Indiana Trial Courts

Re-routing the school-to-prison pipeline

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Tippecanoe County is just one of a handful of sites across the nation participating in a special initiative designed to constrict the flow of minors into the juvenile justice system and give them a second chance.
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Court hearing set for Gary man linked to 7 deaths

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
A Gary man who police say confessed to killing one woman, helped investigators find six other bodies and indicated there may be more is scheduled to make his first court appearance.
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Rush OKs media coverage for National Adoption Day

October 16, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush has approved still photography, video and audio coverage of uncontested adoption proceedings in honor of National Adoption Day Nov. 22.
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Judge convicts northern Indiana man in 2 killings

October 2, 2014
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana man paroled in 2010 after serving time for killing a family friend has been convicted in the fatal shootings of his brother and sister-in-law.
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Judge OKs tweeting for Purdue shooter sentencing

September 16, 2014
 Associated Press
An Indiana judge will allow reporters to post on social media during the sentencing of a former Purdue University student who pleaded guilty to murder in the fatal shooting and stabbing of a fellow student in January.
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BMV seeks to block release of video depositions

September 15, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has asked a court to block the release of video depositions in a lawsuit that claims the agency overcharged motorists.
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Solo practitioner named to Lake County bench

September 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Merrillville attorney Bruce Parent has been named as a judge in the Lake Superior Court, Civil Division.
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Man acquitted of charges in bar fight death

August 29, 2014
 Associated Press
Jurors have acquitted a southern Indiana man of criminal charges for killing a man when he drove a truck over him after a bar fight.
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Man pleads guilty in fatal Purdue campus attack

August 21, 2014
 Associated Press
A court official said the man accused in the fatal shooting and stabbing of a fellow Purdue University student pleaded guilty Thursday to murder.
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Judge denies stay in right-to-work law case

August 20, 2014
A northwest Indiana judge has rejected a request by the Indiana attorney general's office that he put on hold his order striking down the state's right-to-work law until the state Supreme Court rules on a similar case.
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College newspaper sues Purdue for release of video

August 13, 2014
 Associated Press
A college newspaper sued Purdue University on Tuesday over its refusal to release surveillance video that editors said shows a staff photographer being roughed up by police when he entered the building where a student had been fatally shot and stabbed.
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Plea deal rejected for ex-Indiana county auditor

August 5, 2014
 Associated Press
Lawyers are reworking an agreement under which a former county auditor in southern Indiana was expected to plead guilty to criminal charges of wrongly paying personal expenses with county-issued credit cards.
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State courts open bidding for e-filing manager

August 1, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Division of State Court Administration is soliciting competitive bids for a statewide electronic filing manager to assist with the coming requirement for electronic filing in trial courts.
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Video depositions can be a compelling trial tool

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The ability to catch the nonverbal messages and vocal inflections made by witnesses and experts is the biggest benefits to videotaping depositions, attorneys say.
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Ex-IMPD officer claims juror misconduct, denied due process

July 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The former Indianapolis police officer convicted of killing one motorcyclist and injuring two others when he hit them while driving his patrol car in 2010 argues in his brief filed Wednesday that he is entitled to a new trial.
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Ice cold beer? Not here

July 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The challenge to Indiana cold beer regulation continues in state court and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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New Indiana criminal code being implemented in courtrooms

July 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Prosecutors, public defenders and judges around the state have been attending special seminars, updating computer programs and reading through the new criminal code in preparation for the switch. Many say they will need about six months before they feel comfortable with the new code, and they expect they will be juggling cases charged under the old code for at least another 12 to 18 months.
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Financial picture worsens for Marion County courts

July 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
In Marion County, the funding shortfall is projected to be $4.6 million for 2015. Courts are routinely dealing with persistent shortfalls to support guardians ad litem appointed to represent juveniles in child in need of services cases.
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2 contractors accused of wage violations accept plea deals

June 23, 2014
Dennis Barbosa
The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has reached plea agreements in two cases in which a contractor was accused of paying workers less than the required wage on publicly financed projects.
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Judge removes herself from county treasurer cases

June 19, 2014
 Associated Press
The judge overseeing the case of a central Indiana treasurer charged with mishandling public money and a lawsuit aimed at removing him from office has disqualified herself from both cases.
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Proposed e-filing rule comment period open

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Lawyers will be able to file state court cases and motions with the ease of clicking a button beginning next year. Getting to that point won’t be so simple.
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State courts to adopt e-filing in 2015

May 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana courts will switch to electronic filing beginning next year, according to an order issued Thursday by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Court video project exposes problems

April 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Supreme Court wanted feedback on a pilot project using an audio-video record as the official appellate transcript in three Indiana courts. Lawyers at a recent discussion on the topic appear to favor pulling the plug.
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Rise of the zombie house

April 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
When a bank files a motion to set aside a foreclosure judgment, often the courts consider the filing good news, assuming the lender and the homeowner have reached a settlement. But things aren’t always what they seem, and courts can be at risk of being duped.
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8 more claim abuses in suspended Clark County drug court

April 9, 2014
Eight new plaintiffs have been added to a federal civil-rights lawsuit claiming officials involved in Clark County’s suspended drug court program jailed participants for months without due process, conducted improper searches and made unauthorized arrests.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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