LaPorte County

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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Court reverses hotel’s cybersquatting conviction

April 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A dispute over who could use the designation “Visit Michigan City LaPorte” led to a legal battle between LaPorte County’s visitors bureau and an area hotel-resort, with the trial court ruling in favor of the visitors bureau. But the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Monday, ruling the bureau didn’t prove it held a valid and protectable trademark.
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Legislature intended to make failure to report child abuse a continuing offense

November 16, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A high school coach’s failure to report child abuse is a continuing offense to which the statute of limitations does not apply, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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LaPorte County joins Odyssey

July 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The LaPorte County courts and clerk’s offices are the latest to join the case management system implemented by the Division of State Court Administration’s Judicial Technology and Automation Committee.
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LaPorte deputy prosecutor to serve during Szilagyi’s suspension

July 5, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court named Robert D. Neary to serve as interim LaPorte County prosecutor beginning Aug. 1, when prosecutor Robert C. Szilagyi will start serving a 60-day suspension for forgery.  
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LaPorte County prosecutor suspended by Supreme Court

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob “Z” Szilagyi has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court for forging the names of his ex-wife and secretary on a quitclaim deed on the former couple’s marital home.
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Court reinstates man's direct appeal

December 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reinstated the direct appeal of a LaPorte County man convicted of felony robbery and attempted robbery in 2004, finding that he should not receive a new trial for receiving ineffective assistance of appellate counsel the first time he tried to challenge his convictions and sentence.
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Courts offer CHINS facilitations

January 19, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Because mediations have become commonplace in family law cases, it may come as no surprise that a number of Indiana counties have been implementing a similar strategy to determine if a child is a child in need of services, or CHINS.
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Security concerns should be part of record

May 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court wants state trial judges to offer written guidance if and when courthouse or jury security concerns come up during trial.
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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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Justices: Agreement was impermissibly modified

January 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A LaPorte Superior judge made an impermissible modification to a divorced couple's settlement agreement by giving the bank's lien on the family farm priority over the ex-wife's lien, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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Suspended LaPorte judge acquitted at trial

January 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A suspended LaPorte Superior judge has been acquitted of any criminal charges involving an accidental shooting where her head was grazed by a bullet and led to accusations that she tried to cover up details about what happened.
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Commissioner honors 2 judges for juvenile work

December 14, 2009
IL Staff
LaPorte Circuit Judge Thomas Alevizos and Marion Superior Judge Marilyn Moores have received the Distinguished Hoosier Award for their work with juveniles.
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Suspended judge faces disciplinary charges

December 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed charges against the suspended LaPorte Superior judge who was shot in the head just before taking the bench this year.
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Suspended judge's case moved

July 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
LaPorte Circuit Court granted suspended LaPorte Superior Judge Jennifer Evans Koethe's motion for change of venue Thursday.
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Indicted judge to be suspended

May 8, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed a notice with the Indiana Supreme Court for a request of suspension of LaPorte Superior Judge Jennifer Koethe, who was indicted Thursday for attempted obstruction of justice stemming from a shooting incident at her home in December.
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Prosecutor orders grand jury investigation

April 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The special prosecutor appointed to investigate the shooting of LaPorte Superior Judge Jennifer Evans Koethe has requested LaPorte Circuit Court convene a grand jury investigation into the matter.
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Attorney didn't commit conversion, malpractice

April 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed the dismissal of conversion and legal malpractice claims filed in LaPorte County against an Illinois attorney following the settlement of a wrongful death claim in Illinois.
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Snow closes Porter, LaPorte courts

February 4, 2009
IL Staff
The Porter and LaPorte county courts were closed today after the area received more than a foot of lake-effect snow. Starke, Pulaski, and St. Joseph counties reported no closings or delays today because of the weather.
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Order restricts guns, alcohol in judge's home

January 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Special Judge Walter Chapala issued an order this week requiring all firearms be removed from the home of a LaPorte Superior judge who was shot last month in her home.
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Justices: judicial discipline now moot

January 6, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has ended a disciplinary action against a former LaPorte Superior judge who'd served in senior capacity for three years because that jurist has retired and will no longer practice law.
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  2. 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.

  3. 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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