Indiana Trial Courts

Indianapolis man convicted of murder in home explosion

February 24, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis man was convicted of murder, arson and insurance fraud on Wednesday for his role in a 2012 house explosion that killed two neighbors and devastated a subdivision in the southern part of the city.
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Deliberations resume in Indianapolis house explosion trial

February 24, 2016
 Associated Press
Jurors resumed deliberating charges Wednesday against a man accused of helping plot a 2012 house explosion in Indianapolis that killed a couple and damaged or destroyed more than 80 homes.
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Attorneys added to Marion County judicial selection committee

February 18, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Courts and Criminal Code Committee in the Indiana House of Representatives passed an amendment Wednesday modifying the makeup of the Marion County judicial selection committee. The amendment adds more Marion County attorneys to the committee that will send names to the governor for appointment.
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2 former day care workers ordered to pay $2.3M in boy's death

February 12, 2016
 Associated Press
Two former workers at a suburban Indianapolis day care where a 5-month-old boy died in 2013 have been order to pay the child's parents more than $2.3 million.
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Judge in power plant body case once represented suspect

February 3, 2016
 Associated Press
A southwestern Indiana judge who will preside over the murder trial of a man accused in a killing at a power plant has told attorneys that he once represented the suspect in an unrelated case.
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Indy judge selection bill set for Wednesday hearing

January 26, 2016
Dave Stafford
A proposed merit-selection plan giving state lawmakers a strong hand in the nomination and appointment of Marion Superior judges will be introduced Wednesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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Jury seated in trial of man accused in fatal house explosion

January 20, 2016
 Associated Press
A jury of eight men and four women has been seated for the trial of a man accused of murder, arson and conspiracy charges.
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Clark County makes switch to e-filing

January 20, 2016
IL Staff
Clark County has become the second county to have its trial courts use electronic filing.
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Court decision paves way for displaced pizza shop's trial

January 18, 2016
Indianapolis Business Journal, Scott Olson
Enzo Pizza’s long-simmering legal battle with the Indianapolis City Market finally is headed to trial after the eatery won a partial court victory this month against its former landlord.
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Marion County judicial selection now in lawmakers’ lap

January 13, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal
A federal appeals court rocked the Marion County court system last fall when it quashed its unusual judicial election process, saying it burdened the right to cast a meaningful vote. Now the court’s fate is in the hands of lawmakers, who will get a crack at replacing the election system the federal judges ruled unconstitutional.
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Muncie man gets 4 years for leaving 2 kids in crashed car

January 12, 2016
 Associated Press
A Muncie man has been sentenced to four years in prison for leaving two children in a partially submerged car after he drove the stolen vehicle into a creek.
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Eastern Indiana man gets 69 years for fatally shooting buddy

January 11, 2016
 Associated Press
A judge sentenced Bert McQueen III, 44, of Union County on Friday to 69 years in prison under a plea agreement in which he was convicted of murder and being a habitual offender in the September 2014 slaying of Brandon Wicker of Brownsville.
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Suit over courthouse ban of service dog proceeds

January 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man’s lawsuit alleging Tippecanoe County officials violated the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act by refusing to permit him to enter the courthouse with his service dog will proceed, a federal judge ruled.
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3 originally sentenced for murder face burglary sentences

January 7, 2016
 Associated Press
Three northern Indiana men sentenced to 50 or more years in prison before the Indiana Supreme Court overturned their murder convictions could be out of prison before the end of the year after being sentenced on felony burglary charges.
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Pretrial release project to test assessment tool

January 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court is preparing to test the viability of allowing certain offenders to be released pretrial without having to pay a bail.
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Gotsch will not seek third term as St. Joe Circuit judge

January 6, 2016
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael G. Gotsch announced Tuesday that he will not seek election for a third term in 2016.
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Allen County seeking magistrate for misdemeanor and traffic division

January 6, 2016
IL Staff
Allen Superior Court’s Criminal Division is now accepting applications for an upcoming magistrate vacancy to be created after the retirement of Magistrate Judge Robert Ross.
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DTCI: Where have all the jury trials gone?

December 30, 2015
Conceptually, attorneys (and especially perhaps members of organizations like DTCI and ITLA) embrace as inviolate the right to trial by jury. We cite the concept both as a goal and as the bedrock of our existence – and sometimes in responses opposing summary judgment motions. But the Indiana Supreme Court “2014 Indiana Judicial Service Report, Vol I: Judicial Year in Review” caused me to look more closely at how that right is being exercised as a practical matter.
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Man accused in death of pastor's wife charged in 2nd slaying

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
An 18-year-old man accused of killing an Indianapolis pastor's pregnant wife during a home invasion faces another murder charge in a second fatal robbery that a prosecutor said Tuesday happened amid an "unprecedented" eight-day violent crime spree.
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6 counties next in line for trial court e-filing

December 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Six Indiana counties — Clark, Harrison, Henry, St. Joseph, Shelby and Wells — will be joining Hamilton County in implementing e-filing in the trial courts during the first half of 2016, with more to come later.
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Marion County residents mount court challenge to stop project

December 22, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, Scott Olson
Three Ransom Place residents in Indianapolis are challenging the city’s approval of a large residential project planned for the neighborhood and are asking a Marion County judge to stop the $10 million development.
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Judge: Indianapolis house blast defendant to keep lawyers

December 16, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge has rejected a request by a defendant in an Indianapolis house explosion that killed two people to dismiss his attorneys and represent himself one month before his trial is scheduled to begin.
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Indiana man's murder trial in wife's death ends in hung jury

November 20, 2015
 Associated Press
A murder trial for a northwestern Indiana man accused of killing his wife has ended with a hung jury.
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Suspected killer cancels request to represent himself

November 19, 2015
 Associated Press
A northwest Indiana man charged with strangling two women has decided not to represent himself during his upcoming trial.
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Jurists honored for longevity of service

October 30, 2015
IL Staff
Eight Indiana jurists were honored by Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush for 24 years of service on the bench at an annual judicial conference, the court announced Thursday.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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