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Indiana appeals court rules in transgender birth certificate case

names or birth certificates. The court ruled unanimously in reversing a Tippecanoe County judge’s decision that required notices about name or gender changes to be published at least three times in a newspaper in the petitioner’s home county, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported. Appellate court Judge John Baker wrote that county judges can’t add conditions to requests for gender changes to birth certificates if a good faith test is satisfied. A 2014 ruling by the court found that gender changes to birth certificates are allowed if a judge can determine it’s not being made for an unlawful purpose. State law requires publication when changing names, though individuals who may be endangered by the publication are exempt. Source: Legal News Post Indiana appeals court rules in transgender birth certificate case

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Military parts dealer guilty in plot to steal Army equipment

A military equipment dealer was convicted Thursday of scheming with soldiers at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to steal sensitive material for sale to buyers in Russia, China and Mexico. John Roberts, of Clarksville, Tennessee, was found guilty of conspiracy to steal and sell government property, two counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act and 10 counts of wire fraud. Prosecutors said he faces up to five years in prison for conspiracy and up to 20 years for each count of arms export violations and wire fraud. More than $1 million in weapons parts, body armor, helmets, gun sights and other equipment was stolen and sold in a vast black market, prosecutors said. Six soldiers and another civilian pleaded guilty. One testified that Roberts was given a tour of the base to see items to be stolen. Eventually, they brought equipment back from Afghanistan and sold it by the truckload. Source: Legal News Post Military parts dealer guilty in plot to steal Army equipment

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S. Indiana city's mayor defends rental ordinance in court

The mayor of a southern Indiana city is defending a rental inspection ordinance that’s resulted in thousands of dollars in fines against property owners and is the subject of a lawsuit. Charlestown Mayor Bob Hall testified during Friday’s daylong hearing in Scott County Circuit Court that the ordinance is needed to ensure safe housing in his Ohio River community. The News and Tribune reported the Institute for Justice sued the city of Charlestown on behalf of residents in the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood. The nonprofit law firm’s attorneys argued during Friday’s hearing that the city broke Indiana law when it fined property owners without first giving them “reasonable time” to make repairs to return to compliance. The group wants to block Charlestown officials from enforcing the ordinance. Source: Legal News Post S. Indiana city's mayor defends rental ordinance in court

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Court: DirecTV owes $15M to South Carolina in tax dispute

A court has ruled that pay-television giant DirecTV owes South Carolina nearly $15 million because of the way the company calculates its tax bill in the state. The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the South Carolina Court of Appeals found that DirecTV revised its returns to the Department of Revenue in a way that understated how much money it collected from customers in the state over several years. The decision issued Thursday upholds a lower court ruling from June 2015. Taxes on more than $2 billion in South Carolina subscriber fees are at stake. The California-based company, which was acquired by AT&T in 2015, could pay the money or appeal to the S.C. Supreme Court. A DirecTV spokeswoman says the company is reviewing the court decision. Source: Legal News Post Court: DirecTV owes M to South Carolina in tax dispute

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Not guilty pleas entered in Lake Coeur d'Alene boat crash

A former Spokane advertising executive has pleaded not guilty to charges related to a boat crash on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, that killed three people last year. The Spokesman-Review reports that Dennis Magner entered his pleas Friday to charges of involuntary manslaughter and criminal conspiracy. The crash on July 30, 2016 killed 34-year-old Justin Luhr and two 21-year-old passengers, Justin Honken and Caitlin Breeze. The three victims were struck as they sat in Luhr’s anchored boat. It took several days for divers to recover their bodies. In addition to Magner, the grand jury charged Jonathan Sweat of Spokane with criminal conspiracy based on false statements he made to investigators. Sweat was a passenger on Magner’s boat at the time of the crash. The crash occurred when Magner’s Mastercraft struck and went airborne over the top of Luhr’s boat. The collision ripped the top off the cabin. Source: Legal News Post Not guilty pleas entered in Lake Coeur d'Alene boat crash

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