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COA to hear arguments in parks ban case

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The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments Tuesday in a sex-offender park ban case out of southern Indiana. Chief Judge John Baker and Judges Michael Barnes and Melissa May will hear Eric Dowdell v. City of Jeffersonville, No. 10A04-0811-CV-676 at 1:30 p.m. in the Court of Appeals courtroom in the Statehouse.
The issue is whether Jeffersonville can enforce an ordinance prohibiting anyone defined as a sex offender from ever having unrestricted access to their parks. The arguments will be webcast on the court's Web site.

This case is just one of several challenges around the state from sex offenders who object to being banned from public parks. In September 2008, the Court of Appeals upheld Plainfield's town ordinance banning sex offenders from parks. The appellate court in John Doe v. Town of Plainfield, No. 32A01-0803-CV-133, ruled the Indiana Constitution doesn't ensure a person's right to enter a public park, so local laws restricting sex offenders from entering a park aren't unconstitutional.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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