Indiana General Assembly

Lawmaker targets burdensome pre-settlement funding by proposing cap on interest rates

January 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
Funding companies woo plaintiffs in need with promises of quick cash for their pending settlements without oversight in Indiana. That soon could change.
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House committee ends hearing without vote on marriage amendment

January 13, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
After more than three hours of testimony, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee recessed Monday without taking a vote on the constitutional marriage amendment and accompanying bill.
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Judge firearm, ‘ag-gag’ bills to get hearings Tuesday

January 13, 2014
IL Staff
Legislation that would increase the penalties for battery on a judicial officer and provide judges the same immunity as law enforcement officers for possession and use of a firearm will be heard by an Indiana Senate Committee on Tuesday.
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Rep. Turner introduces resolution defining marriage

January 9, 2014
IL Staff
Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, filed House Joint Resolution 3 Thursday, which looks to ban same-sex marriage in Indiana through the state Constitution. He also introduced a bill describing the legislative intent of offering the amendment.
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Legislators return to Statehouse Monday

January 3, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana House of Representatives and Senate will reconvene at 1:30 p.m. Monday. Among the bills before the legislators this session are measures making battery against judicial officers a Level 5 or 6 felony instead of a misdemeanor; outlining when juvenile court records may not be confidential, and various probate and trust matters.
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Suit spawns liquor-distribution showdown

January 3, 2014
Scott Olson
Indiana’s largest beer distributor is mounting the latest legal challenge to the state’s arcane, Prohibition-era liquor laws.
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Shepard to moderate same-sex marriage debate

January 2, 2014
IL Staff
Retired Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard will moderate a debate at Franklin College Jan. 13 on the issue of same-sex marriage.
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Concerns exist over proposed sentencing bill

January 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The balance struck between the opposing demands of the prosecutors and public defenders in the proposed criminal sentencing bill may be upended during the 2014 legislative session, which could force Indiana to squeeze hundreds of millions of dollars from the state budget to build a new prison.
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Repeal of administrative code abolishes 3-year limit for filing petitions

December 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In a ruling that it conceded could “open the floodgates,” the Indiana Tax Court found neither state statute nor regulations provided any time limits for homeowners to file petitions to correct error on their property tax assessments.
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AG finds no caselaw that answers same-sex amendment question

December 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Nearly 13 minutes into a press conference touting the accomplishments of his office in 2013, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller got a question on a topic he may have been hoping to avoid – same-sex marriage.
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Bill pledges greater gun immunity, protection for judges

December 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
Judicial officers would be granted the same ability to carry firearms and immunity as law enforcement officers under a bill introduced by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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Criminal law committee sends sentencing bill to Legislature

December 20, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
What was called the key to making Indiana’s new criminal code work has received a nod of approval and is now headed to the Legislature.
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Support strong for treatment instead of incarceration in the DOC

December 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
David Powell, executive director of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, strongly believes that addressing drug dependency and mental health issues can reduce the state’s recidivism rate and, in turn, lower the crime rate.
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Criminal code overhaul shifts focus to sentencing

December 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The exploding prison population was a key motivator for revising the state’s criminal code, but an independent research group has concluded the new statute will cause a quicker increase in the number of inmates.
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Independent analysis finds DOC’s population will grow under new criminal code

December 11, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A report released Dec. 10 predicts that Indiana’s new criminal code will increase the number of individuals incarcerated in state prisons to the point where a new facility may have to be built.
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Criminal code study committee sets 2 December meeting dates

November 25, 2013
IL Staff
The Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee will hold two final meetings in December – Dec. 10 and 19 – to look at funding and sentencing.
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Youth alternative detention program expanding

November 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The state’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative is expanding into more counties, the Indiana Supreme Court announced Thursday, thanks to more than $5 million in funding appropriated by the Legislature.
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Indiana House speaker outlines agenda for 2014 legislative session

November 20, 2013
IL Staff
Addressing the Indiana House of Representatives, Speaker Brian Bosma encouraged legislators to move forward with the new criminal code and to provide the funding for community corrections programs.
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Second session of 118th General Assembly begins Tuesday

November 15, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana General Assembly will mark the official start of the 2014 legislative session with Organization Day on Nov. 19.
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Sen. Landske diagnosed with lung cancer, will stay in office

November 13, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana State Sen. Sue Landske (R-Cedar Lake) announced Wednesday that she will undergo treatment for lung cancer but intends to continue to serve after almost 30 years in the Senate.
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Criminal code committee still trying to answer funding and sentencing questions

November 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana General Assembly passed an overhaul of the state’s criminal code during 2013 but left two major issues for the upcoming session – funding and sentencing.
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COA rejects claim overhaul of Criminal Code shows Class A felonies disproportionate

November 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant attempted to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that the Class A felony classifications for dealing or possession of cocaine are disproportionate by pointing to the recent revisions to the Criminal Code. The new criminal classifications and sentencing structure that take effect next year no longer include these crimes in the highest level of felonies.
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Appeals panel rules former same-sex partner has standing to seek visitation

October 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A former same-sex domestic partner of a woman who gave birth to a child has standing to seek visitation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, reversing a trial court in an opinion begging lawmakers to speak to the rights of same-sex couples in parenting disputes.
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Judges persuade Commission on Courts to reject bail bond proposal and review use of psychologists

October 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Proposed legislation regarding bail bonds died Oct. 21 in the Indiana General Assembly’s Commission on Courts hearing after Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson raised concerns about constitutionality and legislative overreach.
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Commission on Courts to look at confidentiality of paternity cases

October 17, 2013
IL Staff
The Commission on Courts will tackle several issues at its meeting Oct. 21, including the confidentiality of juvenile court records in juvenile paternity cases.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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