Indiana Trial Courts

JTAC fee, Clark County courts bills before committees

February 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A bill that would increase the automated record-keeping fee to pay for implementation of a statewide case-management system and a bill that proposes to create a unified Circuit Court in Clark County are just two of the bills before committees this week in the Indiana General Assembly.
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Justices to hear negligence case at IU-Indy

February 7, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will hold oral arguments in a case alleging negligence against the Putnam County sheriff Tuesday at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis.
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COA reverses father's visitation of adopted daughter

February 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Although one Indiana Court of Appeals judge concurred that a biological father’s petition granting visitation with his daughter should be reversed, he urged legislators and the Indiana Supreme Court to reconsider the issues raised in this case to “avoid equally unjust results in future cases.”
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Unified courts, judicial nomination bills move

February 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Several bills of impact on the courts saw action this week before the Indiana General Assembly shut down for two days after a winter storm hit the state.
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Knightstown Town Court judge resigns, New Castle lawyer takes bench

February 2, 2011
IL Staff

Knightstown Town City Judge Lewis Hayden Butler resigned from the bench on Monday and the Indiana Supreme Court has appointed New Castle attorney Joseph Lansinger to take that seat.

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Many courts shut down due to weather

February 2, 2011
IL Staff
Several courts around the state are closed today after heavy snow and ice hit Indiana this week. The weather has even caused the Indiana General Assembly to postpone hearings for a second day.
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Indiana courts to host judicial independence panel discussion

February 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is hosting a panel discussion in mid-February to discuss the broad topic of judicial independence and how courts operate in our democracy, and it’s turning to the online and social media world to help shape how the event unfolds.
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Marion County has first human trafficking conviction

January 26, 2011
IL Staff
The conviction of a man on human trafficking charges Tuesday is the first time the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has convicted someone on that charge since the state’s human trafficking law was enacted in 2007.
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Law firm files class-action lawsuit for estate planning UPL

January 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Logansport law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against an Indianapolis company that the state’s highest court last year determined engaged in the Unauthorized Practice of Law, suing on behalf of thousands of residents for what attorneys estimate could be $10 million to $20 million in damages.
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Federal act preempts state law claims

January 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson

The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Act preempts state law claims brought by a man’s first ex-wife seeking to keep her and her grandchildren as beneficiaries of the man’s life insurance policy.

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Court's community-service policy is unenforceable

January 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s order that an indigent small claims litigant perform community service in lieu of paying a filing fee, holding the informal local rule requiring community service is unenforceable.
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ALJ, problem-solving courts bills moving

January 24, 2011
IL Staff
A House bill dealing with problem-solving courts and a Senate bill that involves administrative proceedings and administrative law judge disqualifications have made it out of their respective judiciary committees.
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Jasper County joins Odyssey

January 24, 2011
IL Staff
Jasper County became the state’s 26th county to go live on the Indiana Supreme Court’s Odyssey case management system. The county’s courts and clerk’s office joined the system Jan. 21, bringing the total of courts on Odyssey to 81.
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Committee postpones discussion on judicial complex

January 21, 2011
IL Staff
The Marion Superior Executive Committee has postponed until Jan. 28 discussion of a new county judicial complex.
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New executive committee, talk of judicial complex

January 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The trial courts in the state’s largest county have a new leadership lineup, and the Marion Superior Executive Committee has changed the time of its weekly business meetings. Its first meeting will bring up a much-discussed and significant concept of building a new judicial complex in Marion County.
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Greenwood attorney Joe Van Valer dies

January 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana legal community has lost a former prosecutor and private attorney who, during his five decades of practice, established himself as a state and national expert in realty and development law.
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Statewide case management system is a third of the way plugged in

January 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Three years in, and Indiana’s case management system is plugged into about one-third of the state’s courts.
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Prosecutor can stay for new Camm trial

January 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A special judge in Southern Indiana has ruled that the prosecutor who handled the first two triple murder trials of former state trooper David Camm can stay on to handle the third.
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Comments welcomed for many court rule amendments

January 18, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A multitude of Indiana court rules are being examined for potential revision, and the legal community has a chance to offer comment about how those changes are made.
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Justices set man's execution date

January 12, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered the man convicted of killing his wife, her ex-husband, and her son be put to death in April.
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Court upholds convictions, sentence of a man who shot Indy officer

January 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a defendant’s convictions and sentence related to the shooting of an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer in the summer of 2008.
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Judges find enhancement doesn't violate double jeopardy principles

January 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals tackled an issue of first impression in a case involving double jeopardy principles. A defendant’s sentence was enhanced under the Firearm Enhancement Statute following a conviction for reckless homicide.
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Security increased following threats to judge

January 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Huntington County Sheriff’s Department has taken steps to protect a northeastern Indiana judge after learning of threats made against the judge late last week.
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Judges reverse man's removal from sex offender list

January 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in ordering a man’s name removed from the state’s sex offender registry because the court didn’t provide notice to the appropriate parties or hold a hearing before doing so, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA finds inmate's post-conviction relief process 'confusing'

January 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a pro se inmate’s petition for permission to file a belated appeal after his post-conviction relief petition was denied, finding the chronological cases summary to contain inconsistencies. The judges also noted that this particular court has a “documented history” of not organizing and keeping abreast of its post-conviction relief files.
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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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