ILNews

Justices' transfer action posted online weekly

Michael W. Hoskins
May 24, 2010
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In order to increase efficiency and reduce administrative redundancies at the appellate clerk's office, attorneys and law firms will no longer receive weekly e-mails about cases the Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to consider.

Indiana Appellate Clerk and Supreme Court Administrator Kevin S. Smith sent an e-mail Friday that alerted members of the public and legal community about the change. The clerk's office for several years had been sending weekly updates about the state justices' transfers granted during their private weekly conferences.

Those weekly updates known as the "Clerk's Transfer Action Report" will be replaced with full online lists about the appeal transfers and denials by the Indiana Supreme Court. The transfer disposition information is already being posted on the state judiciary's website at www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions, and will also be publicly released in Twitter updates by the state's highest court.

"Because the Clerk's Transfer Action Report contains the same information that our staff is separately typing up in these "Transfer Granted" emails, it makes little sense, administratively, for us to continue separately producing and transmitting the "Transfer Granted" e-mails as well, especially when the resources we devote to this effort are greatly needed elsewhere," Smith wrote in the e-mail.

Smith also pointed out that his office is creating this report in a Microsoft Excel document, allowing viewers to sort and filter the data on whatever cases they might want to see.

Traditionally, those transfer granted e-mails from a clerk's office staff member have gone out as soon as Thursday on the day of the justices' conferences, but usually are received by Monday the following week. Smith said the online reports will be posted in a timely manner and depend on various factors such as staffing availability, the number of transfer orders issued by the Supreme Court, and other court orders and activity that may be happening simultaneously with the three state appellate courts.

With the most recent conference activity from last week, the clerk's office posted the online report today about the 14 cases considered on Thursday. Justices didn't grant any transfers. But the denial in Cory A. McClarin v. State of Indiana, No. 20A05-0909-CR-553, in which all the justices concurred, there is an interesting and uncommon note regarding Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard's thought on the case ruled on by the Court of Appeals in March.

The denial note says the chief justice "joins in denying the Petition to Transfer, believing that the trial court has correctly been affirmed, but compliments to attorney Donald Shuler on the very high quality of the brief he filed on his client's behalf."

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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