Government

Democrats' walkout leads to another 'fines' mess

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
Before the Indiana General Assembly convened Jan. 7, some unfinished business was debated in the Statehouse: whether Republican House leaders went too far in seizing fines from Democrats who walked out of the Legislature in 2011 and 2012.
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Ruling: DOC 'indifferent' to mentally ill inmates

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
The opinion from the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana fits the national trend against isolation policy for these inmates.
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Smartphones replacing cash

January 16, 2013
Mobile payments are becoming popular, but consumers must proactively protect against fraud.
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Zoeller appoints Washington-based deputy AG

January 14, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has named a deputy who will monitor federal legislation and regulations in Washington that could impact the state.
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House Judiciary, Senate Corrections committees to meet

January 14, 2013
IL Staff
The House Judiciary Committee this afternoon is conducting hearings on a pair of bills, and the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee will meet Tuesday.
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Zoeller takes oath for second term

January 14, 2013
IL Staff
Attorney General Greg Zoeller took the oath of office on Monday, officially beginning his second term.
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AG asks Supreme Court to review Gingerich conviction

January 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversal of an adult murder conspiracy conviction of a then-12-year-old should be reviewed by the state Supreme Court, Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement late Thursday.
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Speedway agreement pledges ADA compliance

January 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Thursday it will pursue full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act in what an attorney involved in the matter said could be the largest settlement agreement under the 1990 law.
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Bill on habitual offender filing deadline moves out of committee

January 10, 2013
IL Staff
The Senate Committee on Corrections & Criminal Law voted this week to move legislation that will allow an indictment or information to be amended to include a habitual offender charge at any time before trial, as long as the amendment doesn’t prejudice the substantial rights of the defendant.
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AG sues Carmel business over undelivered Colts, sports memorabilia

January 7, 2013
IL Staff
A Carmel business and its owner face a state consumer protection lawsuit over accusations that the company bilked customers who used its website to pay for autographed photos and memorabilia of Indianapolis Colts player Reggie Wayne and former Colts Peyton Manning and Gary Brackett.
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General Assembly begins 2013 session

January 7, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana General Assembly convenes for the 2013 legislative session today with a new governor, many first-time legislators and a Republican supermajority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
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School safety bill introduced into General Assembly

January 4, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Calling it a “good first step” for school safety, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller outlined a proposed bill that would create a uniform standard for the school resource officers.
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Attorney general sues 3 contractors over poor work, no refunds

January 3, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Wednesday that he has filed lawsuits against three contractors doing business in Indiana that didn’t perform work as promised or misrepresented the urgency of needed repairs.
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Dickson encourages compromise on House Democrat fines suit

January 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson implored litigants to resolve a lawsuit over the collection of fines levied on House Democrats who walked out of the Legislature in 2011 and 2012.
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Judge: DOC treatment of mentally ill unconstitutional

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
A lack of basic treatment for mentally ill Indiana Department of Correction inmates held in isolation violates the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, a federal judge ruled Monday.
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Previous back problems not enough to disqualify public employee from disability benefits

January 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although an employee had a pre-existing condition, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled his on-duty injury qualified him for Class 1 impairment disability benefits from the Indiana Public Employee Retirement Fund.
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2012 Year in Review

January 2, 2013
IL Staff
2012 was another busy year for the legal community. We welcomed new justices and a new chief justice, witnessed the beginnings of the state’s fifth law school, and saw local stories garner national and international attention. Here’s a look back at the top news stories from last year.
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New group aims to prevent many from enetering juvenile justice system

January 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A number of federal and state agencies along with nonprofit organizations are working to help regain the youths’ footing after they stumble into trouble. Now, a new nonprofit has been formed with a focus on preventing children and teenagers from entering the juvenile justice system.
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Public-record email case focuses on scope of requests

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
A dustup over access to public records reveals an uncertain standard exists for what is considered a reasonable request to disclose public officials’ emails under Indiana public record laws.
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Specialized units target Medicare, Medicaid swindlers in Indiana

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
Inside an unmarked building in a nondescript office park in Castleton is a burgeoning, multi-million-dollar legal enterprise. Its mission: cracking down on Medicaid fraud.
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Duke loses appeal of scandal-touched IURC rate case reversal

December 28, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s reversal and subsequent rejection of deferred accounting of $11.9 million for Duke Energy was affirmed by the Court of Appeals Friday in a case revisited because of an ethics scandal involving state regulators.
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Public interest in reducing poverty is grounds for application of doctrine of laches

December 27, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In overturning a lower court’s ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals opened the door for the doctrine of laches to be applied to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles by finding the suspension of a Bloomington woman’s driving privileges conflicts with the public’s interest in reducing poverty.
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Appeals court upholds Medicaid fraud charges

December 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A woman charged with defrauding Indiana’s Medicaid program of nearly $350,000 lost the appeal of her partial motion to dismiss the charges.
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Sensient settles over use of 'popcorn lung' chemical

December 27, 2012
Scott Olson
Sensient Flavors LLC will pay a smaller fine in exchange for agreeing to reduce the amount of a chemical it uses at its Indianapolis plant, as part of a settlement it has reached with state regulators.
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AG: State Fair stage collapse victim payments completed

December 20, 2012
Dave Stafford
Victims of the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse soon will receive a supplemental and final disbursement of money allocated for victims of the tragedy that killed seven people and injured scores more.
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  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?

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