Courts

Prosecutor can’t grant use immunity to parents of injured infant

March 28, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday that a prosecutor can’t petition a court to compel a party to testify under the grant of use immunity when the party is the primary target of the investigation and has invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination if no charges have been filed or a grand jury proceeding hasn’t been initiated.
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Mother not denied due process by not having appointed counsel in CHINS case

March 28, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
While disappointed that a trial court did not follow through with the appointment of counsel for a mother regarding a child in need of services action, any error in that failure was harmless, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. It upheld the termination of mother J.A.’s parental rights to her son G.P.
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Pence appoints Hostetler to St. Joseph bench

March 28, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced Thursday that he has selected Steven L. Hostetler to replace St. Joseph Superior Chief Judge Michael P. Scopelitis when he retires June 3.
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Senators skeptical of funding Odyssey access for public defenders

March 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Senate budget writers appeared skeptical of a request Thursday to spend more than $2.1 million over the next four years to give public defenders statewide the same access to case management systems that prosecutors, judges and others have in many counties.
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Appeals court tackles sex offender use of social media

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Two months after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state’s law prohibiting sex offenders from using certain social media sites, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Indiana Code 35-42-4-12 violates an Elkhart County man’s First Amendment rights.
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COA: Court allowed to admit evidence from man’s home

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Allen County man who tried to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that law enforcement shouldn’t have searched his trash and been allowed to obtain a warrant based on evidence from that trash lost his appeal Wednesday.
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Court erred in striking state’s response as untimely

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that the post-conviction court erred in striking as untimely the state’s response to a man’s motion for summary judgment on his post-conviction relief petition. The judges also refused to grant the state’s request to hold that it is relieved of the time constraints of Indiana Trial Rule 56.
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COA reverses vacation of grandparent visitation

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a grandmother lacked standing to pursue a grandparent visitation order when it was granted, the trial court erred in later vacating the order, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The grandchildren’s guardians’ objections to the grandmother’s lack of standing were waived when they failed to appeal the original order.
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Judges reduce sentence due to ineffective trial counsel

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday ordered a Lake Superior court to resentence a man to 23 years for his convictions stemming from a drunken-driving accident that killed another man. Joseph Scott’s trial attorney was ineffective because he failed to inform Scott of the correct maximum sentence he could face.
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Pence gets finalist list for St. Joe judgeship

March 27, 2013
IL Staff
A letter containing the names of the five finalists vying to succeed St. Joseph Superior Judge Michael P. Scopelitis has been delivered to Gov. Mike Pence. Scopelitis will retire in June. The list was tweaked after finalist Elizabeth Hurley was appointed to fill another pending vacancy on the court.
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Attorneys use pro bono tax work to fill the gap

March 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Almost immediately after taking her seat on the Indiana Tax Court, Judge Martha Blood Wentworth saw the problem. Flowing into her court were numerous pro se litigants who ended up getting their cases bounced because they had made a procedural error.
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Lawmakers advance bill to aid courthouse restoration, but money is missing

March 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
Nearly every county seat in Indiana could benefit from a bill promoting historic courthouse renovation and maintenance projects. Only problem is, when lawmakers passed the legislation through the Senate they stripped out the money for it.
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Behind the News: Lawsuit over Simon’s bonus may expose board’s mindset

March 27, 2013
Greg Andrews
The $120 million retention bonus that Simon Property Group Inc.’s board awarded David Simon two years ago has spawned a bitter legal battle in Delaware that promises to shed fascinating light on the inner workings of the board.
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Renovation project raises questions on public bidding

March 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Contractors claim in lawsuit that a school corporation's financing method circumvented the law.
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Hazing suit weighs college, fraternity liability

March 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
A former freshman pledge hurt as fraternity brothers at Wabash College carried and then dropped him will have his case heard by the Indiana Supreme Court, testing the reach of Indiana’s anti-hazing statute.
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Disciplinary Actions - 3/27/13

March 27, 2013
IL Staff
See who's been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Indiana solicitor general: ‘Good day’ for traditional marriage at SCOTUS

March 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana and other states against same-sex marriage appeared to make a strong impression on the U.S. Supreme Court justices Tuesday, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher said after watching arguments in Washington.
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Police following drug package wire into home unconstitutional, COA rules

March 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
Police violated Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure when they used a parcel wire to track the opening of a shipment of marijuana in an Indianapolis man’s home, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Voucher program stands, Indiana Supreme Court rules

March 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s school voucher program, considered the nation’s widest-reaching, is constitutional, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday.
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Indiana Supreme Court: school vouchers constitutional

March 26, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana’s school voucher program is constitutional, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday.
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Pence appoints Hurley to St. Joseph bench

March 25, 2013
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence on Monday made his first appointment to the judiciary, announcing Elizabeth C. Hurley will fill a vacancy when St. Joseph Superior Judge Roland W. Chamblee retires March 31.
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High School Mock Trial Championship volunteers can earn free CLE

March 25, 2013
IL Staff
Volunteers are needed to judge mock trials in May, when Indianapolis for the first time will host the National High School Mock Trial Championship. Attorneys who volunteer to judge will earn free continuing legal education credit. 
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Prospective juror’s criticism of lawyer OK in verdict for hospital

March 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
When a prospective juror in a wrongful death lawsuit against a hospital said he believed a lawyer was suing to make money, that attorney’s failure to ask the judge for an admonishment of the jury pool waived her later argument for a mistrial, the Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Lake County judge pro tem appointed to fill Bonaventura vacancy

March 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
Senior Judge Thomas W. Webber Sr. was appointed a judge pro tem late Friday as the Indiana Supreme Court intervened further in a controversy over who will be the next judge of the Lake Superior Court Juvenile Division.
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Judge tosses township jurisdiction challenge in collection cases

March 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has ruled that Marion County collections cases need not be filed in the township where a defendant lives or a contract was signed, a key ruling regarding a practice criticized as “forum shopping.”
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