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Appellate court rules in judge's favor

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Trial courts don’t have the authority to issue orders against other courts and judges mandating that they stop certain practices, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.

In Toshiano Ishii, Matthew Stone, Greg Hardin, Lisa Hardin, et al. v. The Hon. William E. Young, Judge, No. 49A02-1103-PL-316, the appellate court affirmed a motion to dismiss that Special Judge Matthew Hanson from Morgan County granted in favor of Marion Superior Judge William Young.

Hanson had been appointed to hear the case involving six individuals who alleged they were on the receiving end of Young’s improper traffic court practices, which included threatening additional fines on them if they exercised their right to a trial in his court. Those litigants sued Young, but only sought relief for future cases and not their specific situations. They requested that Hanson prohibit Young from improperly fining people. They also asked the judge to find that Young cannot bar the general public from attending court sessions and defendants with health problems should be allowed to return to court if they left and be able to carry snacks, water and medication if needed. Hanson found he didn’t have jurisdiction to issue a mandate or injunction against Young because that authority belonged solely to the Indiana Supreme Court.

The appellate court rejected the arguments that the Indiana Constitution and state appellate and original action rules allow for trial judges to issue a writ of mandamus or prohibition against another trial court judge relating to matters that aren’t connected to the trial court’s jurisdiction. The appellate panel cited both Indiana Constitution Article 7, Section 4 and Indiana Appellate Rule 4(B)(3) that gives the justices exclusive jurisdiction.

Since the three-judge panel affirmed Hanson’s order on grounds relating to jurisdiction, the appellate judges didn’t address the parties’ arguments relating to standing and mootness. The traffic court litigants who sued Young in this case were not involved in the disciplinary action that was filed against Young last year, but it involved the same conduct. The Supreme Court in February suspended Young for 30 days without pay, and the trial judge has since returned to the bench.
 

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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