Government

Index shows poor voter engagement

September 28, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
On Sept. 14, results of the inaugural Civic Health Index were released to the public. The data shows that while Indiana is on-par with national standards in volunteerism, the state’s voter turnout and registration are among the lowest in the country.
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Attorney General agrees to return Durham campaign funds

September 22, 2011
Scott Olson
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has agreed to return $11,000 in campaign contributions from indicted financier Tim Durham.
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Judges uphold involuntary commitment

September 19, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
When a defendant has been previously committed to a state institution because he was found incompetent to stand trial, that state institution may be considered a community mental health center for purposes of a report required under Indiana Code 12-26-7-3(b), the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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Court commission OKs new judicial officer requests

September 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Commission on Courts held its final meeting on Thursday, voting in support of new judicial officers for a handful of Indiana counties and agreeing to send those recommendations on to state lawmakers for consideration.
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Comments wanted on proposed changes to senior judge rules

September 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court wants to hear from the public and legal community about revising the state’s senior judge program, allowing certified former judges to serve in any court rather than specific jurisdictions.
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Judge allows state to cut Medicaid fees to pharmacists

September 15, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis federal judge has reversed the temporary restraining order she issued two months ago that stopped the state from cutting fees it pays to pharmacists for dispensing Medicaid prescriptions.
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Judges rule on breach of contract lawsuit

September 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The City of Jeffersonville breached its contract with a company hired to maintain its sewer system by not adequately providing written notice before ending the contract.
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Bomb threat causes evacuation of courthouse

September 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A bomb threat called into the clerk’s office in Hancock County Wednesday morning prompted an evacuation of the building for several hours.
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Civic index numbers show Indiana trails most states in voter turnout

September 14, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The inaugural Indiana Civic Health Index shows that while the state is on-par with national standards in volunteerism, its voter turnout and registration are among the lowest in the country.
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Questioning judicial campaign contributions

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The American Bar Association urges states to adopt recusal rules because of judicial fundraising concerns.
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Judges disagree on whether use of names or initials is appropriate

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A clear divide exists at the Indiana Court of Appeals these days and is anything but confidential. Judges are debating whether parties’ names on certain cases should be released publicly or be shielded through use of initials only.
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Indiana makes gains in permanent placement

September 14, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The state sees improvement, but aims to do better.
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Fall protection mandatory for residential jobs

September 14, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
On Oct. 1, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration will begin enforcing fall protection plans for residential contractors. The regulations have long applied to commercial construction, but this year marks the first that OSHA will begin requiring residential contractors to exercise the same level of caution when employees are working more than six feet above the ground.
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2 Indiana lawyers part of legal team representing plaintiffs in 9/11 litigation

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Even now, chills run down Mary Beth Ramey’s spine when she stands along the canal in downtown Indianapolis and thinks about how that spot ties into the litigation she’s been involved in for the past decade.
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Justices consider state back-pay suit

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Almost a year after the Indiana Court of Appeals significantly slashed a $42.4 million damages award against the state, the Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Sept. 8 on whether past and present employees can recover back pay and how much should be awarded.
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Bar foundation names 'legendary lawyer'

September 9, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Fellows of the Indiana Bar Foundation have chosen Leslie Duvall as the 2011 Legendary Lawyer. On Sept. 27, Indianapolis firm Lewis & Kappes will hold a ceremony in his honor.
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Criminal code study group meets Friday

September 8, 2011
IL Staff
The Criminal Code Evaluation Commission will have its fifth meeting Friday. According to the meeting agenda, Rep. Ralph Foley, R-Martinsville, will give a presentation on unspecified data and Deborah Daniels will give a presentation on penalties for sex offenders.
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7th Circuit tackles 'novel' U visa review request

September 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it does not have jurisdiction to review immigration orders denying a specialized visa to a non-citizen trying to stay in the country after assisting in an investigation or prosecution.
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State preparing to pay maximum in stage collapse damages

August 31, 2011
Scott Olson
The state of Indiana is set to forgo costly and lengthy litigation and instead pay the maximum $5 million in damages allowed by law to victims of the Indiana State Fair concert stage collapse, Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Wednesday.
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Man's detainment by officer violated 4th Amendment

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Conservation officers checking to see if a fisherman had a valid license did not have reasonable suspicion to detain the man and ask to see what was inside his bag after verifying his license, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Toxic dust exposure leads to litigation

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indianapolis attorney Gabe Hawkins has already attended the funerals of three former clients, and he hopes that he won’t have to see a fourth before finally being able to say that the courtroom battle they’ve been waging for years has paid off.
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Meth use linked to increase in CHINS

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Leslie Dunn, Indiana state director for GAL/CASA, said the number of Child in Need of Services cases over time remains stable, but she’s seen some remarkable variations in cases per-county from year to year. In Vanderburgh County, for example, new CHINS cases jumped from 448 in 2008 to 818 in 2010. People who are watching these numbers with concern cite several possible reasons for these variations.
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Economic woes hitting state's public defense

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Years ago, those working in the Porter County Public Defender Office reported seeing a bright blue Post-it note tagged to their caseload reports that said, “HELP!” in huge hand-written print. That was a common occurrence at a time when the local public defender’s office faced a critical overload point because of skyrocketing caseloads and too few attorneys.
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Jefferson County celebrates reopening of courthouse

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A fire in May 2009 displaced the courts and government offices. After more than two years, they were able to move back into the courthouse.
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2011-2012 Civil Legal Aid Fund figures released

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Division of State Court Administration has released figures for 2011-2012, showing how the $1.5 million Civil Legal Aid Fund has been distributed among 11 qualifying agencies.
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  1. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  2. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  3. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

  4. I'm going to court the beginning of Oct. 2015 to establish visitation and request my daughters visits while she is in jail. I raised my grandchild for the first two and half years. She was born out of wedlock and the father and his adopted mother wantwd her aborted, they went as far as sueing my daughter for abortion money back 5mo. After my grandchild was born. Now because of depression and drug abuse my daughter lost custody 2 and a half years ago. Everyting went wrong in court when i went for custody my lawyer was thrown out and a replacment could only stay 45 min. The judge would not allow a postponement. So the father won. Now he is aleinating me and my daughter. No matter the amount of time spent getting help for my daughter and her doing better he runs her in the ground to the point of suicide because he wants her to be in a relationship with him. It is a sick game of using my grandchild as a pawn to make my daughter suffer for not wanting to be with him. I became the intervener in the case when my daughter first got into trouble. Because of this they gave me her visitation. Im hoping to get it again there is questions of abuse on his part and I want to make sure my grandchild is doing alright. I really dont understand how the parents have rights to walk in and do whatever they want when the refuse to stand up and raise the child at first . Why should it take two and a half years to decide you want to raise your child.The father used me so he could finish college get a job and stop paying support by getting custody. Support he was paying my daughter that I never saw.

  5. Pence said when he ordered the investigation that Indiana residents should be troubled by the allegations after the video went viral. Planned Parenthood has asked the government s top health scientists at the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.

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