Indiana Trial Courts

Plain English jury instructions now available

July 22, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Model Civil Jury Instructions, which were prepared by the Civil Instructions Committee of the Indiana Judges Association and are written in plain English, are now available.
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Judge faces 4 charges

July 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge presiding over the county’s traffic court faces four judicial misconduct charges as a result of his general handling of traffic infraction cases and one suit in particular, where the state justices have described him as being “biased.”
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Marion Superior Traffic judge charged with misconduct

July 16, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has charged Marion Superior Judge William E. Young with misconduct for his handling of traffic court cases.
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Partnership targets Indiana's corrections system

June 28, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
To address Indiana’s growing prison population and increasing related costs, the state is partnering with The Pew Center on the States and the Council of State Governments Justice Center for the first comprehensive review of the state’s criminal code and sentencing policies since 1976.
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Robo-calls at issue in Indiana courtsRestricted Content

June 23, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A line of litigation has been playing out in state and federal courts involving what is and isn't allowed under the Automatic Dialing Machines Statute.
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Camm's attorneys seek special judgeRestricted Content

June 23, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Defense attorneys for the former state trooper facing a third triple-murder trial want the Indiana Supreme Court to name a special judge because of what they say are delays from the current presiding judge.
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Articles about pending cases raise concernsRestricted Content

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
At least two attorneys are questioning how some legal publications have included articles, columns, or other types of coverage on pending cases, and they worry that these articles may influence the judges on the cases.
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Justices order new trial based on traffic judge's conduct

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has set the stage for a judicial disciplinary action against a Marion County Traffic Court judge for his courtroom conduct on a speeding and suspended license case last year.
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Court to award $290,000 for abuse programs

June 3, 2010
The Indiana Court Improvement Program has announced it will be giving away up to $290,000 in grants to programs that help families and children involved in cases of neglect or abuse.
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Students benefit from internship experiencesRestricted Content

May 26, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Sometimes a seemingly small gesture can turn into something bigger. Or at least that’s the thinking with various so-called pipeline programs aimed at high school and college students with a goal of increasing diversity in the legal field.
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Grant funding available for state court reforms

May 14, 2010
IL Staff
State trial courts have until June 15 to apply for grants that would allow them to reform or improve their local judicial systems.
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East Chicago-casino settlement up in airRestricted Content

May 12, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior Judge declined to immediately decide on the state's request to set aside a partial settlement in a dispute about East Chicago casino revenues.
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Judge returns to bench following suspension

May 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The LaPorte Superior judge suspended for asking a law enforcement officer to destroy potential evidence in her accidental shooting returned to the bench today.
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Court names special judge for Marion County case

May 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Shelby Superior judge will preside over a forgery investigation case involving Marion County GOP Chairman Tom John, after the presiding judge in the state’s largest county recused himself from the matter.
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Judge to be honored for internship program

April 30, 2010
IL Staff
A Marion Superior judge will be recognized for providing internships to Indianapolis students that offer insight into the judicial system.
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Court pilot programs boost foreclosure conferencesRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Foreclosure rates have remained at record highs for Indiana the past few years, and a court program to help homeowners hasn't been as successful as hoped. That's now changing.
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Judge, others honored around Law DayRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Evansville Bar Association recognized a judge and others in the legal profession during two annual events that take place near Law Day.
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Grant Superior judge steps asideRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Grant County judge's illness has forced him from the bench temporarily, and the Indiana Supreme Court has appointed a deputy prosecutor from Marion as judge pro tempore.
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Legal process on mental illness isn't yet where it should beRestricted Content

March 31, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Courts nationally began in the mid-1990s to focus on mental illness and how the judiciary could fine-tune what it does to better address that issue. But many within the Hoosier legal community say that the criminal justice system hasn't gone far enough in the past decade, and both the courts and society are a long way from where they need to be on addressing mental illness.
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2 county court systems get e-filing approvalRestricted Content

March 31, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Two of Indiana's largest counties are getting close to putting electronic filing plans into place after receiving a green light from the Indiana Supreme Court late last year and early this year for pilot projects.
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New judge gets 60-day unpaid suspension

March 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended LaPorte Superior Judge Jennifer L. Koethe for 60 days without pay, effective March 12.
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Legislature's end suspenseful for legal community

March 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
As the Indiana General Assembly got down to its final hours in a short-session, significant changes for the Hoosier legal community were on the table to possibly increase the number of appellate judges, change how one county chooses its trial judges, and impact how juveniles can be placed outside the state.
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Lawmakers mull veto override on merit selection

March 11, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Vetoed legislation that would scrap St. Joseph County's merit selection for judicial elections and also add a new three-judge panel to the Indiana Court of Appeals is back in play.
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Workshop examines foster care

February 24, 2010
IL Staff
Child Advocates and the Marion Superior Court's Juvenile Division are hosting a workshop this week in Indianapolis to examine why more African-American children are in the county's foster care than other races.
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AG files suit to recover taxpayer money

February 18, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Attorney General has filed a complaint in St. Joseph Circuit Court to recover public money that the former Lakeville clerk-treasurer allegedly spent on personal items like movie rentals and satellite television.
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  1. Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

  2. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  3. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  4. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  5. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

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