Courts

Sovereign citizens disavow legal system, make bogus filings aimed at police, judges

January 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
Martin Jonassen describes himself as a sovereign citizen, one of a loose affiliation of people who believe most laws don’t apply to them. Adherents also strive to make life difficult and sometimes dangerous for law enforcement and the judiciary, and Indiana lawmakers have taken notice.
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U.S. Supreme Court decision ignited grassroots effort to amend the Constitution

January 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In the fight over corporate influence in politics, one group is hoping the voice of the people can trump the allure of money.
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Changes to Federal Rule 45 are first in more than 2 decades

January 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
For the past several years, who could be compelled to appear at a federal trial depended on whom you asked.
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Disciplinary Actions -1/30/13

January 30, 2013
IL Staff
Read about the latest suspensions handed down by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Bales defense: Elkhart deal was a 'scheme to help'

January 29, 2013
Cory Schouten
Facing a looming deadline to find suitable office space for the state Department of Child Services and the prospect that abused or neglected children in Elkhart County could go without services, real estate broker John M. Bales and partner Bill Spencer in 2008 dipped into their own pockets to help close a difficult lease deal, their defense attorneys contend.
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Statute’s language gives courts discretion when reviewing petitions to reduce Class D felony to a misdemeanor

January 29, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A Hancock County man will not have his felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the state statute gives the courts the freedom to decide whether to grant or deny a petition.
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COA reversal of truck forfeiture allows movie fan to drive off into the sunset

January 29, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In a reversal of a trial court’s ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that a man who pleaded guilty to selling pirated movies should not have had his truck taken by the state because violating copyright is not the same as stealing goods
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Finalists selected for St. Joseph Court

January 29, 2013
IL Staff
Two attorneys in private practice and three public servants are finalists for an upcoming vacancy in St. Joseph Superior Court.
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Judges’ ruling in email records case defers to public access counselor

January 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
A request for the email records of public officials that simply asks for emails to or from officials over a certain period of time doesn’t satisfy the Access to Public Records Act, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Fraud trial for broker Bales begins in South Bend

January 28, 2013
Cory Schouten
The federal fraud trial of Indianapolis real estate broker John M. Bales and a partner began Monday morning in South Bend with a jury-selection process that may not have run as smoothly if it took place in central Indiana.
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State may drop Bei Bei Shuai murder charge after adverse ruling

January 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
A judge’s ruling last week barring a medical examiner’s testimony that rat poison ingested by Bei Bei Shuai caused the death of her newborn daughter should cause the state to consider dropping all charges, Shuai’s defense attorney said.
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Marion County Clerk offering sweethearts a chance to say ‘I do’ to a healthy cause

January 28, 2013
IL Staff
While giving your heart to your Valentine, you can also help keep other hearts healthy.
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Laptops, tablets now allowed in Indiana Supreme Court

January 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
You now may use a laptop, iPad, and other tablets or computing devices inside oral arguments at the Indiana Supreme Court, so long as you get permission first, sit in the back row and keep it quiet.
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Dropped charges in habitual offender sentence distinguish conflicting rulings

January 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
A defendant who benefited when charges against him were dropped in exchange for a guilty plea is not entitled to relief under a subsequent Supreme Court ruling weighing the same set of charges, a panel of the Court of Appeals ruled Friday. Judges also drew distinctions with a conflicting COA opinion.
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Conour fraud trial set for September

January 25, 2013
Scott Olson
A federal judge Friday morning set a new trial date of Sept. 9 for an Indianapolis high-profile lawyer accused of misappropriating millions in client funds.
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Teen father not deprived by lack of guardian ad litem in termination judgment

January 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
A 15-year-old who fathered a child was not deprived due process because a guardian ad litem wasn’t appointed for him during proceedings in which his parental rights were terminated.
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13 interviewing for St. Joseph judicial vacancy

January 25, 2013
IL Staff
Thirteen candidates for a judgeship in South Bend are being interviewed Friday by the St. Joseph County Judicial Nominating Commission. The panel this evening will narrow the field of candidates to fill a St. Joseph Superior Court vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Roland W. Chamblee Jr.
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Justices remand burglary sentence for new hearing on restitution order

January 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
A divided Indiana Supreme Court ordered a new hearing for a man convicted of burglary whose restitution order had been thrown out by the Court of Appeals because of insufficient evidence to support the amount of the award.
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COA rules in favor of grandchildren in will dispute

January 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had to interpret a handwritten will from 1917 in a dispute among those who stood to inherit land in Benton County. The appellate court determined that the trial court properly ruled that John and Karen LeFebre could collectively receive a one-third share in the acreage.
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Attempted child molestation conviction does not lead to credit restricted status

January 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the determination that an Elkhart County man was a credit restricted felon following his conviction of attempted molestation of his daughter, finding attempted child molestation isn’t included among offenses that qualify under the credit restricted felon statute.
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Rule of lenity doesn’t apply on man’s escape conviction

January 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The rule of lenity doesn’t apply to the case of a Marion County man who tried to break into a home while serving home detention as a condition of probation, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. The judges upheld Diano Gordon’s convictions of Class D felonies escape and attempted residential entry.
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State of Judiciary will air on PBS around state

January 24, 2013
IL Staff
If you missed Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson’s first State of the Judiciary Wednesday, you can watch it on your local PBS station, beginning Thursday evening. Several radio stations will also broadcast the speech.
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Dickson makes pitch for Odyssey funding

January 23, 2013
Dave Stafford
Procuring money to expand the Odyssey case management system is “one of our most urgent priorities,” Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson told the General Assembly on Wednesday in his first State of the Judiciary address.
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Man wins appeal of case against Indiana Parole Board

January 23, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Several conditions of a man’s parole following his conviction of criminal deviate conduct involving an adult – including prohibitions on spending time with his own children – were found to be overbroad or vague by the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday. The judges reversed the grant of partial summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Parole Board and other defendants on David Bleeke’s complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief.
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7th Circuit strikes down sex-offender social media ban as unconstitutional

January 23, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Code 35-42-4-12 prohibiting certain sex offenders from using social networking sites that allow minors to participate is not narrowly tailored to serve the state’s interest, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The judges ordered a permanent injunction entered preventing enforcement of the current law.
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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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