Local government

Gary councilwoman challenges accusations of law violation

January 4, 2017
 Associated Press
A city councilwoman has filed a lawsuit to keep her second job as an employee of the Gary Sanitary District.
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Assessor waived objection to untimely filing of record

January 3, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court on Friday determined that a northern Indiana assessor’s office waived its objection to a late-filed certified administrative record in a tax appeal, ruling that an objection must be made before the merits of a case have been furthered.
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COA: Case for relief against INDOT may continue

December 16, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals allowed a local government entity to continue seeking relief against the Indiana Department of Transportation Friday, holding that the local unit of government had standing to seek both injunctive and declaratory relief.
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Kokomo leaders look to reverse law prohibiting pinball

December 7, 2016
 Associated Press
At their height, the pings and bells of pinball machines could be heard in arcades and pizza parlors across Kokomo, offering an afternoon escape for teenagers and a consistently profitable investment for store owners. Unbeknownst to the two groups, their actions were illegal.
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Hartford City sex offender ordinance unconstitutionally vague

December 2, 2016
IL Staff
A 2008 Hartford City ordinance that restricted registered sex offenders from entering or loitering within 300 feet of broadly defined “child safety zones” is unconstitutionally vague, a federal judge has ruled.
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Family values groups’ human rights lawsuit stays in court

November 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
A Hamilton County judge has ruled that a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of human rights ordinances in four Indiana cities can continue, despite the cities’ arguments that there was no legal standing to bring the suit in court.
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Man sues in local election, says winning candidate was dead

November 23, 2016
 Associated Press
A Democrat who ran for the Allen County Council is challenging the results because one of the three contested seats went to a candidate who died shortly before the election.
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Judge halts Brownsburg annexation

November 21, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A Marion County judge has stopped an annexation by the town of Brownsburg, finding that while key parts of Indiana’s annexation statute are vague, the municipality did not show the area to be annexed had an urban character nor that it was needed for future development.
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Lake County sheriff, Portage mayor charged in towing-bribe schemes

November 18, 2016
Dave Stafford
Lake County Sheriff and county Democratic Party Chairman John Buncich and Portage Mayor James Snyder have been indicted on public corruption and bribery charges handed down by a grand jury.
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Retired Richmond lawyer’s author dream comes true

November 16, 2016
Olivia Covington
Throughout his long career as an attorney, Andrew Cecere, who practiced in Richmond, never gave up on his dream of publishing a novel. And now, with two books released in his name within the last year, the 94-year-old can finally say his greatest dream has become reality.
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New Albany placing moratorium on opioid treatment facilities

November 8, 2016
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana community has decided to place a six-month moratorium on methadone or suboxone clinics.
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Madison County’s computers frozen by ransomware attack

November 7, 2016
 Associated Press
A so-called ransomware attack has left police, fire and other government staff in a central Indiana county locked out of their computers.
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Cities argue for dismissal of suit against human rights ordinances

November 3, 2016
Olivia Covington
During a nearly 4 ½-hour hearing in Hamilton Superior Court Wednesday, attorneys for the cities of Carmel, Indianapolis, Bloomington and Columbus argued before Judge Steven Nation that the lawsuit brought against their human rights ordinances should be dismissed because the case is not ripe for judgment and because the plaintiffs have no legal standing to bring the action.
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4 Indiana cities ask judge to dismiss LGBT protections suit

November 1, 2016
 Associated Press
Bloomington and three other Indiana cities have asked a Hamilton County judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging local protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
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ACLU challenges Bedford sign ordinance limiting political expression

October 31, 2016
IL Staff
A Bedford man who was told he faced fines of $300 a day because of political signs he posted on his property has filed a federal lawsuit against the city with the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.
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Fort Wayne changes law banning firearms from public parks

October 20, 2016
 Associated Press
The Fort Wayne City Council has approved changes to a city ordinance that bans firearms from city parks.
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Justices hear arguments in Lawrence wrongful-firing suit

October 20, 2016
Olivia Covington
After the newly elected mayor of the city of Lawrence fired him from his position as superintendent of the city Utility Services Board, counsel for Carlton Curry told the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday that the mayor had no legal right to terminate the former superintendent without actual cause.
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Bench, bar rally behind prosecutor facing discipline

October 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission brought a formal complaint against Johnson County Prosecutor Bradley Cooper for press comments attributed to him in reaction to a judge's grant of post-conviction relief for convicted murderer Michael Overstreet. A parade of character witnesses traveled to a distant hearing to rally behind Cooper.
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Ex-Lake Station mayor begins serving federal sentence

October 17, 2016
 Associated Press
Former Lake Station mayor Keith Soderquist has begun serving a four-year federal prison term for public corruption.
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Marion County clerk relocates records department

October 13, 2016
IL Staff
The records department of the Marion County clerk’s office is relocating from the sub-basement of the Indianapolis City-County Building to a consolidated records department at 1330 S. Madison Ave.
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Former Monroe County auditor faces fraud charges

October 13, 2016
 Associated Press
A former Monroe County auditor faces fraud and official misconduct charges for allegedly using his county-issued credit card for personal expenses.
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City of Elkhart, Martinsville police facing lawsuits after deleting Facebook posts

October 10, 2016
Olivia Covington
After preventing local residents from commenting on their official Facebook pages, the city of Elkhart and the Martinsville Police Department are being sued for alleged violations of citizens’ First Amendment rights.
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Commission calls for Floyd County prosecutor's suspension

October 7, 2016
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission has asked the state's high court to suspend Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson over findings that he acted unethically in a triple-murder case.
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7th Circuit rejects former Bloomington employee’s request to defer restitution

October 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a former Bloomington city employee’s argument that his restitution debt should be deferred to his release from prison because he is limited to paying only 10 percent of his income toward that debt each month.
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Airbnb’s San Francisco showdown may set rules for gig economy

October 6, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Airbnb Inc. has a message for cities that try to enforce rules that crimp its couch-surfing style: See you in court.
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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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