Courts

Courts celebrate Black History Month

February 9, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
The chair of the Department of Africana Studies and associate professor of history at Notre Dame University will speak to children and the general public in a lecture titled "Forging the Children of the Sun: The Human Spirit and Jim Crow," a Black History Month program Feb. 20 at the Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Woman didn't prove she should get new trial

February 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a defendant didn't meet her burden of proving her newly discovered evidence claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals today upheld the denial of her petition for post-conviction relief.
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COA rules on negligence claims in library case

February 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
he Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment today in favor of engineering and construction companies in a lawsuit filed by a central Indiana library, finding the economic-loss doctrine bars the library's negligence claims against the companies.
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St. Joseph judicial election bill out of committee

February 5, 2009
IL Staff
The bill requiring the non-partisan election of Superior Court judges in St. Joseph County has made it out of committee.
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COA: Statements not made in illegal detention

February 5, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a defendant's motion to suppress statements given to authorities while detained, finding he was legally detained because police already had probable cause to arrest him.
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Justices split in granting transfer

February 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court was split in its decision to deny transfer in a case in which a defendant claimed misconduct by the prosecutor when he read a poem about drugs during voir dire.
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Snow closes Porter, LaPorte courts

February 4, 2009
IL Staff
The Porter and LaPorte county courts were closed today after the area received more than a foot of lake-effect snow. Starke, Pulaski, and St. Joseph counties reported no closings or delays today because of the weather.
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Letter not covered by attorney-client privilege

February 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A Southern District magistrate judge has decided a letter between the city of Madison's mayor and city attorney isn't protected by attorney-client privilege in a civil action seeking damages over strip searches of three women.
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Court: Church program at school should end

February 4, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A church-owned religious education program held on school grounds in Huntington County should be terminated because it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, a federal magistrate has ruled.
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Man's claims against officers can proceed

February 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of police officers in a man's civil suit, finding the man may have Fourth and Fifth Amendment claims against them.
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Attorney's kidnapper nets 60-year sentence

February 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The man who abducted his attorney in July 2008 has been sentenced to 60 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.
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High court grants 2 transfers

February 2, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to two cases Jan. 29, one involving statements given to police and the other whether a man's trial counsel was ineffective.
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Court rules on agency record appeals

January 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In two separate opinions, the Indiana Court of Appeals tackled the issue of timely and complete filing of an agency record.
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COA: Mother not liable for death as gun buyer

January 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in a negligence claim in favor of a woman whose husband killed her daughter with a gun she purchased for him, finding the designated evidence doesn't show proximate cause.
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Order restricts guns, alcohol in judge's home

January 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Special Judge Walter Chapala issued an order this week requiring all firearms be removed from the home of a LaPorte Superior judge who was shot last month in her home.
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Opinion invites high court to reconsider decision

January 29, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals invited the Indiana Supreme Court to revisit its ruling that held only children born alive fall under Indiana's Child Wrongful Death Statute. In a decision today, the majority of the appellate court panel felt bound by the high court's previous ruling.
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COA clarifies unemployment benefits issue

January 29, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used a case before it as an opportunity to clarify how an employee's eligibility for unemployment benefits should be determined when the employee is discharged for attendance issues.
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Law examiners board gets new officers, members

January 29, 2009
IL Staff
The State Board of Law Examiners has new members this year, thanks to two appointments by the Indiana Supreme Court, as well as newly elected officers.
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COA to hear arguments at Indy high school

January 29, 2009
IL Staff
Indiana's Court of Appeals will hear arguments at an Indianapolis high school Friday in a case determining whether a juvenile committed auto theft, a Class D felony if committed by an adult.
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Some Lake civil cases go to random filing

January 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys opening new civil cases in Lake County should note that a new random filing system is being put in place, a plan described as the most extensive use of this in the county's history.
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Trial court couldn't modify man's sentence

January 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the addition of the term "imposed" to an amendment of Indiana Code Section 35-38-1-17(a) in 2005 to be critical in a man's appeal of his sentence, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of his motion to modify his second sentence.
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Snow closes some federal, county courts

January 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The foot or more of snow dumped on the southern two-thirds of Indiana hasn't stopped some attorneys from making it to their offices today, but it has closed some courts around the state.
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Judges differ in stipulation matter

January 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed on whether a defendant pleaded guilty to the enhancement of his auto theft conviction based on his previous conviction for a similar crime.
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COA: Wife is liable for mortgages

January 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment against a woman who denied signing for mortgages that are now in foreclosure; however, the judges disagreed whether the mortgage holder proved default under the terms of the notes.
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Counties seeking comment on rule changes

January 27, 2009
IL Staff
Two central Indiana counties are seeking public comment on proposed local rule changes.
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  1. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  2. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  3. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  4. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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