Family Law

Update: Professor who taught at Indy Law since 1977 dies

October 27, 2010
IL Staff
Professor emeritus Henry C. Karlson, who taught criminal law at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis for more than 30 years, died Monday of cancer.
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Juvenile's records not protected by counselor/client privilege

October 20, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Howard Superior Court erred in finding that the counselor/client privilege prevented the admission of a son’s counseling records during a custody modification hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Pending dissolution settlement not enforceable upon a party's death

October 12, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A property-settlement document is not an enforceable contract if one of the parties dies before the dissolution action is finalized, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA rules on military benefits to former spouses

October 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on the issue for the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that a military spouse may not, by a post-decree waiver of retirement pay in favor of disability benefits or combat-related special compensation, unilaterally and voluntarily reduce the benefits awarded to the former spouse in a dissolution decree.
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Guardians program fulfills needRestricted Content

September 1, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
To help address the need for guardians for patients of a northwest Indiana hospital, Lake County Judge Diane Kavadias-Schneider – with others in the court and with permission from Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard – worked on a guardianship program that involved temporary volunteer guardians.
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Adult guardianship programs continue to operate with little fundingRestricted Content

September 1, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Courts around Indiana have started their own guardianship programs based on the Lake County model program in Allen, Elkhart, Lawrence, St. Joseph, Tippecanoe, and Vanderburgh counties.
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Appellate courts address estate tax, trust division regarding adoptions

September 1, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
As adoptions have become more common and more accepted for expanding the family tree, courts have had to address some legal matters clarifying those familial ties.
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Justices criticize attorney's decision making on publicationRestricted Content

September 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State statutes about adoption and grandparent visitation may be important for Indiana trial courts when considering custody issues, but courts have long held that foundational due process rights still apply and can’t be sacrificed.
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High court privately reprimands attorney

August 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has privately reprimanded an attorney for improperly revealing information about a former client when socializing with friends.
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COA concerned about some details in termination case

August 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In affirming the involuntary termination of a mother’s parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals noted some troubling details involving the case.
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Attorney waits for plea agreement decision

August 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Anderson attorney Samuel Hasler is still waiting to see if his plea agreement regarding child pornography charges will be accepted.
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Prominent family law attorney dies

July 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A well-known and longtime family law attorney in Indianapolis died July 7 at the age of 80.
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Court affirms felony nonsupport of a dependent conviction

July 6, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A man claiming he proved he was unable to pay child support because of his numerous incarcerations did not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals. In its ruling today, the court relied on Becker v. Becker to affirm the man’s conviction of Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent child.
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COA balances free speech vs. minor's privacy rights

June 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was faced with competing constitutional rights today: a mother’s right to free political speech versus her daughter’s right to privacy as to whether her father allegedly sexually abused her.
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Judges: no private cause allowed for not reporting abuse, neglect

June 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Standing behind a decision made by appellate judges about 20 years ago, the Indiana Court of Appeals has again declined to interpret state statute in a way that allows for a private right of action for failing to report child abuse or neglect.
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Justices asked to revisit Indian family law

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
At least one Indiana Court of Appeals judge believes the state’s highest court should revisit how it applies a three-decade old statute to tribal Indian family adoption issues inside Indiana.
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Family law attorney to receive national award

June 2, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
For doing pro bono work and for promoting pro bono work among others in the legal community, an Indianapolis attorney has learned she will receive a national award at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco in August.
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Judge, others honored around Law DayRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Evansville Bar Association recognized a judge and others in the legal profession during two annual events that take place near Law Day.
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Courts study changing surrogacy lawRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Surrogacy law in Indiana is at a crossroads because of scientific and technological advances that give people more options to start a family.
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Economy adjusts child supportRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
It used to be fairly easy to prove someone wouldn't pay child support because they didn't want to. But it hasn't gone unnoticed that there are more people who want to pay child support but simply can't.
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Committee seeks comment on parenting time

April 20, 2010
IL Staff
The Judicial Conference of Indiana's Domestic Relations Committee is accepting comments on the state's parenting time guidelines as it reviews them. The committee is encouraging comments from judicial officers, attorneys, parents, professionals who work with children, and members of the public.
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Family courts for pro se parentsRestricted Content

March 3, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
While family courts have been around in Indiana for the last decade, the counties that have them continue to make changes to improve access to justice to all litigants who are in the system.
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IBA: Legislative Committee takes action on grandparents rights

March 3, 2010
From IndyBar
The Indiana General Assembly grappled with some hefty family law issues during the recent legislative session and the IBA was up to the challenge.
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What the ISBA is watching this session

January 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana State Bar Association is watching several bills introduced in this 2010 session, including probate and family law matters.
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Housing can cause conflicts in divorcesRestricted Content

January 20, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
There is often obvious animosity between a husband and wife who are divorcing, and for those still living under one roof, more problems can arise.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. 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."

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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