LaPorte County

COA holds public trust rights rule along lakeshore

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
When a private property owner’s land deed overlaps with that of the public trust along Lake Michigan, the rights to the shore are controlled by the common law public trust doctrine, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday in a landmark decision that prevents private property owners from exerting complete control over lakeshore land between ordinary high- and low-water marks.
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Marion and LaPorte counties get federal support to combat drugs

October 13, 2016
IL Staff
Two additional counties in Indiana will receive federal support in combating drugs through law enforcement measures and prevention initiatives.
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Lake Michigan private, public land rights clash before COA

September 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
Long Beach, Indiana, is at the center of a landmark dispute between public access and private property rights to the Indiana shore of Lake Michigan.
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Man who parked car on I-94 must face OWI causing death charge

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Criminal charges against a man who prosecutors say was drunk and parked his car in an interstate lane in the early morning hours, leading to the death of truck driver, will move forward after the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of the driver’s motions to dismiss and suppress evidence.
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Lake Michigan property line dispute arguments set

July 25, 2016
Dave Stafford
A dispute over whether the public has a right to walk the beach along Lake Michigan or private property extends to the water’s edge will be heard by the Indiana Court of Appeals Sept. 5.
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Line in the sand

April 6, 2016
Dave Stafford
Public access and use of the Lake Michigan shore clashes with private property rights in heated case of first impression.
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Supreme Court: Blanket suppression goes too far in murder case

March 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
While police officers who overheard a pretrial consultation between a suspect and his lawyer were definitely in the wrong, the total suppression of all the officers’ testimony in the case may not be necessary, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision
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Ex-LaPorte County auditor sentenced for embezzlement, fraud

March 3, 2016
 Associated Press
A former northwestern Indiana county auditor has been sentence to seven years in prison after being convicted of embezzling more than $150,000 in government funds, tax fraud and defrauding her father-in-law out of more than $600,000.
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Indiana Supreme Court hears police eavesdropping case

October 29, 2015
 Associated Press
A group of police officers were "pretty blatant" when they eavesdropped on conversations between a man facing a murder charge and his attorney and later found a gun based on what they had overheard, Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush said Wednesday.
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New prosecutor renders defendant’s request moot

September 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant’s request to disqualify the entire LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office from his voluntary manslaughter case because several in the office viewed his conversation with his attorney recorded during a police interrogation is moot because there is a new prosecutor in office, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Tax Court reverses assessment after ‘trial by ambush’

September 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Board of Tax Review abused its discretion and conducted a “trial by ambush” when it heard the appeal of a property owner who challenged the assessment of a property in Long Beach.
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Convicted wife killer gets 47 years for 2nd wife's death

July 30, 2015
 Associated Press
A LaPorte man convicted of killing a former wife in 1979 has been sentenced to 47 years for killing another wife.
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Judge: Landowners can't keep public off Lake Michigan beach

July 30, 2015
 Associated Press
A man who owns a piece of Indiana’s short stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline and said he had “complete and exclusive ownership” of its beachfront holds no such right and cannot deny the public access to that space, a judge has ruled.

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COA finds lease payments are part of Trust

July 8, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Siblings trading motions over their deceased father’s estate got multiple denials from the trial court.
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Website domain dispute pulled from justices’ calendar

May 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dispute over a website address that had been scheduled for oral arguments Wednesday before the Indiana Supreme Court has been settled, an attorney involved in the case said.
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Tax Court lacks jurisdiction to hear casino’s claim

March 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court on Monday dismissed a northern Indiana casino’s appeal of the LaPorte County treasurer’s failure to refund paid innkeeper’s tax, finding the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
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Serving those who served

November 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
More veterans courts are popping up around the state, with a focus on individual treatment and establishing mentorships.
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DCS settles adoption subsidy lawsuit

September 18, 2014
IL Staff
Families who sued the Department of Child Services will receive $15.1 million in state foster child adoption subsidies withheld from 2009 to 2014, DCS announced Thursday.
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Former county auditor accused of embezzling

September 12, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal grand jury has indicted a former northern Indiana official on charges alleging she embezzled more than $150,000.
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Judge refuses inmate's request for execution

August 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana judge has turned down the request of a murder convict who asked to be executed even though he wasn't sentenced to death.
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Decision against travel bureau over domain name draws sharp dissent on appeal

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge recently wrote that her colleagues who formed the majority to rule against a local tourism board were “out of touch,” and she suggested a case over an Internet domain name presented a novel issue that no court in the country has addressed.
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COA: Teen who shot cows did not mutilate or torture them

January 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday reversed a teenager’s adjudications for cruelty to an animal after finding the evidence was not sufficient to prove he mutilated or tortured either cow he shot.
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Man extradited from Wyoming on many charges not denied speedy trial

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man who twice escaped incarceration in Indiana and was extradited to face a multitude of charges after he was convicted in Wyoming failed to convince appellate judges he had been denied a speedy trial.
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Court affirms giving father custody after mother denies parenting time

May 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A LaPorte County mother’s decision to cut off parenting time of her three children with their father supports the trial court’s order that the father have sole legal and physical custody of the children, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Seeking an exclusion for innocent co-insured

May 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A LaPorte County woman who lost her home to a fire allegedly started by her estranged husband is at the center of a legal dispute with her insurance company that could set precedent.
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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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