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SCOTUS declines to take Indiana case

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The nation's highest court refused to take an Indiana case involving a national insurance crime bureau worker's claim that he was a federal employee rather than an independent contractor when he helped with the prosecution of an insurance case.

At a private conference last week, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in the case of Joseph Jaskolski, et al. v. Rick Daniels, et al., No. 09-946. The court released its decision in an order list Monday.

Attorneys had filed a petition for writ of certiorari in February following an Indiana Supreme Court decision in November to not accept the case. The state's Court of Appeals had declined to rehear the case following its April 24, 2009, ruling, which affirmed a judgment from Lake Superior Judge Diane Kavadias Schneider on an issue that crossed between the state and federal court systems.

At the state appellate level, the three-judge panel upheld the trial court's denial of a request by Jaskolski and the National Insurance Crime Bureau for certification under the Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act of 1998, or the Westfall Act, that provides a procedural mechanism to ask the U.S. Attorney General to determine the scope of one's employment.

The state court held that Jaskolski acted as an independent contractor, not as an employee, when he volunteered and cooperated with the federal government in its investigation and prosecution of the Danielses regarding an insurance claim about a 1998 motor home fire. After being acquitted of criminal charges at a jury trial, Daniels and his wife filed lawsuits that were consolidated into a 15-count malicious prosecution suit in Lake Superior Court.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Indiana declined to certify Jaskolski was working as a federal government employee, and the issue continued to bounce between the federal and state courts through the years and Jaskolski and the NCIB failed to win each time.

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  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

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