Indiana Trial Courts

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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Justices accept 4 cases

January 10, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took four cases for the week ending Jan. 7, including a case in which a convicted child molester asked for his sentence to be reduced but ended up having it ordered to be increased due to a sentencing error.
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General Assembly returns for 2011 session

January 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Senate and House of Representatives reconvened this afternoon to begin the 2011 long session. The legislators still have time to file bills, but there are already several bills introduced that may affect Indiana courts and the legal community.
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Justices appoint Terre Haute judge pro tempore

January 4, 2011
IL Staff
Judge Sarah K. Mullican was appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court as judge pro tempore in Terre Haute City Court, effective Jan. 1, 2011. She was previously the commissioner for the Title IV-D Court in Terre Haute, which deals with the non-payment of child support.
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Man accused of planning to blow up courthouse sentenced

January 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Pike County man who was arrested by police after they discovered his plan to blow up that county’s courthouse was sentenced today after pleading guilty to a charge stemming from the incident.
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Building named in honor of retiring judge

December 30, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Taking the bench on Jan. 1, 1975, Montgomery Circuit Judge Thomas K. Milligan is the second-longest serving trial judge in the state.
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Justices reaffirm uniform-contract interpreation approach

December 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has reaffirmed the state’s reliance on the uniform-contract interpretation approach rather than a site-specific approach for deciding which of several states’ laws should apply to an environmental remediation insurance coverage case.
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Governor names two new trial judges

December 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels has chosen two new judges for the state’s trial bench roster, one of those to succeed the jurist elevated earlier this year to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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COA: Trust not bound by ISTA employment arbitration clause

December 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that two former leaders in the Indiana State Teachers Association who served as trustees for a legally separate insurance trust can’t force the trust’s governing board to adhere to arbitration clauses outlined in their ISTA employment contracts.
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Panel criticizes late discovery introduction

December 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
While recognizing that the state’s practice of allowing late introduction of evidence basically rewards attorneys who don’t prepare for trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals looked beyond that practice in a recent decison to how the rules still protect a person’s right to a fair trial.
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