Indiana Trial Courts

Justices accept 4 cases

January 10, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took four cases for the week ending Jan. 7, including a case in which a convicted child molester asked for his sentence to be reduced but ended up having it ordered to be increased due to a sentencing error.
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General Assembly returns for 2011 session

January 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Senate and House of Representatives reconvened this afternoon to begin the 2011 long session. The legislators still have time to file bills, but there are already several bills introduced that may affect Indiana courts and the legal community.
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Justices appoint Terre Haute judge pro tempore

January 4, 2011
IL Staff
Judge Sarah K. Mullican was appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court as judge pro tempore in Terre Haute City Court, effective Jan. 1, 2011. She was previously the commissioner for the Title IV-D Court in Terre Haute, which deals with the non-payment of child support.
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Man accused of planning to blow up courthouse sentenced

January 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Pike County man who was arrested by police after they discovered his plan to blow up that county’s courthouse was sentenced today after pleading guilty to a charge stemming from the incident.
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Building named in honor of retiring judge

December 30, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Taking the bench on Jan. 1, 1975, Montgomery Circuit Judge Thomas K. Milligan is the second-longest serving trial judge in the state.
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Justices reaffirm uniform-contract interpreation approach

December 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has reaffirmed the state’s reliance on the uniform-contract interpretation approach rather than a site-specific approach for deciding which of several states’ laws should apply to an environmental remediation insurance coverage case.
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Governor names two new trial judges

December 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels has chosen two new judges for the state’s trial bench roster, one of those to succeed the jurist elevated earlier this year to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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COA: Trust not bound by ISTA employment arbitration clause

December 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that two former leaders in the Indiana State Teachers Association who served as trustees for a legally separate insurance trust can’t force the trust’s governing board to adhere to arbitration clauses outlined in their ISTA employment contracts.
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Panel criticizes late discovery introduction

December 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
While recognizing that the state’s practice of allowing late introduction of evidence basically rewards attorneys who don’t prepare for trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals looked beyond that practice in a recent decison to how the rules still protect a person’s right to a fair trial.
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Justices accept one criminal case

December 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has taken an Elkhart County appeal challenging three felony child molesting convictions and an 80-year aggregate sentence.
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Justices sharply split on insanity defense case

December 23, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Faults in the state’s mental health system can’t be used to justify an insanity defense being rejected in favor of a different sentence that will keep a person locked up, an Indiana Supreme Court majority ruled.
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Retiring Lake Circuit judge marks 34 years on bench

December 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Lake Circuit Judge Lorenzo Arredondo didn’t set out to make history when he took the bench more than three decades ago. But thanks to what he describes as an array of “historical accidents” over the course of his life, the 69-year old has cemented his name in the history books.
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Court examines statute about paternity, child support

December 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on a matter of first impression today, analyzing a specific state statute relating to how a court can cancel child support arrearage after a man’s paternity is vacated based on new genetic testing.
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Justice's first ruling affirms murder convictions, life sentence

December 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David issued his first decision as a member of the state’s highest court, affirming a life without parole sentence in a murder case out of Hamilton County.
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6 counties get federal grant for drug courts

December 21, 2010
IL Staff
Drug courts in Delaware, Marion, Monroe, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Vigo counties will share $1 million from a Bureau of Justice Assistance Drug Court Discretionary Grant, the Indiana Supreme Court announced today. The award will help courts increase graduation rates and lower recidivism.
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Former Marion County prosecutor spokesman pleads guilty

December 20, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A former spokesman for the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has pleaded guilty to a drunk driving charge and been sentenced to jail.
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Unsuccessful Medicaid applicants aren't entitled to in-person hearing

December 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
People whose applications have been denied for Medicaid disability benefits do not have a constitutional right to an in-person administrative hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Judge appoints former justice as trustee over Simon estate

December 16, 2010
Cory Schouten
A Hamilton County judge has ordered Bren Simon removed as personal representative and interim trustee over her late husband's estate, replacing her with a retired justice of the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Judges affirm complaint is time-barred

December 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Although a trial court shouldn’t have adhered to its local rule because it failed to achieve “the ultimate end of orderly and speedy justice,” the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s finding that a woman’s claim against her deceased husband’s former employer was time-barred.
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Madison County joins Odyssey system

December 15, 2010
IL Staff
Madison County is the latest county to go online with the Indiana Supreme Court’s Odyssey case management system. The system connects counties to a network of courts, clerks, law enforcement, and other state agencies.
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Appellate court rules traffic stop legal

December 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the car of a man who parked illegally in a handicapped spot after the car made it on to the street, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Judge and his wife use son's death to discuss prescription drug abuse

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The scream that pierced the silence one morning almost two years ago is one that haunts Marion Superior Judge Bill Nelson every day, and it likely will for the rest of his life.
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Justices order Marion traffic judge's suspension

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended the Marion County traffic judge who’s admitted he imposed excessive fines and treated people unfairly in his court partly because he wanted to discourage future litigants from exercising their constitutional right to trial.
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Local courts, educational program named after 3 Indiana jurists

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The practice of naming a building after someone is a longstanding tradition throughout the country, but one of the most common practices in those renamings is waiting until someone dies to dedicate that place.
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COA: student loan funds exempt from garnishment

December 7, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Court of Appeals today found that student loan funds that had been deposited in a personal account were exempt when it came to whether those funds could be taken from a defendant’s bank account to satisfy a judgment regarding legal fees the defendant owed to the plaintiff.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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