Government

House committee approves Constitutional Convention bills

April 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
With a vote along party lines, a pair of bills outlining the selection and duties of delegates to an Article V Constitutional Convention cleared their first hurdle in the Indiana House of Representatives.
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General Assembly enters final weeks with full schedule

April 5, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana’s biennial budget is eligible to receive a second reading in the Senate Monday as the Indiana General Assembly enters the final weeks of its regular session.
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Bill adding magistrates, judges in 3 counties moves to governor

April 3, 2013
IL Staff
Legislation that will add more judicial officers in Hamilton, Hendricks and Owen counties passed unanimously out of the House of Representatives Tuesday.
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Contentious Senate panel advances voucher expansion

April 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
A proposal to expand Indiana’s school voucher program moved to the full Senate on Tuesday, but not before opponents said the unknown costs and impact of the bill amounted to a fiscal cliff for the state and a bailout of private religious schools.
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Kenley appears warm to boost in Odyssey funding

March 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, on Thursday signaled he supported a boost in funding for the Odyssey case management system and other court technology functions, after proposed funding was reduced in the House budget plan.
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Concerns about CHINS petitions raised during budget hearings

March 28, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
After the Indiana Department of Child Services made its presentation to the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday, the discussion quickly turned to Child in Need of Services petitions.
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Mother not denied due process by not having appointed counsel in CHINS case

March 28, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
While disappointed that a trial court did not follow through with the appointment of counsel for a mother regarding a child in need of services action, any error in that failure was harmless, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. It upheld the termination of mother J.A.’s parental rights to her son G.P.
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Senators skeptical of funding Odyssey access for public defenders

March 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Senate budget writers appeared skeptical of a request Thursday to spend more than $2.1 million over the next four years to give public defenders statewide the same access to case management systems that prosecutors, judges and others have in many counties.
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Senate passes civil immunity, sentencing alternatives for young offenders bills

March 27, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate approved several pieces of legislation from the House this week, including a bill that would establish sentencing alternatives for certain offenders under the age of 18.
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Lawmakers advance bill to aid courthouse restoration, but money is missing

March 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
Nearly every county seat in Indiana could benefit from a bill promoting historic courthouse renovation and maintenance projects. Only problem is, when lawmakers passed the legislation through the Senate they stripped out the money for it.
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Many efforts arise to address abandoned property, few go forward

March 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
State Sen. Jim Merritt wanted to help an eastside Indianapolis church gain possession of some long-abandoned, derelict houses, tear them down and establish a neighborhood park. But it turned out there wasn’t much the law allowed the church to do.
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Tax clinic brings relief to homeowners fighting high assessments

March 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
At Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, the attorneys suspected there was a gap in pro bono tax help for owners of homes valued at $150,000 or less. They were looking for a volunteer opportunity so they organized the first ever Homeowner Property Tax Clinic.
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Criminal Code bill gets Senate hearing

March 26, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Concerns over sentencing provisions and pleas for adequate funding dominated the Senate hearing on legislation overhauling the state’s criminal code.
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Indiana solicitor general: ‘Good day’ for traditional marriage at SCOTUS

March 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana and other states against same-sex marriage appeared to make a strong impression on the U.S. Supreme Court justices Tuesday, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher said after watching arguments in Washington.
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Tax cut dispute overshadowing Legislature’s work to lower state’s unemployment, Bosma tells lawyers

March 26, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A public spat between the Legislature and governor’s office over tax cuts has become an overarching issue, but Indiana Speaker of the House Brian Bosma said the state should be focusing on job creation.
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Voucher program stands, Indiana Supreme Court rules

March 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s school voucher program, considered the nation’s widest-reaching, is constitutional, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday.
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Indiana Supreme Court: school vouchers constitutional

March 26, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana’s school voucher program is constitutional, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday.
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White claims Brizzi ‘ignorant’ of law, jurors wowed by Super Bowl

March 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former Secretary of State Charlie White says his convictions on six charges ranging from vote fraud to theft should be tossed because they violated state and federal law. He also claims that his lawyer, former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi “was ignorant of the law.”
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Indiana Senate to hold hearings on crime bills

March 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Two crime bills moving through the Indiana General Assembly are on the agenda for Senate hearings next week.
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Cedar Lake allowed to dissolve Parks Department, board

March 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake Superior judge erred when she used Dillon’s Rule to determine the scope of the town of Cedar Lake’s legal authority to dissolve its park board and Parks Department, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The proper legal inquiry is based on the state’s Home Rule Act.
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Problem-solving courts, CHINS legislation return to house of origin

March 20, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate passed several House bills Tuesday, including legislation expanding when a person can participate in a problem-solving court program. The House of Representatives returned bills on children in need of services petitions and prosecutor pensions back to the Senate.
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Despite constitutional concerns, judicial nomination bill advances

March 18, 2013
Dave Stafford
Proposed changes to the panel that recommends judges for the Indiana Supreme Court and Court of Appeals advanced to the House floor Monday, but not before some lawmakers said they reserved judgment on whether the measure was constitutional.
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Wabash College sophomore will design art project honoring Shepard

March 15, 2013
IL Staff
A child’s handprint designed by Wabash College sophomore John Vosel has been chosen as the monument to honor former Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard in a new Evansville park.
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DCS centralized hotline undergoes changes in advance of legislation

March 14, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Prior to the Indiana General Assembly implementing recommendations from an interim study committee, the Indiana Department of Child Services is making changes.
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Synthetic drug ban, human trafficking bills move out of committee

March 14, 2013
IL Staff
Senate bills stiffening the state’s synthetic drug ban and strengthening Indiana’s human trafficking laws were approved unanimously by the House of Representatives Committee on Courts and Criminal Code Wednesday.
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  1. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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