Courts

Indiana General Assembly back in session

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana General Assembly reconvened today with property tax issues consuming much of the focus of the 2008 short session. Also receiving much attention are issues regarding sex offenders, education, and the environment. Another bill of interest to the legal community is House Bill 1045, which introduces a courthouse preservation advisory commission and courthouse preservation fund, and requires the commission to provide assistance for courthouse related projects. Grandparent visitation rights are dealt with in Senate Bill 48, which allows for a...
More

High court grants 4 transfers

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted four transfers last week, though one was remanded to the state's Court of Appeals while another came with a significant ruling about community rental restrictions.In taking the cases, justices now have a chance to weigh in on the denial of post-conviction relief regarding a habitual offender enhancement and driving an ATV while drunk on private property.On May 13, the high court granted transfer in State of Indiana v. Adam L. Manuwal, No. 50A05-0703-CR-182, which asks whether the...
More

President signs new federal IP law: Legislation considers piracy issues, creates 'copyright czar'

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The United States is stepping up to better protect intellectual property. If there was any doubt before, it's official now with a new law signed by President George W. Bush Oct. 13. Known as the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, or PRO IP for short, the law is designed to strengthen existing copyright laws, create civil forfeiture clauses so equipment believed to be used in an IP crime can be seized, and establish a cabinet-level position...
More

COA differs on when 'critical stage' starts

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges agreed that a defendant's motion to suppress evidence of a polygraph test should have been granted by the trial court. But the judges had differing reasons for granting the reversal of the trial court, with the majority deviating from precedent on when the right to counsel begins.In Thomas E. Caraway v. State of Indiana, No. 47A01-0709-CR-416, Thomas Caraway appealed the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress and exclude all evidence of a...
More

Court: father not responsible for late payment

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court denial of a father's post-dissolution motion for rule to show cause why his ex-wife shouldn't be held in contempt, and remanded for the court to enter a new order. In John L. Richardson v. Susan E. Hansrote, No. 72A01-0706-CV-288, Richardson appealed the trial court denial, raising three issues: whether the trial court erred when it determined he had a child-support arrearage; whether the error by the court clerk, who mistakenly applied Richardson's child...
More

COA: State can't claim adverse possession

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The state can't obtain title to a disputed tract of land through adverse possession because the state can't satisfy the tax requirements in Indiana statute regarding adverse possession, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today in a case of first impression.In State of Indiana v. Jeanette Serowiecki, No. 56A04-0710-CV-576, the state appealed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Jeanette Serowiecki on the state's complaint to quiet title to an 18.6-acre tract of land in Newton County. Serowiecki is trustee...
More

Non-violent orders challenged

January 1, 2008
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence with the assistance of pro bono attorneys in Baker & Daniels' Indianapolis office filed notice of appeal July 22 for two non-violent contact orders issued in Marion County. The non-violent distinction means that the respondent can have contact with the petitioner as long as it isn't violent contact. Earlier on the same day in Indianapolis, Carl Wills allegedly killed his ex-wife, April Wills, her boyfriend, and then killed himself. Records show that Carl had a history of...
More

Technical glitch, now fixed, hits revised opinions

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Attorneys who logged on this morning to the Indiana Judiciary Web site to read and print opinions were met with a challenge: you could view, but couldn't print.The first Court of Appeals opinions of the New Year were password protected and locked so that people accessing the online opinions were unable to print them.That was an internal, unintended glitch and the problem's been resolved, according to Supreme Court Administrator and Appellate Clerk Kevin Smith.The opinions posted earlier this morning disappeared temporarily...
More

Governor appoints Bluffton judge

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed a new Bluffton City Court judge Feb. 28, choosing a retired car dealership owner. Robert J. Bate succeeds Judge Gary Markley, who resigned Jan. 15.Bate was owner and president of Bob Bate Chevrolet Inc. in Ossian from 1979 to 2000. He was elected five times to serve on the Bluffton City Council between 1987 and 2007. Bate's appointment is effective immediately.
More

Judge: Sex offender law goes too far

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Those registered sex offenders who've served their time and are no longer on probation or under court supervision cannot be required to give blanket consent to authorities for home and computer searches, the U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana's chief judge ruled late afternoon on June 24.U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton in Indianapolis struck down a major portion of a new law set to take effect July 1, which would have required all convicted sex offenders to agree to...
More

Post-conviction relief case gets transfer

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer May 2 to a case in which the defendant was denied post-conviction relief. In Roderick Lee v. State of Indiana, No. 27A04-0705-PC-257, Lee filed a petition for relief asserting he received ineffective assistance from his trial and appellate counsel. The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected Lee's arguments that his trial and appellate counsel - the same attorney - was ineffective because the attorney failed to argue that entering judgments on Lee's convictions of burglary and attempted robbery violate...
More

Justices rule on sentencing scheme

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has once again influenced the state's criminal sentencing scheme in a pair of rulings that are the latest in a post-Blakely world.Justices issued decisions Thursday in Rosalio Pedraza v. State of Indiana, No. 49S04-0711-CR-516, and Michael Sweatt v. State of Indiana, No. 49S02-0805-CR-290, which when read together offer trial courts guidance about using a person's criminal history and enhancing penalties.The court held that double enhancements are allowed using a single element of criminal history, but consecutive sentences can't be...
More

Allen County judge regrets misconduct

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
An Allen County judge has publicly expressed his deep regret for failing to control his emotions late last year when he verbally berated members of a defendant's family following a sentencing hearing.Allen Superior Judge Kenneth R. Scheibenberger filed a formal answer Aug. 8 to the charges lodged against him July 15 by the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications. The judicial disciplinary body has charged him with four counts of misconduct for his behavior in a fellow jurist's courtroom in November.At that...
More

COA panel to consider public access

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A three-judge Indiana Court of Appeals panel wants to know why parties have not submitted what it calls "a meaningful public access set of briefs" related to product-liability claims against Indianapolis-based Guidant Corp. The state's second highest appellate court has a public hearing scheduled for 11 a.m. March 25 in Allianz Insurance Co., et al. v. Guidant Corp., et al., No. 49A05-0704-CV-216, where judges will consider the balance of public interest for access with the need for restricting access relating to the Marion...
More

Parts of Indiana Code now in Spanish

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Select portions of the 2006 and 2007 Indiana Code have been translated into Spanish, the Indiana Supreme Court has announced. An alphabetical index of terms and a glossary outlining topic areas also were translated. The goal of the translation is to better serve the Spanish-speaking population and those who represent them. By translating some of the basic codes, interpreters will be able to use the same terms for charges and it will create a standard document of legal terminology. The translations...
More

Profession marks 50th Law Day today

January 1, 2008
Rebecca Berfanger
Bar associations and courts in Indiana and nationwide are celebrating Law Day this week. Today marks the official 50th anniversary, according to the American Bar Association, which has named this year's theme, "Foundation for Communities of Opportunity and Equity."Today, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard was scheduled to speak at a luncheon and award presentation in Fort Wayne, while members of the St. Joseph and Lake County bar associations, among other attorneys around Indiana, will speak to high school and junior high...
More

Tinder authors first 7th Circuit opinion

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Judge John Tinder, formerly of the U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, now on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, released his first authored opinion today with the federal appellate court. Judge Tinder joined the 7th Circuit in January. Judge Tinder wrote the 22-page opinion in Jeanette Petts v. Rockledge Furniture LLC, a division of Ashley Furniture Industries Inc., No. 07-1989, in which he and Judges Kenneth Ripple and Diane Sykes affirmed the decision of the U.S. District Court, Western...
More

Former Marion Superior Court judge dies

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
A former Marion Superior Court judge and Indianapolis City-County councilor died March 5 of natural causes. Judge Z. Mae Jimison was the first African-American woman to serve as judge in Marion Superior Court. Judge Jimison, 64, served on the bench from 1996 to 2002 and spent much of that time creating and supervising Marion County's Drug Court. In 1999, she applied to become a justice on the Indiana Supreme Court after Justice Myra C. Selby announced she would step down to return to...
More

Lack of surgery doesn't support jury instruction

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a jury award and remanded for a new trial after ruling there was insufficient evidence to support an affirmative defense of a failure to mitigate damages instruction to the jury because a plaintiff failed to have surgery. In Elwood and Lila Simmons v. Erie Insurance Exchange, No. 32A04-0710-CV-552, the couple appealed a judgment awarding them each $10,000 following an automobile accident involving Elwood and another driver, who was at fault. They filed a complaint seeking underinsured...
More

New legal center opens in Marion County

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Marion Superior Court Family Resource Center - created by the Family Court Project for families with legal disputes - opens Monday and will offer easier access to information about legal and social services resources. The center will provide resources and referrals for various services such as domestic violence, protective orders, substance-abuse treatment options, and how to find an attorney. Residents filing pro se will be able to view videos that walk them through the self-representation process, as well as use...
More

COA to hear sex offender arguments Monday

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a case regarding the state's sex offender residency law March 31 at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis.In State of Indiana v. Anthony W. Pollard, Pollard is a convicted sex offender who has lived for 20 years within 1,000 feet of a property where children could gather. He was charged for violating Indiana Code 35-42-4-11 and told that he could no longer live in his home. Pollard argues the law was...
More

Justices grant transfer in 2 cases

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court granted two transfers this week.Justices will consider an Indiana State University case involving unemployment benefits for a discharged university professor, and another case delving into the attorney general's power to demand discovery in consumer complaint investigations.One transfer comes in the combined appeals of Liberty Publishing Inc. and Nu-Sash of Indianapolis v. Steve Carter, No. 49A02-0606-CV-502, which the state's appellate court ruled on June 25. The appeals court affirmed Marion Superior Court judgments that the attorney general has the...
More

Marion Superior Judge Charles Deiter dies

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Indiana has lost a longtime Marion County judge who's been on the probate bench for three decades and was considered one of the state's top probate jurists.Marion Superior Judge Charles Deiter, 71, who presided over the court's probate division, lost a battle to cancer this morning, according to his colleague and longtime friend Judge Tanya Walton Pratt."He was a wonderful judge, someone who was well-loved by everyone in the community and on the bench," said Judge Pratt, who said the two...
More

Lawyer convicted of battery, confinement

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana attorney often in trouble with the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission was convicted Friday of crimes against a woman in a wheelchair. Northern Indiana attorney Michael Haughee was convicted of sexual battery and criminal confinement, both Class D felonies, and interference with the reporting of a crime, a Class A misdemeanor. Haughee was arrested in October 2006 following an incident at the woman's home. Haughee claimed he went to the woman's house to register her to vote. At the...
More

Equal pay lawsuit heads to trial

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A $42 million class action lawsuit involving Indiana state employees is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 19 in Marion Superior Court. The lawsuit was brought by state employees who worked more hours than other state employees in comparable jobs. In Paula Brattain, et al. v. Richmond State Hospital, et al., No. 49D11-0108-CP-1309, the class seeks compensation from the state for an estimated 15,000 state employees who were required to work a 40-hour week while some employees in similar positions at...
More
Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  2. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  3. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  4. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  5. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

ADVERTISEMENT