Government

Courts can review public school financing

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Hoosier courts have the authority to review the state's school financing formula to determine whether Indiana is meeting a constitutional requirement to provide a quality public education for all students, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled May 2.A 2-1 ruling from the COA revives the public education financing case of Joseph Bonner, et al. v. Mitch Daniels, et al., No. 49A02-0702-CV-188, which presents an issue of first impression. Nine public school students and their families from eight different school systems throughout the...
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7th Circuit upholds convictionRestricted Content

December 26, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a defendant's conviction and sentence for selling a firearm to a felon, ruling the wording of his indictment did not require the government to prove he knew about the gun buyer's past convictions
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ACLU: Full court should rehear prayer case

November 15, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana wants the full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a case involving legislative prayer.
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7th Circuit rules on garnished 'Sidewalk Six' moneyRestricted Content

September 5, 2007
Michael Hoskins
One of East Chicago's so-called "Sidewalk Six" convicts is the subject of a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling today, though the case more accurately centers on the $25 million in restitution he was ordered to repay and whether those garnishments should be considered marital assets during his subsequent divorce proceedings.
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3 names for the governor

May 11, 2007
Michael Hoskins
It's now up to Gov. Mitch Daniels to decide who will be the next Indiana Court of Appeals judge.
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AG argues automated dialing statute in 7th Circuit

April 3, 2007
Michael HoskinsMore

Marion judges choose court administrator

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis law firm partner who has led three state agencies is the new administrator for Marion County courts. On Monday, the four-judge executive committee chose Glenn R. Lawrence to fill the position, which has been vacant since the former administrator Ron Miller resigned in late March. Since then, Senior Judge Richard Good has been filling in as interim administrator.The committee offered Lawrence the $93,500-salary job Monday afternoon, according to presiding Superior Judge Gerald Zore. Judges had received about 20 applications...
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Former lawmaker, public defender champion dies

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A former state senator who'd served the legal community as a public defender and lobbyist for the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association has died.Robert Hellmann, D-Terre Haute, died late last week at his home after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 60.Once minority leader in the Indiana Senate, Hellman had been a part of state government since the early 1980s. He was a member of the House of Representatives for four years before being elected to the Senate in 1986, where...
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International law lecture Monday

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
"Poodles and Bulldogs: the U.S., Britain and the International Rule of Law" is a public lecture by Philippe Sands, Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington's 2007 Addison C. Harris Lecturer, to be presented in the Moot Court Room at noon Sept. 24. A reception will follow.Sands is professor of law at University College London. A practicing barrister, Sands has extensive experience litigating cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International...
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Court clarifies where tax disputes belong

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
General jurisdiction courts don't have the authority to consider cases involving tax law or the Department of Local Government Finance, and the Indiana Court of Appeals says it also doesn't have the authority to remand those cases to the Indiana Tax Court.An appellate panel made its point clear in an opinion on rehearing today in Wayne Township, Marion County, Indiana v. Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, and Martha Womacks, Marion County Auditor, No. 29A05-0611-CV-661. This comes as a clarification and...
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Court reverses COA decision in zoning issue

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed that both the Board of Zoning Appeals of Evansville-Vanderburgh County and trial court were correct in denying the construction of a cellular tower that would be located too close to a residence under a county zoning code.In St. Charles Tower, Inc. v. Board of Zoning Appeals of Evansville-Vanderburgh County, 82S01-0702-CV-69, the state's highest court yesterday overturned the Court of Appeals ruling that found the BZA's decision to deny St. Charles the special-use permit was not supported by...
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Chief Justice on panel to study tax assessing, local government

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard will co-chair a commission designed to find long-term solutions to the state's property tax crisis, the governor announced today.Along with former Gov. Joe Kernan, the chief justice will lead the Commission on Local Government Reform beginning in early August. One of the questions the commission will look at is whether the township form of government should be abolished.Specifically, questions before the commission will be:- What local government offices might be eliminated to achieve efficiencies and...
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Governor names new Lake, Marion judges

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels today chose a Gary attorney and legal counsel for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources director for a pair of judicial openings in Lake and Marion counties.Gary attorney Calvin Hawkins will take over as Lake Superior judge in September, replacing Judge Robert A. Pete who died in March. Admitted to the Indiana bar in 1971, Hawkins has concentrated his practice in civil and church litigation, as well as bankruptcy, probate, and family law. He earned his law degree...
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First interviews done for COA opening

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
They came to the capitol building in Indianapolis from across the state, facing a barrage of questions about why they want to be an appellate court judge.Seven will return for a second round next month.The Judicial Nominating Commission conducted its first round of interviews Tuesday for a seat on the state's second highest appeals court, an opening that will be created by Judge John T. Sharpnack's retirement in May 2008. The seven semi-finalists, selected after the daylong session of interviews and...
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Tax Court sets arguments next month

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Tax Court will hear arguments next month on a suit challenging the constitutionality of the state's property tax assessment system.Arguments are set for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in Mel Goldstein, et al. v. Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, et al., 49T10-0709-TA-00045. Indianapolis attorney John Price filed the suit earlier this month on behalf of 11 residents from around the state and seven citizens' organizations pushing for tax reform. The suit includes 14 counts relating directly to Marion County...
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Court rules in favor of municipal utilities

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The state's eminent domain statute allows Indiana municipalities to acquire operations of privately owned water and sewer utilities that serve recently annexed portions of that community, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.The split 3-2 decision came in Utility Center, Inc., d/b/a Aquasource v. City of Fort Wayne, Indiana, 02S04-0706-CV-248.This case from Allen Circuit Judge Thomas Felts involves Fort Wayne's initiation of condemnation proceedings against a company operating a competing public water utility in and around the city, which also owns its...
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Chief public defender resigning

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The chief public defender in Marion County plans to leave his post in February.Chief Public Defender David E. Cook submitted his resignation this week, announcing his intent to stay on until Feb 15. so that a successor can be found.Cook has been the most visible face of the organization since 1995, two years after it was established. He's a former deputy prosecutor and defense attorney, who's now been the agency's chief executive responsible for working with judges and elected officials and...
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Indiana Roll of Attorneys office moving

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The office that keeps track of Hoosier attorneys is changing locations.The Indiana Roll of Attorneys office is moving from the Statehouse and into the Indiana Government Center South to where the Court Clerk ;s Records Division is located.As of April 2, attorneys will need to have that new address – 302 W. Washington St., Room W062 – for mailing in or dropping off registration fees, changes of address, temporary admissions forms, or disciplinary filings. The fax number will also change, but...
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Diversity conference addresses issues

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
The Marion County Bar Association and Indiana Lawyer partnered to raise awareness and provide best practices regarding diversity and inclusion in the legal and business communities during the first Diversity in Practice conference."Diversity in Practice: Building a Culture of Inclusion" was in Indianapolis Sept. 27 and 28 and featured keynote speakers Edward James Olmos, noted actor/director and civic activist, and Roderick Palmore, executive vice president and general counsel for Sara Lee Corp., as well as educational breakout sessions. Also several individuals...
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ND Law hosts "What is war?"

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
"What Is War?" is the name and subject of a conference at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies Auditorium at the University of Notre Dame Sept. 14 and 15. The University of Notre Dame Law School, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and Mershon Center for International Security Studies at Ohio State University are sponsoring the conference. It is free and open to the public.The discussions will feature Gen. Sir Michael Rose (British Forces, retired), and Gen. William...
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Indiana RV makers being sued over hurricane-issued trailers

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
More than a dozen RV manufacturers that supplied the Federal Emergency Management Agency with trailers following Hurricane Katrina are being sued in federal court in Louisiana, including a handful based in Indiana.A suit filed this week in the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans accuses the manufacturers of using inferior construction materials in a profit-driven rush to build the trailers for the federal government. The 63-page filing includes nearly 50 pages of more than 500 plaintiffs who've lived in the...
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Report includes 3 court-specific ideas

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Three recommendations made today by the Commission on Local Government Reform focus specifically on courts and the state's legal community.Court-specific recommendations impacting all Indiana counties include transferring the local court clerk responsibilities to the courts themselves and transferring trial court system funding - including probation and public defenders - to the state. A third recommendation is focused solely on Marion County, where all township small claims courts duties would be transferred to the county's Superior Courts.Headed by former Gov. Joe Kernan...
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Court: Death sentence stands

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court today upheld the death sentence against a man condemned for murdering a college student, though the authoring justice disagreed and his writing could offer a key for another execution to be tossed out.In Michael Dean Overstreet v. State of Indiana, 41S00-0306-PD-249, the court affirmed the post-conviction judgment of Johnson Superior Judge Cynthia Emkes, who'd first sentenced him to death in 2000. The case involves the September 1997 disappearance, rape, and strangulation of Franklin College freshman Kelly Eckart. Overstreet has...
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Justices to hear 2 cases Thursday

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider two cases Thursday morning. One looks at the line between estate plans and wills, while the other involves a motorist's lawsuit against a county for not removing a tree in the road after a storm.Justices will first hear arguments at 9 a.m. in the case In re Guardianship of E.N., Adult, which comes out of the Washington Circuit Court. The trial court approved an estate plan submitted by a protected person's adult children in their...
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Marion judges choose court administrator

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
    An Indianapolis law firm partner who has led three state agencies is the new administrator for Marion County courts. On Monday, the four-judge executive committee chose Glenn R. Lawrence to fill the spot, which has been vacant since the former administrator Ron Miller resigned in late March. Since then, Senior Judge Richard Good has been filling in as interim administrator. The county's four leading judges offered Lawrence the $93,500-salary job Monday afternoon, according to presiding Superior Judge Gerald Zore. Judges had...
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