Lake County

Porter and Lake counties welcome Indiana justices

November 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The 1,100 seat auditorium at Portage High School was nearly full Oct. 30 as students from 10 schools along with members of the legal community attended the Indiana Supreme Court’s oral arguments.
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Prosecutors seeking DNA sample in Gary officer's slaying

October 8, 2015
 Associated Press
The Lake County Prosecutor's Office wants to obtain a DNA sample from a 27-year-old man accused of killing a Gary police officer.
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7th Circuit rejects Indiana appeal of EPA ruling

August 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana had standing to appeal EPA approval of a change in how Illinois monitors for auto emissions, but the state failed to show the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision was arbitrary and capricious, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Northwest Indiana jurist receives state honor

July 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Lake County judge was surprised July 29 when he received the Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash award, one of the state’s highest civil honors.
 
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Despite rebuke, Court of Appeals tosses default judgment

July 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant who consistently failed to appear for scheduled hearings in small claims court gained a reprieve, but with an admonishment, from the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Lake County judge to lead ILS board

June 5, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Lake Superior Judge Calvin Hawkins has been selected to be the next president of the board of directors of Indiana Legal Services.
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Indiana justices to weigh Lake County small precinct law

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday over a law that requires Lake County officials to study whether to consolidate election precincts with fewer than 500 active voters.
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Trial date set for Indiana man charged with 2 women's deaths

May 29, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana man charged with strangling two women and suspected of killing five others whose bodies were found in abandoned houses last fall faces a June trial unless defense attorneys request a delay.
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Jury awards $32.5M to victim of 2006 traffic accident

May 22, 2015
 Associated Press
A jury awarded $32.5 million to a Dyer, Indiana, woman who suffered brain damage and was left partially paralyzed in a traffic accident.
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Former Lake County clerk given 4-year suspension

May 19, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The former clerk of Lake County who used federal funds to pay himself bonuses has been suspended from the practice of law after the Indiana Supreme Court found he had betrayed the public’s trust and violated both his oath of office and of attorneys.
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Justices order hearing on whether to temporarily admit out-of-state lawyers

May 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake County court erred when it relied on a local rule to determine that five out-of-state attorneys should not be granted pro hac vice admission because the party seeking their admission could potentially hire capable Indiana attorneys to provide the franchise law work, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Sheriff: Federal oversight could end soon at Indiana jail

May 8, 2015
 Associated Press
A sheriff in northwest Indiana says a county jail could be released from oversight by the U.S. Department of Justice later this year.
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Judge reduces convicted kidnapper's sentence; man to be freed

April 13, 2015
 Associated Press
A northwest Indiana judge has cleared the way for a man serving three life sentences on rape and kidnapping convictions to be freed after nearly four decades in prison.
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COA reverses ruling in favor of couple who kept alpacas in residential area

March 31, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday that a Lake County court erred when it denied the county’s request for an injunction to prevent a couple from keeping alpacas on their property to raise for business purposes.
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TIF funds can’t be used to maintain parks, COA affirms

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a Lake County trial court ruling that tax increment financing funds used in the redevelopment of Munster parks could not be used to later maintain the parks.
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Trial court incorrectly determined company could collect all delinquent taxes

March 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a $1.4 million judgment in favor of a company hired by Lake County to collect delinquent real property taxes, finding the lower court improperly interpreted the collections contracts as a matter of law.
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Judge's order adds Griffith, Hammond back into state tourney

March 3, 2015
 Associated Press
Two high school basketball teams kicked out of Indiana's state basketball tournament after a bench-clearing brawl have been allowed back in that tournament by a Lake County judge.
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Some counties funnel domestic relations cases to specific courts, others split load

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis legal community was divided in the early 1990s over a plan to concentrate domestic relations cases into specific courts. The proposal became a reality, but the reality became too burdensome.
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COA reverses confinement conviction, cautions prosecution on future statements

February 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Lake County man’s Class B felony criminal confinement conviction because the trial court erred in admitting out-of-court statements by an alleged accomplice.
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Court rules in favor of hospital in contract dispute

February 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake County medical center prevailed in an appeal filed by the other party in a contract to provide anesthesiology services for patients. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the hospital on several breach of contract claims.
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Lake County Court in Hammond closed due to water main break

January 23, 2015
 Associated Press
A water main break has forced the closure of the Lake County Superior Court in downtown Hammond.
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Prosecutor in dust-up over asbestos threat in office

January 13, 2015
 Associated Press
Like the sands of time, dust regularly falls on offices of the Lake County prosecutor, who hopes it isn't laced with asbestos.
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Supreme Court dismisses appeal in right-to-work case

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court dismissed a Lake County lawsuit challenging the state’s right-to-work law after the state and plaintiffs filed a motion to dismiss.
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Man charged in parents' killings held in contempt

December 11, 2014
 Associated Press
A northwestern Indiana man accused of killing his parents was sentenced to 18 months in jail by a judge who found him in contempt of court for repeatedly interrupting a hearing on the charges.
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Justices order adoption petitions moved to juvenile division based on local rule

December 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court noted Thursday that the parties and both of the previous courts involved in an adoption matter were partly correct in their analyses as to where the petitions needed to be filed. But the Lake Superior Court, Civil Division should have transferred the petitions from its court to the juvenile division, where a local rule requires adoption petitions to be filed.
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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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