Courts

Court rules on grandparent visitation

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
What is likely to be a ruling of first impression in Indiana and one of a few nationally, the Indiana Court of Appeals today reversed a ruling that had ended a grandmother's visitation with her grandson following the adoption of her adult mother.The 11-page ruling comes in a guardianship action involving the minor, J.E.M, in Maxine E. Handshoe v. Jessica L. Ridgway, No. 76A03=0612-CV-603.Grandmother Maxine Handshoe is appealing the Steuben Circuit ruling that terminated her visitation privileges with her biological grandson,...
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Indiana governor subpoenaed in Vioxx litigation

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will testify this fall in the ongoing federal court litigation involving recalled painkiller Vioxx, which is being blamed for thousands of heart attacks nationwide.Documents in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana's online filing system show that subpoenas went out Tuesday, and Daniels will give a taped deposition in Indianapolis Sept. 11. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is scheduled to do the same Sept. 4 in his home state.Both governors have ties to the drug industry -...
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Court increases registration fee for lawyers

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana attorneys will have to pay $10 more a year to be licensed to practice law in the state, though they'll still fare better than most of their colleagues around the country.The Indiana Supreme Court issued an order this week increasing the fee from $105 to $115, making it effective for this year's Oct. 1 due date.This is the first increase in five years, when the fee rose from $95 to $105.Delinquency fees stay the same: $65 will be added for fees...
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Attorneys suspended over registration fees

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
More than twice as many Indiana practicing attorneys were suspended this year for not paying their registration fees, compared to 2006.Those 133 attorneys were suspended this week from the practice of law - on top of 111 colleagues also suspended this week for not meeting continuing legal education requirements.A set of two orders came from the Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday, though the registration fee suspension order wasn't immediately available from the courts. It was posted online late Thursday. The orders...
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Justices: law requires courts' reasons in sentencing

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Trial courts must issue sentencing statements that include a detailed account of the judge's reasons for imposing penalties, such as aggravators and mitigators, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.Additionally, the state's highest court has reiterated that it will only review a sentence on the grounds of abuse of discretion.In a ruling that answers questions left open following the 2005 revision of state law regarding Indiana's sentencing structure, justices unanimously affirmed a Kosciusko Superior judge's decision in Alexander J. Anglemyer v. State...
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Pro bono director selected for SCOTUS fellowship

January 1, 2007
Rebecca Berfanger
A commission of nine members chosen by the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court has selected Monica A. Fennell, executive director of the Indiana Pro Bono Commission, as the 2007-2008 U.S. Supreme Court fellow assigned to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Her fellowship begins in the fall.Fennell ;s responsibilities would include the analysis and implementation of studies requested by Congress or the Judicial Conference, researching the federal rulemaking process, or drafting publications on administrative issues of...
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Marion County judges start teleconferencing for weekly meeting

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Hearing what happens at the Marion Superior Court Executive Committee meeting no longer means you have to attend the weekly gathering Friday mornings.Starting tomorrow, all you need is a telephone.The court will begin using a teleconferencing system for the 8 a.m. meeting, giving up to 30 people the option of listening and participating by phone rather than attending - which is still a choice.Topics on the Friday agenda for the four-person committee include building authority construction projects involving court build outs,...
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Court examines 'judge' definition

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Appeals Court today upheld the convictions and sentence of man who sent threatening letters to the Marion County Prosecutors Office, a judge, and commissioner after being ordered to have no contact.To be clear in its decision, the appellate court delved into the definition of "judge" and determined the term does include a county commissioner who handles legal matters for the court.In Allen Montgomery v. State of Indiana, No. 49A04-0703-CR-188, Montgomery appealed his two Class D felony convictions for intimidation and 11...
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Court answers question on subcontractors' ability to recover

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court today delved into the meaning of "subcontractor" and determined that performance bond coverage for third parties only goes so far.Stemming from a certified question from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, justices considered: "Does a performance bond required by and issued in accordance with Ind. Code §8-23-9-9 afford coverage to a third-tier claimant?"Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard wrote the opinion saying the statute does not afford that coverage, noting that a subcontractor is...
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Indiana Roll of Attorneys office moving

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The office that keeps track of Hoosier attorneys is changing locations.The Indiana Roll of Attorneys office is moving from the Statehouse and into the Indiana Government Center South to where the Court Clerk ;s Records Division is located.As of April 2, attorneys will need to have that new address – 302 W. Washington St., Room W062 – for mailing in or dropping off registration fees, changes of address, temporary admissions forms, or disciplinary filings. The fax number will also change, but...
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Indiana Supreme Court rules on wage statute

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled today that the term "days" in the Wage Payment Statute refers to business days, not calendar days. The opinion also clarifies several school-related aspects relating to the state statute.A 13-page decision in Tabatha J. Naugle and Sandra M. Cain v. Beech Grove City Schools (http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/04270701trb.pdf), 49S02-0606-CV-242, affirms a decision by Marion Circuit Judge Ted Sosin.Aside from the definition of days, justices also unanimously clarify a two-year-old ruling in Brownsburg Community School Corp. v. Natare Corp., 824...
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Court discusses Indiana's 1907 eugenic sterilization law

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will host an educational seminar Wednesday about how Indiana adopted the first eugencial sterilization law in the world 100 years ago.A panelist discussion and presentation about the law will be from 3 to 4:15 p.m. in the Supreme Court ;s courtroom at the statehouse.Indiana passed the law in 1907, and subsequently similar laws were adopted in more than 30 states and a dozen countries worldwide. The Indiana Supreme Court overturned the state statute in 1921, but a...
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ISBA offers 'insider view' of appellate courts

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana attorneys and jurists came together Wednesday to get an insider's view of the state's appellate process and learn more about the nuances of the system. An afternoon continuing legal education seminar took about 100 attorneys on a walk through the appellate process, from filing motions, how staff attorneys and courts review, and what lawyers can do to make the process easier. "This is the stuff we all get sweaty palms about, and we'd like to know where the daggers...
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Annexation case back on for COA

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Arguments are set for 1 p.m. Sept. 18 in the City of Carmel v. Certain Home Place Annexation Territory. The appellate court had decided last year to put the case on hold until ruling came down from the justices; that happened June 27 with the potentially landmark decision in City of Carmel, Indiana v. Certain Southwest Clay Township Annexation Territory Landowners http://www.ai.org/judiciary/opinions/pdf/06270701rts.pdf, 29S00-0608-CV-300.Carmel City Council voted to annex both areas in November 2004, but residents in the two areas challenged the...
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New COA judge robing ceremony Thursday

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
Three weeks after first taking the bench on the Indiana Court of Appeals, Judge Cale Bradford will formally join the court in a robing ceremony Aug. 23. Gov. Mitch Daniels will attend the ceremony in the Supreme Court courtroom to administer the oath of office. Judge Bradford's family, colleagues, and special guests will also attend the ceremony and reception. Seating is by invitation only. Judge Bradford took his 2nd District seat on the Court of Appeals Aug. 1, replacing retiring Judge...
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Courts see changing of judicial guard

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
Both state and federal courts in Indiana are saying good-bye to long-serving judges today and welcoming new faces to the bench.In a ceremony in South Bend, Joseph Van Bokkelen will be sworn in as a U.S. District judge in the Northern District to replace retiring Judge Rudy Lozano, who is taking senior status. Van Bokkelen has been a U.S. Attorney in that district.Meanwhile, Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Patrick D. Sullivan's 38-year tenure on the court will be celebrated today. A...
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Court mulls non-competes, parental rights

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Two sets of arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court this morning gave justices a look at the scope of non-compete agreements, and how much parental privilege exists when it comes to discipline and corporal punishment.First, the jurists posed questions in Central Indiana Podiatry P.C. v. Kenneth J. Krueger, Meridian Health Group P.C., 29S05-0706-CV-256, which the Court of Appeals ruled on in January. The appellate court overturned a lower court decision and held the podiatrist, Krueger, should have stopped working pending trial after...
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High court rules doctor can sue in med mal case

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that summary judgment should not have been granted because it prohibited a doctor from asserting a statutory negligence claim against a medical malpractice claimant, her attorney, and her attorney's law firm.In the ruling Wednesday, Justices Brent Dickson and Ted Boehm concurred, with Chief Justice Randall Shepard concurring in a separate opinion. Justice Frank Sullivan concurred in part and dissented in part with a separate opinion in which Justice Robert Rucker concurred.In Eusebio Kho M.D. v Deborah...
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Court rules on inclusion of inherited property in marital estates

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals ruled today on a case of distributing inherited property during dissolution of a marriage, stating property inherited by either party should be included in the marital estate. In Sharren M. (Garrity) Grathwohl v. Steven T. Garrity, http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/07300703mpb.pdf the Court of Appeals remanded the case back to the trial court for the purpose of requiring the trial court to include both parties' inherited property in their marital estate, to value the properties, and to issue a new order...
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Mental retardation claim anticipated in Fort Wayne case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A mental retardation defense could prevent the state from seeking the death penalty in a case involving a Fort Wayne man accused of killing his wife and three children in 2005.Fort Wayne public defender Michelle F. Kraus plans to ask Allen Superior Judge Fran Gull to appoint an expert to evaluate accused killer Simon Rios in order to determine if he is mentally retarded.If that happens and an expert finds the 35-year-old Rios mentally retarded, state law does not allow him...
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Supreme Court accepts 4 cases

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer in four cases. Justices heard arguments Tuesday morning in Philip Littler v. State, 71A03-0510-CR-509, and granted transfer later that day. The case is a murder conviction appeal involving whether the trial court abused discretion in excluding certain testimony from the victim ;s mother, properly allowed the state to add a murder charge after the omnibus date, and whether sufficient evidence was provided to support the charge. The Court of Appeals had affirmed the...
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Former lottery chief discriminated, suit claims

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
The Hoosier Lottery's former corporate general counsel is suing the lottery, claiming she was discriminated against because she is disabled.Janna J. Shisler, a quadriplegic, asserts in the suit that former lottery director Esther Q. Schneider made working conditions so intolerable that she quit. Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Schneider lottery director in January 2005. Her successor, Kathryn Densborn, was appointed last December. Lottery spokesman Andrew Reed would not discuss the suit, saying the Lottery doesn't comment on pending litigation.The suit, filed Sept....
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COA corrects, clarifies issues in taillight case

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05210701mgr.pdfThe Indianapolis law professor who challenged in court the ticket he received for a broken taillight in Fort Wayne petitioned for a rehearing, and the Court of Appeals today issued an opinion that affirms but corrects and clarifies its earlier ruling.On May 21, the COA reversed and remanded Joel Schumm's case, Schumm v. State, to Allen Superior Court for a new trial. In that opinion, the appellate judges found the trial court improperly denied Schumm's Baston challenge.Schumm recently petitioned for a rehearing...
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Construction changes after-hours appeal filings

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Anyone making after-hours filings in Indiana's appeals courts will notice a change in procedure this week.It's back to the old way, or at least one that closely resembled how the process worked before security measures altered that system earlier this year.Construction started Monday on the east doors of the Indiana Statehouse, which is where the legal community has been allowed to enter after hours for "Rotunda filing" of court documents for the Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Tax Court....
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Judicial free-speech cases dismissed

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, which ruled the "pledges" and "commitments" clauses of Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct were unconstitutional.In Indiana Right to Life, et al. v. Randall T. Shepard, et al., 06-4333, the Circuit Court dismissed Indiana Right to Life's complaint against the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications and the Indiana Disciplinary Commission that Canon 5A(3)(d)(i) and (ii) is unconstitutional, stating the group had no standing...
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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