Latest News

Senate confirms Judge Tanya Walton Pratt

June 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Marion Superior Judge Tanya Walton Pratt has just received confirmation from the U.S. Senate, meaning she'll become state's first African-American federal judge and one of four female jurists on Indiana's federal bench.
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Prosecutor in Ford Pinto case dies

June 15, 2010
IL Staff

The Elkhart County prosecutor who took on Ford Motor Co. in criminal court in Indiana died Monday morning. Michael A. Cosentino was 74.

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Committee OKs idea of new Indiana federal magistrate

June 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The state could be on its way to getting a new federal magistrate in the Southern District of Indiana, the first new magistrate in more than two decades.
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SCOTUS declines New Albany ordinance case

June 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States won’t take a case from New Albany about the city’s battle to close an adult book and movie store.
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Court: juveniles can be placed on sex offender registry

June 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals says a ruling by the state justices last year can’t be used to stop juvenile courts from ordering juveniles to register as sex offenders.
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SCOTUS won't take Indiana lab tech case

June 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court won’t take a case from the Indiana Supreme Court, which decided last year that it did not violate a man’s Sixth Amendment rights for a lab technician who’d processed DNA evidence to not testify at trial.
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COA refuses to rule defendants get blanket immunity

June 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that an arrestee brought to the hospital by police who was forced to have a catheter to obtain a urine sample can’t sue the health-care providers under the Medical Malpractice Act. The appellate judges also ruled the health-care providers weren’t entitled to blanket immunity.

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Senate to vote on Judge Pratt Tuesday

June 11, 2010
Michael Hoskins

The U.S. Senate plans to vote on a Marion Superior judge’s nomination for the federal bench on Tuesday, according to a spokesman in Sen. Evan’s Bayh’s office. Senators agreed Thursday to consider the nomination of Marion Superior Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, whom the president chose in January for the Southern District of Indiana to succeed Judge David F. Hamilton. Judge Hamilton was elevated to the federal appeals bench late last year.

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Court rules on liability in nursing home accident

June 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals today turned to an issue that has been dealt with few times in state court history:

What happens when a nursing home facility brings a local string band to play for the residents, and one of those volunteers arrives on the property and drives into the building before the performance, jumping a curb and striking a nursing home resident on the front porch before crashing into the building itself?
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Supreme Court denies transfer to four

June 10, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger

The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer in four cases June 3. As of today’s Indiana Lawyer daily deadline, the court had not yet posted transfers since those from the week ending June 4.

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Judges: no private cause allowed for not reporting abuse, neglect

June 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Standing behind a decision made by appellate judges about 20 years ago, the Indiana Court of Appeals has again declined to interpret state statute in a way that allows for a private right of action for failing to report child abuse or neglect.
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Justices say sentencing scores can be used

June 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State trial judges can consider sentencing scores to help tailor penalties to individual defendants, as long as those results aren’t used as final aggravating or mitigating factors in deciding a penalty length, the Indiana Supreme Court says
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Judges uphold sentence increase on appeal

June 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s sentence that they had increased on appeal in March in an opinion on rehearing today and addressed the characteristics of an Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B) review.
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Court rules on literacy program, educational credit time

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
While applauding a prison inmate for pursuing higher education while behind bars, the Indiana Court of Appeals has determined that man shouldn’t receive additional educational credit time for a program the state system doesn’t consider to fit into its definition of “literacy and life skills” programs.
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Justices asked to revisit Indian family law

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
At least one Indiana Court of Appeals judge believes the state’s highest court should revisit how it applies a three-decade old statute to tribal Indian family adoption issues inside Indiana.
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Justices differ on defining 'youth program center'

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices objected to affirming a man’s drug sentence for possession within 1,000 feet of a “youth program center” because the church that ran the programs wasn’t easily identifiable as regularly running programs for kids.
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Articles about pending cases raise concernsRestricted Content

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
At least two attorneys are questioning how some legal publications have included articles, columns, or other types of coverage on pending cases, and they worry that these articles may influence the judges on the cases.
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Indiana Justice Boehm stepping down after 14 years

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
After more than a decade on the Indiana Supreme Court, Justice Theodore Boehm is ready to enter the next stage of his life and career.
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Pizza chain sued for Rockwell-themed ads

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The owners of the rights to Normal Rockwell art are suing a Michigan-based pizza company for re-creating a famous painting to sell pizzas during the holidays.
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Lawyer elected vice chairman of Libertarian Party

June 9, 2010
IL Staff
Indianapolis attorney Mark Rutherford is the new vice chairman of the Libertarian National Committee.
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Officer's questions went beyond seat belt act

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The inquiry by a police officer to a driver stopped for a seat belt violation about the "large, unusual bulge" in his pants went beyond the state's Seatbelt Enforcement Act, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Man's suit filed after all statutes of limitations

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed a Logansport resident has standing to sue his city over the operation and management of a city park, but that his suit is barred by statutes of limitations.
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Court excited about magistrate's elevation

June 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Within a week, the state's third federal female judge could be ready to handle her constitutionally created duties in the Southern District of Indiana.
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7th Circuit upholds denial of alien's motion to dismiss

June 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals sidestepped ruling directly on the exhaustion requirement of a federal law dealing with an alien’s challenge to the validity of a deportation order. The appellate court could affirm the denial of the man’s motion to dismiss because he failed to meet any of the law’s exhaustion requirements.
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Nominees sought for pro bono Shepard award

June 8, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Pro Bono Commission is seeking nominees for the Excellence in Pro Bono Publico Randall T. Shepard Award.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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