Central Indiana

Courthouse renovations close courtrooms, move chambers

October 20, 2010
IL Staff
Because of major renovations under way at the Birch Bayh Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis, the locations of judges’ chambers have changed and courtrooms have closed.
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Proposed settlement may net $25 million for environmental cleanup

October 20, 2010
IL Staff
The proposed settlement filed today in the bankruptcy case involving former General Motors sites could provide nearly $25 million for cleanup of eight Indiana sites with ties to the automaker.
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Attorney sues condo developer over accessibility

October 19, 2010
Cory Schouten
A resident of the 3Mass condo development who uses an electric wheelchair is suing the developers for failing to provide handicap accessibility to a rooftop terrace overlooking downtown Indianapolis.
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New justice joins the Indiana Supreme Court

October 18, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The state now has its 106th justice on the Indiana Supreme Court. Justice Steven H. David officially took his oath and donned his black robe for the state’s highest court today, culminating a process that began with a May announcement that Justice Theodore R. Boehm was stepping down from the bench. Gov. Mitch Daniels chose the 15-year Boone Circuit judge about a month ago.
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Appellate court travels for arguments

October 18, 2010
IL Staff
As part of its “Appeals on Wheels” initiative, the Indiana Court of Appeals will hit the road this week to hear arguments.
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Judges define 'courthouse' for first time

October 14, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide if a courthouse means a particular building or may be any place that houses the trial courts. Their decision would impact a woman whose home was sold in a sheriff’s sale.
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Justices order new trial to determine fault in Ford rollover suit

October 14, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has reversed the allocation of fault in a wrongful death action against Ford Motor Co. and other defendants, finding the evidence didn’t support allocating fault to the manufacturer of the seatbelt assembly and a nonparty. The high court was also faced with the challenge of allocating fault among the remaining parties.
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Teen jumps over balcony at Hendricks County courthouse

October 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A teen appearing in court for an initial hearing on a battery charge jumped over a railing at the Hendricks County courthouse this morning, falling 31 feet.
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Judge Pratt to be officially sworn in Friday

October 7, 2010
IL Staff
The state’s first African-American federal judge will be formally sworn in Friday afternoon at the United States Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Court affirms, denies challenge to DNA evidence, new mid-trial witness

October 6, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Court of Appeals today affirmed a man’s convictions and sentence for felony robbery despite his challenge to whether the trial court properly admitted DNA evidence and allowed the testimony of a witness discovered mid-trial.
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COA affirms murder conviction, sentence of 14-year-old

October 5, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When asked whether the conviction of and sentence for felony murder were appropriate findings for a 14-year-old offender, the Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed the Marion Superior Court’s decision.
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Hearing officer: prosecutor should get public reprimand

October 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney should be publicly reprimanded for violating four professional conduct rules in his handling of civil forfeiture matters as a private attorney while simultaneously prosecuting those same criminal defendants, according to hearing officer appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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COA: Traffic stop allowed in private parking lot

October 4, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of man’s motion to suppress, finding Indiana Code doesn’t bar law enforcement from investigating violations in private parking lots even if there isn’t a contractual agreement with the property owner to allow officers to enforce traffic ordinances.
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7th Circuit upholds injunction in adult-business ordinance case

October 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a Southern District of Indiana judge who granted a preliminary injunction preventing Indianapolis from enforcing the 2002 ordinance that regulates adult-bookstore business hours.
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Wrongful death statute allows for attorney fees, other costs

September 17, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
Compensation for attorney fees and other costs can be awarded under the Adult Wrongful Death Statute, ruled a Court of Appeals panel today.
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Governor names Boone Circuit judge to Indiana Supreme Court

September 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
David videoGov. Mitch Daniels announced this morning his pick for the state’s highest appellate court, choosing Boone Circuit Judge Steven H. David to replace retiring Justice Theodore R. Boehm once he steps down Sept. 30.
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Indiana gets new federal magistrate

September 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
For the first time since the early 1980s, the Southern District of Indiana has gotten approval to hire a new full-time federal magistrate. The U.S. Judicial Conference, which is the policy-making arm of the federal court system, approved during its annual fall meeting on Tuesday the Indianapolis-based magistrate spot along with three others throughout the country.
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Tippecanoe County judge recognized for access to justice work

September 15, 2010
IL Staff
Tippecanoe Superior Judge Gregory J. Donat is the 2010 recipient of the American Judicature Society’s Kathleen M. Sampson Access to Justice Award. Judge Donat has worked to improve access to justice for everyone.
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5 vying for state judicial commissions

September 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Five Indianapolis attorneys have put their names in the hat for a single opening on the state’s judicial commissions, which are responsible for deciding whether disciplinary actions should be taken against a jurist and determining who should be on the state’s appellate courts.
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Judges split on district's need to pay for new water main

September 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today on whether a school district was required to pay for the installation of a new water main as opposed to privately putting in its own water service line to connect to a new school.
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Southern District names new magistrate

August 27, 2010
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana announced today the selection of Mark J. Dinsmore as magistrate judge.
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State court offices, law firm on lockdown after shots fired in Indianapolis

August 26, 2010
IL and IBJ Staff
A lone gunman caused downtown Indianapolis – including Indiana State Court Administration offices and law firm Barnes & Thornburg – to be on lockdown today.
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Attorney waits for plea agreement decision

August 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Anderson attorney Samuel Hasler is still waiting to see if his plea agreement regarding child pornography charges will be accepted.
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Judges find ruling denied mentally ill man's due process rights

August 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed today the denial of a mentally ill man’s motion to dismiss charges against him because not dismissing the charges was a violation of his due process rights.
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Judge rules against Inlow heirs

July 23, 2010
J.K. Wall
A week after a bizarre court hearing where opposing attorneys took turns questioning one another on the witness stand, Hamilton County Judge Steve Nation ruled Friday that the heirs of former Conseco Inc. executive Lawrence Inlow failed to justify their attempt to remove Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank as the personal representative of the estate.
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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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