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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. The $320,000 is the amount the school spent in litigating two lawsuits: One to release the report involving John Trimble (as noted in the story above) and one defending the discrimination lawsuit. The story above does not mention the amount spent to defend the discrimination suit, that's why the numbers don't match. Thanks for reading.

  2. $160k? Yesterday the figure was $320k. Which is it Indiana Lawyer. And even more interesting, which well connected law firm got the (I am guessing) $320k, six time was the fired chancellor received. LOL. (From yesterday's story, which I guess we were expected to forget overnight ... "According to records obtained by the Journal & Courier, Purdue spent $161,812, beginning in July 2012, in a state open records lawsuit and $168,312, beginning in April 2013, for defense in a federal lawsuit. Much of those fees were spent battling court orders to release an independent investigation by attorney John Trimble that found Purdue could have handled the forced retirement better")

  3. The numbers are harsh; 66 - 24 in the House, 40 - 10 in the Senate. And it is an idea pushed by the Democrats. Dead end? Ummm not necessarily. Just need to go big rather than go home. Nuclear option. Give it to the federal courts, the federal courts will ram this down our throats. Like that other invented right of the modern age, feticide. Rights too precious to be held up by 2000 years of civilization hang in the balance. Onward!

  4. I'm currently seeing someone who has a charge of child pornography possession, he didn't know he had it because it was attached to a music video file he downloaded when he was 19/20 yrs old and fought it for years until he couldn't handle it and plead guilty of possession. He's been convicted in Illinois and now lives in Indiana. Wouldn't it be better to give them a chance to prove to the community and their families that they pose no threat? He's so young and now because he was being a kid and downloaded music at a younger age, he has to pay for it the rest of his life? It's unfair, he can't live a normal life, and has to live in fear of what people can say and do to him because of something that happened 10 years ago? No one deserves that, and no one deserves to be labeled for one mistake, he got labeled even though there was no intent to obtain and use the said content. It makes me so sad to see someone I love go through this and it makes me holds me back a lot because I don't know how people around me will accept him...second chances should be given to those under the age of 21 at least so they can be given a chance to live a normal life as a productive member of society.

  5. It's just an ill considered remark. The Sup Ct is inherently political, as it is a core part of government, and Marbury V Madison guaranteed that it would become ever more so Supremely thus. So her remark is meaningless and she just should have not made it.... what she could have said is that Congress is a bunch of lazys and cowards who wont do their jobs so the hard work of making laws clear, oftentimes stops with the Sups sorting things out that could have been resolved by more competent legislation. That would have been a more worthwhile remark and maybe would have had some relevance to what voters do, since voters cant affect who gets appointed to the supremely un-democratic art III courts.

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