Blog

  • La Porte County Commissioner’s Tax Sale – Friday, February 22, 2019
    LaPorte County will hold a commissioners’ certificate sale on Friday, February 22, 2019, where it will auction off properties with unpaid taxes that didn’t sell at the October 2018 Tax Sale. Opening bids will start at $100 and the person with the highest bid on a particular property will receive…
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  • Don’t Lose Your Life Savings Qualifying for Medicaid
    Paying for proper long-term care for a loved one is difficult and expensive with nursing homes charging $6,000 to $9,000 per month. Many families can’t afford those payments for an extended period of time so they rely on Medicaid coverage to cover the cost. To qualify for Medicaid, families are…
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  • La Porte County Real Estate Tax Sale – Thursday, October 26, 2017
      La Porte County will hold a tax sale October 26, 2017, where it will auction off certain properties where taxes have gone unpaid for a period of time.  The properties listed for tax sale can be viewed here. Those with the highest bid on a particular property will receive a…
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  • 3 questions you need to ask about your car and homeowners insurance
    I’m not intending to make more money for your insurance agent, but I hope by the end of this post you decide to pick up the phone or email your insurance agent to learn more about your insurance coverage.  You may learn that you do not have enough insurance to…
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  • Homeowner potentially liable to intoxicated party goer who died
    In a timely decision for the holiday party season, the Indiana Court of Appeals issued a decision on December 14th in Rogers v. Martin, et. al. regarding the potential liability of a homeowner for the death of a party goer. In May 2010, the defendant, Amanda Martin, hosted a birthday party…
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  • Indiana Court of Appeals grants Motion to Exclude blood test results in OWI case
    Recently, the Indiana Court of Appeals issued an interesting opinion that excluded blood test results in an OWI case because the officer failed to include any specific facts in the probable cause affidavit.  The Court of Appeals decision can be read here.  Here are the relevant facts from the Court…
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  • The Elkhart Four
    On Friday, September 18, 2015, the Indiana Supreme Court issued a much awaited opinion in the case that became known as the Elkhart Four, Layman, et al. v. State of Indiana, 20S04-1509-CR-548.  You can read the opinion here.  The case received nationwide media attention (see ABC's article and interviews here). On October…
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  • Admissibility of Facebook Messages in Court
    Over the last decade a hot legal topic has been the admissibility of Facebook, Twitter, and other online messages in court and trial proceedings.  The legal issue is whether the party attempting to admit the online statement can authenticate the statement.  How can they be sure that the online profile…
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  • Grandparent Visitation
    L.A.D. (Mother) and R.W. (Father) were married and had a child, L-A.D.W. (L-A).  M.D. and W.D. (Grandparents) helped provide care for L-A from the time she was born and even lived in Mother and Father’s home after L-A was born in order to help Mother care for her.  Grandparents carried…
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  • USA vs. Tommy Webster
    Tommy Lee Webster, Jr. was charged in the South Bend Division in the Northern District of Indiana in an indictment that alleged: possession with intent to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, in violation of 18…
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  • Remand Even With Below Guidelines Sentence
    Carl Morris pled guilty to one count of distribution of crack cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). Although the district court sentenced him below the guidelines range, it did so without addressing his principal arguments in mitigation. Because the court did not consider Morris' arguments in deciding his…
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  • Prosecutor, then Judge, then Remand
    The Seventh Circuit ruled today that the public's confidence in the federal judiciary might be undermined if the Judge, who once served as the defendant's prosecutor, sentenced the same defendant in a case before her. Judge Posner, writing for the Court in in USA v. Jessie A. Smith ruled that…
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  • Special Conditions of Supervised Release
    In USA v. Jeremy S. Cary, the 7th Circuit held that the special conditions of supervised release “must: (1) be reasonably related to the factors identified in § 3553(a), include the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant; (2) involve no greater deprivation…
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  • Withdrawing from a Federal Plea Agreement
    Typically, once you enter a plea agreement (especially in federal court) the defendant is stuck. Federal Judges do a great job making sure the defendant's plea is knowingly, voluntary and with full understanding of the consequences. USA v. Siamak Fard is a case about how difficult the plea process really…
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  • $495,744
    Abdel Alsharfa and Tristan Elcock were definitely up to something. And, they had no real explanation why they were carrying almost $500,000 in cash. But, they broke no laws. The (nonprecedential) opinion merely says they were stopped by a State Trooper while driving through Illinois. While the trooper spoke with…
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  • Can “Victims” Testify at a Federal Sentencing?
    Steven Salutric pleaded guilty to committing wire fraud (with a $3.8 million loss) in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 and was ordered to serve a below-Guidelines sentence of 96 months. Salutric appealed and contended the district court committed error at sentencing when it took into consideration two victim impact…
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  • Cooperation and the Federal “Safety Valve”
    Reynaldo Ortiz pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess heroin with the intent to distribute under 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 846, and received the statutory minimum prison sentence of 10 years. Reynaldo argued that his cooperation with law enforcement after his arrest qualified him for “safety valve” relief from the statutory…
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  • GPS and the Fourth Amendment
    In United States v. Taylor, the Indianapolis police department attached, without a warrant, a GPS unit to a suspected drug dealer’s car. After gathering location data from the GPS they learned the car made several stops at a storage unit. Based on that information, they asked a Court to issue…
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  • Are you really operating that car?
    For years NLKJ lawyers have argued with Prosecutors about what “operating” a vehicle means. It seems like it should be an easy answer, but for many years our Indiana legislature did not clearly define the term. You may not be operating a vehicle if you’re in a parking spot and…
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  • So just how drunk and annoying do you need to be to get arrested?
    In 2012 the Indiana legislature amended the public intoxication statute. Since then a lot of ink has been spilled in Indiana Courts trying to interpret the legislature’s intent. The new statute reads in relevant part: It is a Class B misdemeanor for a person to be in a public place…
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