Significant Cases

Note: Indiana rules of professional conduct prevent us from discussing case outcomes. You may review the results of the cases presented here on your own.

United States Supreme Court

Burns v. Reed, 500 U.S. 478 (1991):

Landmark case regarding whether a prosecutor is absolutely immune from liability when offering legal advice to police officers.

Appellate Decisions

Mary M. v. Lawrence North School Corporation, 131 F.3d 1220 (7th Cir. 1997), United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

  • Case involving 13-year-old who was seduced and statutorily raped by a school employee while the school principal waited to confirm that they had actually skipped school together. 

James Campbell v. Frank Miller, et al., 499 F.3d 711 (7th Cir. 2007), United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

  • Arrestee was strip searched by Indianapolis police officer in backyard of friend’s house. 

    George Black v. State of Indiana, 794 N.E.2d 561 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003), Indiana Court of Appeals
    Indiana Court of Appeals considered the requirements for admission of evidence in probation revocation hearings.

    Kemezy v. Peters, 622 N.E.2d 1296 (Ind. 1993), Indiana Supreme Court
    Indiana Supreme Court answered certified question from United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana as to whether police officers have immunity under the Indiana Tort Claims Act for claims of excessive force.

Estate of Rudy Escobedo v. Martin Bender, et al., 600 F.3d 770 (7th Cir. 2010) and and 702 F.3d 388 (7th Cir. 2012) United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

  • A lawsuit brought by the estate of a suicidal young man who was shot and killed by the Fort Wayne Police Department.

 

Sample Cases

Brandon v. Snow (IP88-1169-C)

  • Excessive force claim against Indianapolis Police Department.

Lucius Slay, et al v. John H. Jones, et al.

    Lawsuit against Indianapolis Police Department for excessive force.

Theresa McDonald, et al. v. Thomas McQueary, et al. (Th92-144-C)

  • Lawsuit against Vigo County Judge and Vigo County Community Corrections officer for sexual harassment to participants of the Vigo County Community Corrections Program. 

Jeffrey Kemezy v. James Peters (IP90-669-C-T/G)

  • Lawsuit against City of Muncie and Muncie police officer for excessive force.

Estate of William Wallace v. Jerry Hounshel, et al (I:06-cv-1560-WTL-TAB).

  •  Lawsuit against Jackson County Sheriff, Jackson County Jail Officers, and private medical contractor for failing to provide medical treatment which lead to inmate’s death.

Harold David Buntin v. Marion County Superior Court, Criminal Division, et al. (49D01-0801-PL-1542)

  • Lawsuit against Criminal Court, Marion County Clerk, Marion County, and Court and Clerk Staff for negligence, based on court staff’s misplacing case file after the Court granted Mr. Buntin’s petition for post-conviction relief and vacated his conviction for rape.  Loss of file resulted in Mr. Buntin remaining incarcerated for an additional two years after his petition for post-conviction relief was granted. 

Estate of Stephen Todd Lee v. City of Washington, et al. (3:09-cv-16-RLY-WGH)

  • Lawsuit against City of Washington and Washington police officers for excessive force and wrongful death.

Jane Doe v. Jeff Sherwood, et al. (1:11-cv-789-SEB-DML).

  • Lawsuit against Rush County Sheriff and Rush County Jail Commander for refusing to permit a pregnant jail inmate to obtain an abortion. 

 

Jail Conditions

Madison County Jail Inmates, et al v. Mark Thompson, et al. (IP79-675-C and IP79-855-C); (7h Cir. No. 84-1677)

Class action lawsuit alleging unconstitutional conditions at the Madison County Jail.

Jeffery K. Evans, et al. v. Robert D. Orr, et al. (IP81-542-C)

Lawsuit alleging overcrowding at Indiana Youth Center, Department of Correction Facility.

Monroe County Jail Inmates, et al. v. James Young, et al. (IP81-606-C)

Class action lawsuit alleging unconstitutional conditions at the Monroe County Jail.

Monte McPherson et al. v. Nicholas Gulling, et al. (IP85089-C)

Class action lawsuit alleging unconstitutional conditions at the Hancock County Jail.

Kevin M. Hines, et al. v. Michael Becher, et al. (NA87-130-C)

Class action lawsuit alleging unconstitutional conditions at Clark County Jail.

Tony L. Boes et al. v. Thomas C. Zoeller, et al. (NA88-188-C)

Class action lawsuit alleging unconstitutional conditions at Floyd County Jail.

Troy L. Duncan et al. v. Ralph (“Bud”) Harris, et al. (IP89-776-C)

Class action lawsuit alleging unconstitutional conditions and overcrowding at Randolph County Jail.

Larry Jones v. Vermilion County Commissioners, et al. (83C01-9106-CP-0035)

Lawsuit alleging cruel and inhumane conditions, overcrowding, and health hazards at Vermilion County Jail.

Darrell Kirkwood, et al. v. Rick Isrigg, et al. (IP89-1045)

Class action lawsuit alleging unconstitutional conditions at Shelby County Jail.

Turner v. Beatty, et al. (IP90-1955-C)

Class action lawsuit alleging unconstitutional conditions at Howard County Jail.

Charles Heath, et al. v. Edward L. Davis, Jr., et al. (NA92-137-C)

Class action lawsuit alleging unconstitutional conditions at Harrison County Jail.

Bill Vanover, et al. v. Larry W. Pierce, et al. (TH92-204-C)

Class action lawsuit alleging unconstitutional conditions at Clay County Jail.

 

Other Constitutionally Related Actions

ROYAL RUN DEVELOPMENT

Several prominent citizens of Zionsville, Indiana were opposed to a new development which they labeled "a vinyl village" and believed it to be very incompatible with the existing land-use plan and their aspirations for the future development of their community.  Our firm was hired to challenge the developers before they obtained approval from the county commissioners.  We employed a three-pronged approach to this essentially political decision.  First, we circulated petitions throughout the community with the help of our prominent clients; second, we hired a videographer to take pictures of the existing community and to produce a film for the commissioners and the audience which demonstrated what can happen when you approve a large development that puts a strain on not only the infrastructure but also the fire, police, and government services and schools, which must respond to this large influx of residents.  We also legally challenged the approval of the proposed plan, as it was grossly inconsistent with the model land-use plan that had been previously approved, and we lobbied the necessary parties to maintain the overall development plan, without making exceptions which would open floodgates for more development. 

PENNSBURY DEVELOPMENT

Brant v. Custom Design Construction Corp et al, 677 N.E.3d Court of Appeals Indiana


Again because of the rapport that we established with various prominent citizens in the Boone County community, we were hired to replace a larger law firm that had taken over an appeal in which the trial court had ordered the commission to approve a plat.  We challenged the developer's position on appeal.  Soon thereafter a white knight came along and bought the 900 acres and developed it into a private nature preserve which was a totally different neighbor than the one that was being proposed. 

Riddle v. Boone County Solid Waste Management District Board, 06C01-9701-CP-257

Our firm was hired by the owners of a recycling operation, on the far north side of Marion County.  A new recycling center was proposed for Boone County and he wished to expand his operation into Boone County.  However a competitor successfully obtained the permit from the Solid Waste Management Board thus denying him that opportunity.  We were hired to challenge the permit and we did so by suing in state court and alleging that constitutional violations of due process had occurred when the Solid Waste Management Board itself had failed to properly promulgate the rules and regulations and had not given the public an opportunity to comment or to challenge or criticize the rules as they currently existed.