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Judge OKs $725K settlement against Whitley County sheriff

March 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
Defendants jailed in Whitley County more than 48 hours without a probable cause hearing in violation of U.S. Supreme Court caselaw will share a $725,000 settlement, a federal judge ruled.
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Medical-Legal partnership gets national honor

March 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Five years after its founding, the Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health Medical-Legal Partnership in Indianapolis is being recognized with a 2015 Outstanding MLP Award from the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.
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House committee removes public record search fee from bill

March 27, 2015
 Associated Press
Lawmakers on Thursday stripped an education bill of major proposed changes to Indiana's open records laws after concerns were raised about how the measure would impact all government agencies and not just schools.
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Panther Racing suit against IndyCar, Rahal Letterman tossed

March 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal breach-of-contract lawsuit alleging damages of more than $17 million resulting from an IndyCar sponsorship dispute has been dismissed.
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COA splits over jury instruction, affirms conviction

March 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals split over whether the jury instruction was erroneous, the panel was unanimous in upholding the defendant’s conviction for theft from Walmart.
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Bartholomew juvenile detentions plummet under JDAI

March 27, 2015
 Associated Press
The number of local juvenile offenders detained each year in Bartholomew County has been decreasing dramatically during the past decade, the Columbus Republic reports.
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Dispute over beach ownership heading back to trial court

March 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Property owners along Lake Michigan will have another chance to make their arguments in a dispute over which part of the beach belongs to them and which belongs to the public.
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States ask court to keep RadioShack from selling customer data

March 26, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Twenty-two states, including Indiana, have rallied around Texas in its legal challenge to RadioShack’s plan to sell personal data on 117 million customers.
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Driving 91 mph in 55 zone supports reckless driving verdict

March 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
A driver’s argument that his speed of 91 mph on a 55-mph country road was insufficient evidence of endangerment cut no ice with the trial court, and the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed Thursday.
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Justices agree to rewrite footnote conflicting with opinion

March 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court agreed to rewrite a footnote that was at least confusing if not in conflict with its opinion in a case reviewing an action of the Department of Insurance.
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Wrongful detention complaints grow against Marion County Jail

March 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Hendricks County man claims he lost his job because the Marion County Jail detained him five days longer than he was sentenced. That’s the latest allegation in a federal lawsuit seeking damages for alleged unreasonable release procedures that may have left thousands behind bars in Indianapolis longer than they should have been.
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Governor signs 'religious freedom restoration' bill into law

March 26, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said he signed the controversial “religious freedom restoration” bill into law Thursday morning in a private ceremony.
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Justice Rucker honored by Valparaiso Law School

March 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker will return to his law school alma mater Thursday to give the first speech in a new lecture series named in his honor.
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IU Maurer gets $20 million gift from Class of ’64 alum

March 26, 2015
IL Staff
Indiana University Maurer School of Law announced that 1964 graduate Lowell E. Baier has made a $20 million estate gift to the Bloomington law school that will enhance facilities and the school’s long-term renovation and expansion.
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Plaintiffs in bar shooting were owed protection

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When a customer pulled a gun and started shooting, the bar had a well-established duty to protect its other customers, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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State statute protects taxpayers from loan dispute

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Ruling that taxpayers should not be penalized for a bank’s lack of diligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held a financial institution cannot recoup the outstanding balance on a loan for a fire truck.
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Justices spell out required 'presumption of innocence' jury instruction

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A convicted murderer who didn’t receive a requested jury instruction on the presumption of innocence lost his appeal Wednesday, but the Indiana Supreme Court used the case to impart an exact instruction trial courts must use going forward upon request.
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COA reverses neglect resulting in death verdict against mom

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis mother was wrongly convicted of neglect of a dependent child resulting in death, the Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in reversing the jury’s verdict. Judges found evidence against Chelsea Taylor was insufficient to support the conviction.
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Bragging is admissible in court, COA rules

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s statement to law enforcement that he could “read” people was a boast and not a character reference, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals, so it was admissible at trial.
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Termination of parental rights waiting period requires no services

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Parents of children removed from the home for 15 of the prior 22 months before a hearing on termination of parental rights may not argue that a lack of services during that time tolls the waiting period, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA reverses lease judgment for tenant, finds for landlord

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A medical office that leased space from a landlord lost a judgment in its favor in a dispute over owed rent. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and ordered judgment in favor of the property owner.
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SCOTUS sides with ex-UPS worker who claims pregnancy bias

March 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court is giving a former UPS driver another chance to prove her claim of discrimination after the company did not offer her lighter duty when she was pregnant.
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Appeals court sets April hearing on Obama immigration action

March 25, 2015
 Associated Press
A court hearing has been set for April 17 on whether a temporary hold on President Barack Obama’s immigration executive action should be lifted, a federal appeals court announced Tuesday.
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Boyer selected new Allen County Small Claims Court magistrate

March 25, 2015
IL Staff
Thomas P. Boyer, a magistrate for Allen Superior Court Family Relations Division, has been named the newest magistrate judge of the Allen Superior Court Small Claims Division. Boyer replaces Magistrate Jerry Ummel, who recently announced his retirement after 27 years on the bench.
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Windsor counsel to speak at IU Maurer

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Roberta “Robbie” Kaplan, counsel who represented Edith Windsor in the landmark marriage equality case, will speak about the civil rights battle for same-sex marriage at Indiana University Maurer School of Law on March 26.
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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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