Elkhart County

Felony murder convictions upheld in Elkhart home invasion, but sentences amended

September 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The appeals of three teens involved in a daytime home invasion that turned fatal gave the Court of Appeals a chance to examine the felony murder statute and its application for juveniles.
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Goshen attorney appointed as city court judge

September 11, 2014
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence has named Bodie J. Stegelmann as judge in Goshen City Court. Stegelmann currently is a partner at Yoder Ainlay Ulmer & Buckingham LLP, where he practices real estate law.
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Indiana partnership aids domestic violence victims

July 29, 2014
 Associated Press
An Indiana county attorney's office and a community advocacy group have partnered in an effort to help victims of domestic violence.
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Some Indiana clerks refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses

June 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge’s ruling declaring Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional doesn’t trump a clerk’s religious convictions in one county. Elsewhere, county clerks are being instructed that it’s up to them whether they issue licenses to gay couples.
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Professor shares music's power at detention center

June 13, 2014
 Associated Press
Musician Nayo Ulloa has been teaching kids to play instruments for years, but his newest class at the Elkhart County Juvenile Detention Center is unlike any other he has ever encountered.
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Elkhart attorney suspended for ‘lack of respect’ for clients and courts

February 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended an Elkhart County attorney for at least two years after finding he committed numerous violations of the Indiana Professional Rules of Conduct, including throwing away client files that contained confidential information.
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Amish advocates

October 9, 2013
It is rare that members of northern Indiana’s Amish communities have a need for legal representation. When they do, they turn to a neighbor they know and trust.
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Suspect’s disheveled appearance, not GPS, led to drug discovery

October 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A suspect’s attempt to pull up his unbuckled and falling pants as he stepped from his car negated any taint on the evidence caused by local law enforcement placing a GPS on his vehicle.
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Justices: Meth arrest of man at rental storage unit violated Fourth Amendment

September 18, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction and 45-year sentence on a meth charge cannot stand because the police search at a rental storage unit that led to his arrest violated his Fourth Amendment protections, a majority of the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
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COA rules in favor of tax sale bidder in dispute over property

June 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered that tax deeds be reinstated and reversed summary judgment and a decree of foreclosure in favor of a bank in a combined appeal over foreclosed property in Elkhart County.
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Aid rises for those wrongly convicted

April 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
Prosecutors and police helped clear more than half of those exonerated in 2012, according to a report by the National Registry of Exonerations.
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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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Judges dismiss state’s appeal regarding juvenile delinquency petition

March 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the state has no statutory right to appeal a juvenile court’s decision to rescind an order approving the filing of a delinquency petition against a teen accused of molesting two children.
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Justices order new trial for man tried in absentia

February 19, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A North Carolina man who was convicted of two counts of Class C felony neglect of a dependent by an Elkhart Superior Court while the defendant was on a bus on the way to court will get a new trial, the Indiana Supreme Court concluded Tuesday.
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COA orders trial on drug charges

February 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
On interlocutory appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s denial of an Elkhart County man’s motion to suppress evidence police seized from him and his residence while investigating possible drug dealing.
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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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Judges uphold drug possession conviction, reverse habitual offender enhancement

January 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man who was arrested and charged with Class B felony possession of cocaine because he was within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex in Elkhart had his conviction upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday. But the judges reversed a habitual offender enhancement because the state didn’t prove that John F. Harris III had more than one dealing offense.
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COA: ‘Appalling character’ of deadbeat dad merits 10-year sentence

January 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Elkhart County father whose child support arrearage neared $57,000 lost his second appeal of a case that already has gone to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices order modification of sentence of convicted child caseworker to comply with plea agreement

December 17, 2012
Dave Stafford
A former child protective services caseworker convicted of sex crimes in Hamilton and Elkhart counties should have his sentence modified to comport with his plea agreement, the Indiana Supreme Court ordered.
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Trial court has no authority to alter man’s conviction

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart Superior judge was correct in determining that he couldn’t reduce a man’s Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor a year after the original judgment was made, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Appeals court affirms dismissal of suit against Nappanee in near-drowning

June 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
The city of Nappanee was not negligent and didn’t breach its duty of care when a 5-year-old boy required CPR after lifeguards rescued the child as he floated face-down in a city pool, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Appeals court upholds motion to correct error, voiding Elkhart tax deed

June 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
An Alabama company that purchased a property at a tax sale in Elkhart but subsequently failed to pay property taxes did not receive adequate notice that the city was seeking a tax deed on the property, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit remands Section 1983, wrongful death suits

March 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the trial court to take another look at two cases combined on appeal, which stem from the death of an inmate at the Elkhart County jail.
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COA remands parental rights case

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Finding that a trial judge and Indiana Department of Child Services didn’t follow the law before involuntarily terminating parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals has sent the case back to Elkhart Circuit Court.
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Man gets 326 months imprisonment, lifetime supervision for child pornography

December 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
U.S. Judge Robert Miller Jr. sentenced an Elkhart man to 326 months in prison and a lifetime of supervised release after his guilty plea to sexually exploiting children.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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