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Man who did not knowingly waive representation to get new trial

June 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
A southern Indiana man will receive a new trial for his invasion of privacy charges after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday the trial court failed to advise him of the dangers of proceeding pro se.
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Court vacates union representation, citing unclear deciding vote

June 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
The regional director of the National Labor Relations Board erroneously counted a ballot in favor of union representation of a northern Indiana company and impacted the outcome of an election to determine whether the union would represent the company, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Man's 72-year sentence for child molestation upheld

June 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a man’s 72-year sentence for molesting his young daughter, finding the trial court did not consider identical facts at sentencing hearings on two separate charges.
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Fort Wayne TV station seeks to broadcast doctor’s sentencing hearing

June 21, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A Fort Wayne television station has filed an appeal challenging a Huntington Circuit judge’s order denying its request to air a trial court recording of a doctor’s sentencing hearing for felony sexual battery.
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Court impermissibly entered convictions on 3 resisting law enforcement counts

June 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana trial court should not have entered convictions against a man on three counts of resisting law enforcement stemming from a single incident, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a Wednesday opinion instructing the trial court to change the man’s convictions and resentence him accordingly.
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Indianapolis tries to halt Carmel’s 96th Street roundabout

June 21, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Four planned roundabouts on 96th Street may have hit a roadblock with the city of Indianapolis asking a court to stop the city of Carmel from moving forward with the project.
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7th Circuit: District court properly granted extra time to move for appeal

June 21, 2017
A federal judge properly allowed the state to have an extended period of time to move for direct appeal, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined Tuesday, finding a conditional writ of habeas corpus in the case provided unclear instructions on how the state was supposed to proceed.
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Records show congressman's wife works part time in $240K job

June 21, 2017
 Associated Press
The wife of a likely Senate candidate averages a 26.5-hour work week in her $240,000-a-year job doing legal consulting for an Indianapolis suburb, according to timesheets reviewed by The Associated Press.
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COA: attorney fees and litigation costs allowed in child’s wrongful death

June 20, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the award of attorney fees in a child’s wrongful death case.
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Split COA affirms northern Indiana utility rate increase

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A northern Indiana utility company can increase its rates after a divided Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission followed the appropriate statutory guidelines in approving the rate hike.
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Treble damages upheld in stepmother’s conversion of safe deposit box funds

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a determination that a northern Indiana woman illegally converted the funds in the safe deposit box her husband shared with his adult children and that the children are entitled to treble damages.
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Public outcry may be able to keep offensive trademarks at bay

June 20, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
While Monday’s decision from the Supreme Court of the United States that barred the federal government from asserting which names are offensive has been viewed as a victory for the Washington Redskins, a high school in northern Indiana may provide an example of what the eight justices were trying to accomplish.
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Court must revisit issue of prospective juror’s demeanor in Batson challenge

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Marion Superior Court must revisit the issue of whether a prospective juror’s body language made his dismissal appropriate after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Tuesday it would be inappropriate to credit the state’s assertion without findings that the dismissal was not based on race.
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High court strikes down extension of community caretaking role to non-vehicle searches

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a portion of an Indiana Court of Appeals opinion that extended the law enforcement community caretaker role beyond questions regarding seizures of a vehicle. The justices did affirm the man's cocaine conviction, however, finding his constitutional arguments failed. 

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Putnam County officer to be resentenced again for excessive use of force

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Putnam County law enforcement officer who used excessive force against compliant arrestees must return to district court for a second resentencing after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined the district court, once again, failed to adequately justify its imposition of a below-guidelines sentence.
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Indianapolis to receive Justice Department aid to fight crime

June 20, 2017
 Associated Press
The Justice Department says it will offer its resources to help 12 U.S. cities, including Indianapolis, fight violent crime.
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Gary attorney arrested for allegedly stealing $80,000 from clients

June 19, 2017
IL Staff
A Gary attorney is being held in the Lake County Jail after she was arrested and charged with felony theft.
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Goff joining Indiana Supreme Court July 24

June 19, 2017
IL Staff
A temporary replacement for the judge of the Wabash Superior Court has been appointed as current Judge Christopher Goff prepares to step down from the trial court bench and transition to the Indiana Supreme Court next month.
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US high court curbs suits against companies in Plavix case

June 19, 2017
 Bloomberg News
The U.S. Supreme Court gave companies a new tool to defeat some legal claims, siding with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in a bid to limit a consumer lawsuit in California over its Plavix blood thinner.
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COA: County entities did not owe duty under foreseeability analysis

June 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
A southern Indiana county and its parks and recreation and health departments did not owe a duty to a man who contracted a deadly infection while at a county park, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday, reversing the denial of summary judgment to the governmental entities.
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Top students still not interested in a JD

June 19, 2017
IL Staff
A few months before law schools around the country begin a new academic year, the number of people applying for admission has slipped, with the greatest decline coming from applicants posting the highest LSAT scores.
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SCOTUS takes on fight over partisan electoral maps

June 19, 2017
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States is taking on a case about partisan advantage in redistricting that could affect elections across the United States.
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Justices say law on offensive trademarks is unconstitutional

June 19, 2017
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down part of a law that bans offensive trademarks, ruling in favor of an Asian-American rock band called the Slants and giving a major boost to the Washington Redskins in their separate legal fight over the team name.
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Justices deny transfer to malpractice suit against Barnes & Thornburg

June 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court will not consider the issue of whether Indiana’s largest law firm was properly granted summary judgment in a legal malpractice suit, denying transfer to a case that raised concerns about attorneys’ ability to indemnify themselves against malpractice allegations.
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Fort Wayne courthouse's stained glass dome undergoes repairs

June 19, 2017
 Associated Press
After spending nearly a century adorning the apex of the courthouse ceiling, the stained-glass panels had begun to suffer from a phenomenon known as deflection. The condition results from gravity invisibly acting on the lead holding the glass in place.
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  2. 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.

  3. 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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