Justices/Judges

Former Indiana mayor contends judge fell asleep during trial

September 23, 2015
 Associated Press
Attorneys for a former northwestern Indiana mayor and his wife convicted of wire fraud and other charges for improperly using funds from his campaign and a city food pantry are asking for a new trial because they say a federal judge fell asleep during their trial.
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7th Circuit tosses slating system for Indy judges

September 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
Now that Indianapolis’ pay-to-play slating system that evenly divvied judgeships between Democrats and Republicans has been ruled unconstitutional, it’s up to the General Assembly to figure out how Marion County should select its judges.
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COA ceremonies set for Friedlander and Altice

August 25, 2015
IL Staff
Ceremonies have been announced for judges transitioning off and on the Indiana Court of Appeals. A retirement ceremony for Judge Ezra H. Friedlander is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom. Chief Judge Nancy H. Vaidik will preside.
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Hussmann to retire from Southern District

June 10, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann Jr. has announced plans to retire Jan. 31, 2016, opening another vacancy in the Indiana federal judiciary.
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US Supreme Court clarifies power of bankruptcy judges

May 26, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States says bankruptcy courts have authority to rule on disputes that fall outside the bankruptcy proceedings if the parties to the case consent.
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Indiana Judges Association: Clarity can come with certain costs

May 20, 2015
David Dreyer
Judges are decidedly impartial, but not necessarily unequivocally impartial.
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Fort Wayne attorney to be magistrate in Allen Superior Court

May 7, 2015
IL Staff
Fort Wayne attorney David M. Zent has been named a magistrate judge in the Allen Superior Court Criminal Division. His first day on the bench is expected to be June 1.
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New magistrates approved for 7 counties

May 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Seven Indiana counties have been given approval to appoint new magistrate judges to their local courts. Gov. Mike Pence signed House Enrolled Act 1110 on May 5.
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8 apply to be next COA judge

April 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court released the names of the eight people who want to replace Court of Appeals Judge Ezra Friedlander after he retires from the bench in August.
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Plaque and lecture series established to honor Randall Shepard

March 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Almost three years after an effort to honor retired Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard was launched, the project has taken a new direction that some applaud as better than the initial idea.
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‘Master magistrate bill’ approved by senate committee

March 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
While the Senate Judiciary Committee moved a bill forward Wednesday that would provide additional magistrates for courts in seven counties, some members indicated a need to revisit in a future legislative session a push to require all judges, including those presiding over town and city courts, be attorneys.
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Judge counts his blessings while slowly going blind

February 9, 2015
 Associated Press
George Pancol, judge of Madison Circuit Court 2, is going blind. The doctors can't agree why.
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Senate committee advances bill to raise judges’ retirement age

January 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
A proposal to raise the mandatory retirement age for appellate judges from 75 to 80 narrowly advanced in the Indiana General Assembly Wednesday.
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Bill seeks to give Indiana appellate judges more time on the bench

January 5, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Sen. James Buck is again pushing to increase the mandatory retirement age for Indiana appellate judges.
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Online Extra: Judicial Roundtable 2014

December 17, 2014
IL Staff
When Loretta Rush was named chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court in August, Indiana hit a milestone. For the first time, all of our state's appellate courts were being led by women. Indiana Lawyer recently invited Rush, Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik, Indiana Tax Judge Martha Wentworth and Chief Judge Robyn Moberly of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana's Bankruptcy Court to discuss their career paths as well as opportunities and challenges today's courts and lawyers face.
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Judicial officers in demand

December 3, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Seven counties are asking the Legislature for 11 magistrates to handle increasing caseloads.
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Judge rejects bid for injunction in Indianapolis judicial elections

November 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge last week denied a request from Democratic candidates who sued to be placed on Tuesday’s general election ballot for Marion Superior judge.
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Southern District accepting applications for new part-time magistrate

October 30, 2014
IL Staff
A part-time magistrate position has become available in the New Albany location of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, thanks to authorization from the Judicial Conference of the United States.
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Judges recognized for service, educational pursuits

October 24, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush recently recognized 17 judges for their long-time service or completion of educational programs through the Indiana Judicial Center.
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Judiciary interim study committee to vote on magistrates

October 14, 2014
IL Staff
The Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary is expected to vote Thursday on endorsing magistrate judge requests from seven Indiana counties.
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ISBA members say ‘yes’ to retaining appellate judges

October 8, 2014
IL Staff
The four Indiana appellate judges up for retention next month have the approval of ISBA members, according to survey results released Tuesday by the organization. Members overwhelmingly voted that the judges should be retained.
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Indiana Judges Association: Judges struggle with 'rule of law' questions daily

October 8, 2014
David Dreyer
As judges, we struggle with “rule of law” questions every day. The gray areas between a fact and a supposition dog our paths. The tension between the letter of the law and the conscience of the community complicate our considerations. In some cases, the rule of law just seems to be unjust. But overall, the true meaning of “rule of law” should not be a barrier.
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State's way of paying public defenders debated

September 24, 2014
 Associated Press
The state pays the salaries of its judges and prosecutors, but public defenders are paid by counties that are only partially reimbursed for their costs — an approach that some including the executive director of the Indiana Public Defender Council want to see changed.
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Goshen attorney appointed as city court judge

September 11, 2014
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence has named Bodie J. Stegelmann as judge in Goshen City Court. Stegelmann currently is a partner at Yoder Ainlay Ulmer & Buckingham LLP, where he practices real estate law.
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Marion Superior judge retirements to shuffle court assignments

September 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
The looming retirement of four judges and the coming election of five new Marion Superior jurists will result in multiple reassignments in the Indianapolis trial courts.
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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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