Laws

COA rules minors must be active participants to meet statute’s definition of ‘child exploitation’

January 25, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who secretly photographed minor girls in their underwear is not guilty of child exploitation because those girls were not intentionally exhibiting themselves, a divided Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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7th Circuit strikes down sex-offender social media ban as unconstitutional

January 23, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Code 35-42-4-12 prohibiting certain sex offenders from using social networking sites that allow minors to participate is not narrowly tailored to serve the state’s interest, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The judges ordered a permanent injunction entered preventing enforcement of the current law.
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New group aims to prevent many from enetering juvenile justice system

January 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A number of federal and state agencies along with nonprofit organizations are working to help regain the youths’ footing after they stumble into trouble. Now, a new nonprofit has been formed with a focus on preventing children and teenagers from entering the juvenile justice system.
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Judges uphold finding that past burglaries were not single criminal episode

December 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a defendant’s argument that his three previous convictions of burglary should be treated as a single criminal episode for purposes of the Armed Career Criminal Act.
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ATM fee notice change likely

December 17, 2012
IL Staff
A requirement that automated teller machines post notices on or near the machine will be repealed under a bill Congress has sent to President Barack Obama.
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Woman who invited abusive spouse did not violate no-contact protective order

December 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the Indiana General Assembly was deliberate when it did not criminalize the violation of a protective order by the protected person.
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COA reminds ex-spouse that turnips cannot bleed

December 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Calling her interpretation of Indiana law incorrect, the Court of Appeals rejected a woman’s argument against the decrease in her spousal support and reminded her that “one cannot bleed a turnip.”  
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Justices issue 4 opinions tackling prejudgment interest

December 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In four opinions dealing with the award of prejudgment interest under the Tort Prejudgment Interest Statute, the Indiana Supreme Court found Wednesday, among other things, that the TPIS applies to an action by an insured against an insurer to recover benefits under the insured’s underinsured motorist policy.
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Indiana justices consider constitutional challenge to Choice Scholarship Program

December 5, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s test case for school vouchers could have implications for other states, legal observers said after the state Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that challenges the constitutionality of school vouchers.
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IU professor helps get pesky scrivener’s error removed from Trademark Act

December 4, 2012
IL Staff
One pesky scrivener’s error that altered the protection provided by the Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006 has been corrected thanks to the efforts of an Indiana University professor.
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Religious bent of Indiana’s marriage statute is not unconstitutional, federal court rules

December 3, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Center For Inquiry, a non-profit that promotes a secular society based on science and reason, plans to appeal a federal court’s ruling that Indiana’s Solemnization Statute is constitutional.
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DCS study committee to hold last meeting Tuesday

November 26, 2012
IL Staff
The Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee will meet for the last time Tuesday in the Indiana Government Center to consider bill drafts, a final report and “other business,” according to the committee agenda.
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COA orders man removed from Ind. sex offender registry

November 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson

Nearly three months after hearing arguments on Thomas H. Andrews’ request that he should not have to register in Indiana for a conviction in Massachusetts in 1984, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered that he be removed from Indiana's sex-offender registry.

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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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Zoeller, Merritt tour campuses, promote Lifeline law

November 14, 2012
The Indiana state senator who sponsored a law that aims to protect minors from arrest when they seek medical attention for alcohol-related emergencies is joining Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller in spreading the word on college campuses.
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Greenfield seminar to focus on public access laws

November 8, 2012
Attorneys can get two hours of free continuing legal education credit at a public access seminar next week in Greenfield, the last in a statewide series this year. The event is open to the public and will focus on Indiana’s public records and open government meeting laws.
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7th Circuit affirms block on Planned Parenthood defunding

October 23, 2012
Dave Stafford
An injunction against an Indiana law that blocks state Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood has been upheld by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Lake County judge: RTW suit may proceed

October 19, 2012
IL Staff
A challenge to Indiana’s right-to-work law will proceed after a Lake County judge this week rejected the state’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by United Steelworkers.
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Attorneys general warn against federal payday loan regulation

October 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
A bill in Congress that would extend federal regulation to the payday lending industry would pre-empt state laws and undermine consumer safeguards, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller warned in a letter signed by 40 attorneys general.
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Man’s barking dogs did not violate noise ordinance

September 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Indianapolis man will be able to keep all four of his dogs after the Indiana Court of Appeals found that complaints by just one neighbor about barking didn’t support finding he violated a local noise ordinance. The trial judge had ordered he get rid of two of his dogs.
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Lawsuits test gun restrictions at polling places, local regulations

September 12, 2012
Dave Stafford
Can you carry a gun to the ballot box? With a few narrow exceptions, the answer appears to be yes. A lawsuit filed last month in St. Joseph Superior Court could clarify further whether a 2011 law that voids local firearm regulations would make efforts to keep guns out of voting precincts illegal.
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Judges disagree over whether car ad implied drivability

September 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided on whether an Indianapolis car dealership was entitled to summary judgment on a buyer’s lawsuit that made Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, Crime Victims Relief Act, and fraud claims.
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Courts, DCS, Criminal Code Evaluation committees meet this week

September 4, 2012
IL Staff
The Commission on Courts holds its first meeting of the legislative interim Wednesday, and a common theme is the need for more judges.
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Indiana pleased with decision to vacate EPA Transport Rule

August 22, 2012
IL Staff
The split decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule because of federal law violations is “great news” for Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels said.
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Lawmakers seek leader for 'interesting, challenging and unique' post

August 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana General Assembly has begun the search for a new executive director of the Legislative Services Agency.
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  1. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  2. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  3. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  4. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  5. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

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