Government

Same-sex plaintiffs argue the governor enforces marriage statute

May 5, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Plaintiffs in Love v. Pence, the first lawsuit filed in March challenging Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, filed their response to the state’s motion to dismiss their complaint, arguing the governor has the power to order county clerks to issue marriage licenses.
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COA affirms dropped charges for ex-IURC chief Hardy

April 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
Because David Lott Hardy, former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, broke no laws, a trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in dismissing felony official misconduct charges against him, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Justice Department outlines new clemency initiative

April 23, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. Department of Justice Wednesday announced its initiative to encourage qualified federal inmates to petition to have their sentences commuted or reduced by the president of the United States.
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Assertion of state’s rights may not support same-sex marriage ban

April 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana is contenting that states have the authority to define marriage, but the federal court and the ACLU of Indiana have given little merit to the state’s arguments for maintaining a ban on same-sex marriage.
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Hogsett: Machine gun case most ‘egregious,’ ‘dangerous’ he’s seen

April 22, 2014
IL Staff
Joe Hogsett on Tuesday announced the maximum penalty was warranted in a felony firearm case he called the most “egregious and dangerous” he’s seen during his time as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Government drops Conour sentence appeal

April 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
The U.S. attorney’s office will no longer seek a longer prison sentence for convicted legal fraudster William Conour, according to documents filed recently in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Conour’s appeal will move forward.
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Brokers fear criminal justice complex could harm downtown Indianapolis

April 18, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
Creating a new criminal justice complex outside of downtown Indianapolis will mean big changes for the Mile Square, and some real estate brokers think the transition will be painful.
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Ethics Committee schedules hearing to review legislator’s actions

April 17, 2014
IL Staff
The House Committee on Ethics has scheduled a meeting to review whether Rep. P. Eric Turner violated legislative ethics when he pushed caucus members to vote against a bill that would have potentially hurt his family’s business interests.
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Senators seek candidate to fill Judge Barker’s vacancy

April 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Sens. Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats have begun the process for selecting a candidate to fill the vacancy coming to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Councilor: ACLU settlement won't deter panhandling proposal

April 9, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
The city of Indianapolis reached a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union over enforcement of its panhandling ordinance, but that won't deter a City-County Council effort to pass a more restrictive law, a councilor said Wednesday morning.
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New portable alcohol monitoring device gains favor in community corrections

April 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
Offenders ordered to forgo alcohol in order to stay out of prison now have a powerful incentive to stay sober – they hold the key to their freedom in their hands.
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Law firms fight ‘onerous’ proposed tax change

April 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
Lawyers representing Indiana’s legal profession are heading to Washington, D.C., with a message for their congressional delegations – kill a proposal that would change the way many law firms report income-tax obligations.
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Former IURC chair’s appeal raises questions on official misconduct law

April 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
Did a former state utility regulator’s behavior that got him fired rise to official misconduct if he committed no crime? An Indiana Court of Appeals panel grappled with that question, as well as which version of the law applies, during oral arguments March 31.
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FSSA able to terminate 9-year Medicaid provider contract without cause

April 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel unanimously rejected a company’s argument that its state contract was wrongfully terminated. The company argued it has a property interest in continuing to be a Medicaid services provider.
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Hearing on motion for TRO on marriage statute Thursday

April 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The multiple challenges to Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage are picking up steam with the federal court scheduling arguments regarding a temporary restraining order and the state filing a motion to dismiss one of the lawsuits.
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AG files Medicaid fraud charges against Anderson dental office owner and employees

April 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Nine individuals from an Anderson dental office, including three dentists and the owner, are facing criminal charges for allegedly obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars from Medicaid illegally, the Indiana attorney general announced Wednesday.
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Court upholds Plymouth pay policy challenged by reservist

April 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The city of Plymouth’s policy on longevity pay withstood a challenge by a police officer who unsuccessfully claimed he was entitled to the full benefit rather than a prorated share for time he spent deployed as a U.S. Air Force Reservist.
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Official misconduct statute focus of Hardy appeal

March 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
Whether Indiana’s official misconduct statute is unconstitutionally vague was the question before an appeals court panel Monday that heard the state argue that criminal charges should be reinstated against the fired head of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
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Judges to hear misconduct case against former IURC chairman Monday

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday will hear arguments on whether four misconduct charges should have been dismissed against former Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission chairman David Lott Hardy.
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Pence signs criminal code update, mental health witness bills into law

March 27, 2014
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence this week has signed numerous bills into law, including the legislation that reconciles conflicts between HEA 1006-2013, which reformed the state’s criminal code, and other bills touching on criminal law.
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5 lawsuits keep marriage debate alive in Indiana

March 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The attorney general says he will defend the Indiana Defense of Marriage Act unless the Supreme Court of the United States rules otherwise.
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Former GM plant endorsed for criminal justice complex

March 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
As leaders’ support tentatively coalesced around a preferred site for a new Marion County Jail and Criminal Justice Complex just west of downtown Indianapolis, they got an earful from neighbors opposed to the plan.
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General Assembly, Supreme Court ponder big changes for small claims

March 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A national nonprofit organization has been tasked with a fresh study of Marion County’s troubled township small claims court system, while a bill that passed the General Assembly has implications for small claims courts around the state.
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Statehouse says yes to meth house database

March 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The methamphetamine bill that passed during the 2014 session turns attention away from the ingredients and to the contamination left behind by active meth labs. House Enrolled Act 1141 establishes an online database where potential homebuyers and renters will be able to see if their property was the site of a lab.
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Judge to Ballard rep: We’ll decide courts complex site

March 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior judges on Friday gave a grudging endorsement to the former General Motors stamping plant site as the location for a proposed jail and criminal justice complex, but not before sending a message to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard that where courts are located is their decision.
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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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