Indiana Trial Courts

Judiciary announces court reforms

September 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
he Indiana Judicial Conference unveiled its "roadmap for the future" today for the Indiana courts, which included consolidating courts and creating a uniform system to select trial judges.
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Attorneys challenge state's med-mal cap

September 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Two central Indiana attorneys have filed a challenge to Indiana's Medical Malpractice Cap, arguing the cap violates the Indiana Constitution. The challenge follows a jury verdict in which a widower won $8.5 million following his wife's death.
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Tipton City Court judge dies

August 19, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Tipton City Court Judge Lewis Daily Harper died Aug. 14 at the age of 85. Judge Harper became city judge in 1997; he also worked as a real estate broker.
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Former Marion Superior judge dies

August 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Former Marion Superior Judge John "Jan" D. Downer died Aug.10 at the age of 73. Judge Downer was appointed a Marion County Municipal judge in 1978 by Gov. Otis Bowen and served as judge for 22 years. He retired from the Marion Superior Court in 2000 and worked as a senior judge until 2004.
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Comment sought on foreclosure settlement rule

August 7, 2009
IL Staff
The Marion County courts are seeking comment on proposed amendments to Administrate Local Rule 49-TR 85 Rule 231 - Mandatory Settlement Conferences in Mortgage Foreclosure Cases.
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Man convicted in attorney attack

August 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The man who attempted to push a Fort Wayne attorney over a railing in the Tippecanoe County courthouse in 2007 was convicted of Class C felony criminal confinement Friday.
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Judge awards $42 million in back pay suit

July 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge is awarding more than $42.4 million to a class of thousands of former state employees who sued to recover back pay for unequal wages earned between 1973 and 1993.
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Marion Superior judge recognized for service

July 17, 2009
IL Staff
Marion Superior Judge Cynthia Ayers was honored today by her colleagues and the business community during Indiana Black Expo for her many years of service on and off the bench.
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Suspended judge's case moved

July 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
LaPorte Circuit Court granted suspended LaPorte Superior Judge Jennifer Evans Koethe's motion for change of venue Thursday.
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Fate of courtroom cameras still unknown

July 15, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The federal judge vying to become the next justice on the U.S. Supreme Court favors having cameras in court and says she might be interested in furthering their use at the nation's highest court that has resisted the idea for decades.
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Attorney sentenced to 2 years in prison

June 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An attorney who pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death as a Class C felony has been sentenced to two years in the Indiana Department of Correction.
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Comment sought on late fee rule change

June 1, 2009
IL Staff
Comments are being accepted regarding a proposed rule change that would allow Marion Superior and Circuit Courts to impose a $25 late payment fee for failing to pay costs, fines, or civil penalties.
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Former city judge dies in accident

May 19, 2009
IL Staff
A former city judge and current mayor of Butler, Ind. died May 17 following a motorcycle accident.
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Gov. appoints Madison Superior judge

May 15, 2009
IL Staff
Attorney David A. Happe is the new judge of Madison Superior Court IV.
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Judicial merit-selection override a possibility

May 14, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The state's top executive has rejected the idea of scrapping merit selection in St. Joseph County, but it remains unclear whether lawmakers will attempt to override that veto during a special session.
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Suspended judge returns to bench

May 11, 2009
IL Staff
Marion Superior Judge Grant Hawkins, who was suspended earlier this year without pay, returned to the bench today.
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Indicted judge to be suspended

May 8, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed a notice with the Indiana Supreme Court for a request of suspension of LaPorte Superior Judge Jennifer Koethe, who was indicted Thursday for attempted obstruction of justice stemming from a shooting incident at her home in December.
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Governor gets judicial merit-selection bill

May 6, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels received today legislation that, if signed, would toss out merit selection and retention of St. Joseph Superior judges and also create a new three-judge panel for the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Governor likely to soon get St. Joe judges bill

April 29, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels will likely receive legislation today aimed primarily at scrapping judicial merit selection in St. Joseph County and creating a new Indiana Court of Appeals panel starting 2011.
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UPDATE: Committee tweaking St. Joe judges bill

April 23, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A legislative conference committee is debating what changes might be possible for a bill aimed at scrapping merit selection for St. Joseph Superior judges.
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Officers say wrong textbook hurt promotions

April 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Three current Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers have filed a suit against the city because they received the wrong textbooks to study for a promotion examination.
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Former justice discusses merit selection

April 22, 2009
Michael Hoskins
During a visit to South Bend today, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor pushed a message that merit selection is the best way to ensure an independent judiciary, though her words come at a time when state lawmakers are close to scrapping that very system in the county she visited.
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Prosecutor orders grand jury investigation

April 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The special prosecutor appointed to investigate the shooting of LaPorte Superior Judge Jennifer Evans Koethe has requested LaPorte Circuit Court convene a grand jury investigation into the matter.
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High court hears first 'rocket docket' appeal

April 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In the first appeal of a juvenile case under Indiana Appellate Rule 14.1, the "rocket docket," the Indiana Supreme Court ruled the juvenile court's determination that a child shouldn't be immediately reunited with his mother until after the school year concluded - contrary to what the Department of Child Services recommended - wasn't clearly erroneous.
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Senate OKs COA panel, St. Joe judge elections

April 15, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The full Senate voted today in support of legislation scrapping the St. Joseph Superior judge merit-selection system for judicial elections, and also creating a new panel for the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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  1. 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?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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