Government

Judge: punitive-damage cap unconstitutional

March 3, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A Marion County judge has refused to reduce damages in a priest sex-abuse case, saying the punitive damage caps put in place more than a decade ago are unconstitutional.
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Professor faces Senate Judiciary Committee

February 26, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington professor Dawn Johnsen faced the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday as part of the nomination process to become the next assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, the office that advises the president on legal matters.
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Senate passes new COA panel bill

February 24, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Senate has given its OK to add three judges to the state's second highest appellate court.
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AG food drive event is recruiting firms

February 23, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Attorney General's Office is teaming up with the Indiana State Bar Association and Feeding Indiana's Hungry to fight hunger and is looking to attorneys to enlist in the effort.
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Lawmakers vote on COA panel, Lake County fee

February 20, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Both houses of the Indiana General Assembly took action on court-related legislation Thursday.
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Crisis intervention training set, interest grows

February 20, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
Two police officers have already been trained to deal with mentally ill people for the Evansville-based Crisis Intervention Team. Now, the Southwestern Indiana Law Enforcement Academy will train approximately 35 others.
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Confirmation hearing set for professor

February 18, 2009
IL Staff
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing for 2 p.m. Feb. 25 for Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington professor Dawn Johnsen.
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Breaking: Election of justices bill debated today

February 17, 2009
IL Staff
House Joint Resolution 9, which calls for the election of Indiana Supreme Court justices, has been reassigned to the Committee on Government and Regulatory Reform and is on the agenda to be debated today before the House comes back at 1 p.m.
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House committee split, justice election bill stuck

February 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Legislation aimed at changing how the Indiana Supreme Court justices are chosen hasn't gotten enough support to make it out of committee for now, getting a split vote from lawmakers that means it won't be going to the full House for consideration.
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Bill: Legal aid services can assess indigency

February 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Indiana lawmakers want the state's legal aid and pro bono programs to have one less hurdle to navigate through when representing indigent clients, agreeing that there's no need to always tie up court time in establishing indigency.
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House passes St. Joseph judicial election bill

February 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In a historically notable vote, the Indiana House of Representatives passed a bill that would elect St. Joseph Superior judges rather than stick with a merit-selection and retention system in place for 35 years.
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Court upholds sentence-reduction denial

February 12, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
Even though a defendant may be eligible for a sentence reduction under new crack cocaine sentencing guidelines, it is up to the District Court's discretion to grant a reduced sentence, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Court: ALJ's ruling had several errors

February 11, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
Finding an administrative law judge's decision to deny a woman's claim for disability benefits contained several significant errors, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the District Court's affirmation of the denial and remanded the case to the Social Security Administration.
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Lake County fee bill moves forward

February 10, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The House Judiciary Committee met this morning to consider five bills that included assessing a $10 fee for Lake County court filings, which would be used to fund a consolidated judicial center.
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Judge named chairman of alcohol commission

February 10, 2009
IL Staff
A longtime Wayne County judge has been appointed the new chairman of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.
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Courts celebrate Black History Month

February 9, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
The chair of the Department of Africana Studies and associate professor of history at Notre Dame University will speak to children and the general public in a lecture titled "Forging the Children of the Sun: The Human Spirit and Jim Crow," a Black History Month program Feb. 20 at the Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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St. Joseph judicial election bill out of committee

February 5, 2009
IL Staff
The bill requiring the non-partisan election of Superior Court judges in St. Joseph County has made it out of committee.
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Lawmakers: No Gitmo detainees to Indiana

February 3, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A Northern Indiana lawmaker doesn't want any Guantanamo Bay Naval Base detainees to be sent to a high-security prison in Terre Haute once the Guantanamo camp is closed within a year.
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Court rules on agency record appeals

January 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In two separate opinions, the Indiana Court of Appeals tackled the issue of timely and complete filing of an agency record.
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Legislator wants elected high court jurists

January 16, 2009
IL Staff
One Indiana legislator wants to make changes to the state's highest court, including how the jurists are seated.
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Panelists to discuss Indiana's role in election

January 16, 2009
IL Staff
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy's Indianapolis Lawyer Chapter is bringing together attorneys, a state representative, and a political science professor Jan. 27 to discuss the 2008 presidential election results in Indiana and the country.
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Circuit Court: Spreadsheets OK as evidence

January 15, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A Terre Haute company and its president lost an appeal of their convictions and sentence for making materially false statement reports under the Clean Water Act.
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Appeals court expansion bill stays alive

January 14, 2009
Michael HoskinsMore

7th Circuit addresses challenges under the RFARestricted Content

January 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
7th Circuit adresses for the first time who could bring a challenge to a regulatory flexibility analysis or certification under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
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New Attorney General takes office

January 12, 2009
IL Staff
Attorney General Greg Zoeller officially took office today following a swearing-in ceremony at the Statehouse.
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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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