann turns in gavel but plans to keep working

February 10, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
On Jan. 31, Magistrate Judge William Hussmann Jr. raced his administrative assistant, Shelly James, to the office door. After nearly 28 years, the pair retired together from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Former foes support Indiana lawsuit funding bills

February 10, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Harsh regulations in other states are inducing the legal financing industry to compromise.
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Cohen/Mattingly: Learn your ESI rules: It's an ethical imperative (chomp)

February 10, 2016
It’s been nearly 10 years since the Supreme Court of the United States approved amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to add language addressing electronically stored information, or ESI. Recent FRCP amendments, effective December 2015, clarify ESI obligations. The rules re-introduce traditional concepts of flexibility and proportionality to ESI obligations.
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In-Box: Commercial courts

February 10, 2016
Colin Flora writes in response to the recent announcement of the creation of commercial courts in Indiana.
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BGBC: Who’s responsible for the IOLTA account? You are!

February 10, 2016
One of the most significant and important fiduciary duties that lawyers must perform is to safeguard all client and third-party property held in trust.
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Indiana Judges Association: How are we going to replace Justice Brent Dickson?

February 10, 2016
David Dreyer
There is now a great opportunity to pick our next Supreme Court justice. But our problem is that we have to replace the irreplaceable Justice Brent Dickson.
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From McKinney to mayor

February 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
Shane Evans went home to Delphi, Indiana, after graduating from law school last year and walked straight into the top job in city hall.
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7th Circuit disagrees with ALJ that woman is able to work

February 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In vacating the denial of an application for Social Security disability benefits, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals admonished the administrative law judge for giving more weight to the opinion of the non-examining physician than to the diagnosis of the doctors who have been treating the applicant.
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General Assembly leaders honor Dickson

February 9, 2016
IL Staff
A resolution honoring the service of retiring Indiana Supreme Court Justice Brent Dickson unanimously passed both houses of the General Assembly, and House and Senate leaders praised the second-longest-serving justice in state history Tuesday.
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Hoosier’s quest to reach public road ends at 7th Circuit

February 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The owner of a piece of southern Indiana property who could not reach his land because neighbors would not permit him to drive across their properties has lost his attempt to get to a main road.
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Inaccurate property description does not render mortgage invalid

February 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite errors, a mortgage still contained a “facially valid” description and the mortgage holder was protected from foreclosure.
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Arrest, search of woman who walked from police unconstitutional

February 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis police who arrested and searched a woman after she walked away from them violated her Fourth Amendment rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Supreme Court vacates Tax Court ruling in seized-dogs case

February 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Tax Court ruling that the state improperly denied a refund of the value of 240 dogs seized from an alleged puppy mill in southern Indiana was vacated Monday by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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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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