Government

Session nears end, may finish early

February 26, 2010
IL Staff
This session of the Indiana General Assembly is scheduled to end March 14, but legislators are working to try to finish the session early. It's not known for certain when the House and Senate will wrap up, but both sides have the goal to possibly end by March 7, one week before the constitutionally scheduled deadline.
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Governor names new general counsel

February 25, 2010
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels didn't have to look far to fill a vacancy for general counsel.
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Senators postpone votes on Hoosier nominees

February 25, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Thanks in part to the high-profile health-care summit today, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee postponed votes this morning on three Indiana judicial nominees and a Bloomington law professor being considered for a key Department of Justice spot.
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Workshop examines foster care

February 24, 2010
IL Staff
Child Advocates and the Marion Superior Court's Juvenile Division are hosting a workshop this week in Indianapolis to examine why more African-American children are in the county's foster care than other races.
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Schools sue over state funding formula

February 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Three Indiana school districts are suing the state over the Indiana's per-pupil school-funding formula.
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Indiana joins Asian carp lawsuit

February 22, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Attorney General is joining in the legal dispute over Asian carp in Lake Michigan. Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed an amicus brief on Friday in the lawsuit with the United States Supreme Court in Michigan's lawsuit against Illinois and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
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AG opposes East Chicago settlement terms

February 19, 2010
IL Staff
Indiana's Attorney General opposes a proposed settlement between the city of East Chicago and a developer regarding riverboat casino revenues because it would grant additional money to that developer at a time when the state is suing to open up the financial books.
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Lawmakers criticize traffic court fines

February 19, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A legislative committee this week unanimously approved a bill that would cap the fines a court could assess for traffic violations.
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Committees wrapping up business

February 19, 2010
Michael Hoskins
With legislative deadlines fast approaching for the Indiana General Assembly, lawmakers have reached crunch time in moving legislation through for consideration before the short session comes to a close.
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Police animal amendment moves to full House

February 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The proposed amendment making it a Class D felony for someone who kills a police animal while driving drunk has found a home in legislation.
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COA reverses finding IDEM breached agreementRestricted Content

February 18, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the finding that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management breached a settlement agreement because the trial court didn't have subject matter jurisdiction to determine whether it committed a breach.
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AG files suit to recover taxpayer money

February 18, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Attorney General has filed a complaint in St. Joseph Circuit Court to recover public money that the former Lakeville clerk-treasurer allegedly spent on personal items like movie rentals and satellite television.
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Committee queries federal nomineesRestricted Content

February 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee had a chance to ask questions of Indiana's three judicial nominees Feb. 11, and it's now poised to decide whether the full Senate should have a chance to consider them for the federal bench.
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Make net metering, renewable energy an issueRestricted Content

February 17, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Energy is one of the major issues environmentalists and lawyers who work with companies concerned about green technology are keeping an eye on during the 2010 Indiana legislative session.
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Judges see more cases that involve veteransRestricted Content

February 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
For a little more than a year, Grant Superior Judge Mark Spitzer has presided over his local drug court and has witnessed what he describes as remarkable results from the problem-solving court model.
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Legal community supports civic education effortsRestricted Content

February 17, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
After winning the We The People simulated congressional hearing competition in December, one of the largest first-place teams in Indiana in at least seven years will head to Washington, D.C., for the national competition in late April.
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Lawyers balance public role as legislatorsRestricted Content

February 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In his 35 years as a lawyer-legislator, Sen. Richard Bray has thought about whether he should get involved in litigation because of his role as an elected state official. While he doesn't recall this ever affecting his involvement on a case or legislation before him, the veteran attorney from Martinsville, who practices with his son at The Bray Law Office, sees how it could present problems.
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School-focused bill continues to full Senate

February 12, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
An amended version of House Bill 1193, which came about as a result of a juvenile justice conference in August, passed out of the Senate's Judiciary Committee 6-1 Feb. 10.
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Police deaths, injury inspire late legislation

February 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Although the deadline has passed to introduce new legislation, St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak has called on legislators to find current bills that will allow amendments to statute in response to two separate car accidents involving police officers.
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Report: Laws alone won't stop cell phone use while driving

February 12, 2010
IL Staff
A House bill looking to ban texting while driving in Indiana on its own may not be very effective in preventing drivers from using their cell phones in the car, according to a policy brief from an Indiana University research center.
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Snow impacting Indiana nomination hearings

February 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
If snow doesn't get in the way, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee may discuss on Thursday morning three Indiana federal judicial nominees and the long-delayed nomination of a Bloomington law professor for the Department of Justice.
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AG questions constitutionality of health-care bill

February 5, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Not only would federal health-care legislation significantly cost Indiana if passed, the state's Attorney General also believes aspects of the legislation could be constitutionally questioned and possibly overturned by courts.
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What the attorney general is watching

February 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The session is about halfway over, but there are still several bills making their way through the General Assembly that the Indiana Attorney General's Office is watching.
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General Assembly reaches midpoint

February 5, 2010
Michael Hoskins
At the midway point in this Indiana General Assembly session, dozens of bills died this week when one house didn't vote on them while others moved on for further consideration.
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Feds indict East Chicago mayor, former official

February 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Another East Chicago mayor is now being charged in the federal court for alleged misuse of public money, and defense attorneys say they'll go to trial to fight the charges.
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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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