Local government

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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Capstone of criminal code reform put in place during 2015 session

May 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The bill establishing the funding and the mechanism to distribute the dollars needed for Indiana’s new criminal code reform had a bumpy ride through the Statehouse. But in the final hours of the 2015 legislative session, lawmakers approved language that ensured the money would be funneled through local programs and projects designed to reduce recidivism and ease overcrowding in Indiana’s prisons.
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Marion County justice center debate proves divisive

April 22, 2015
Dave Stafford
Nearly a year-and-a-half after Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Marion County Sheriff John Layton and other community leaders laid out a vision for an Indianapolis criminal justice center, its future is clouded as late opposition resulted in a major setback to the plan.
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City will push criminal justice center proposal at next council meeting

April 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
The proposed Indianapolis criminal justice center plan was not placed on the agenda of Monday’s City-County Council meeting, but Mayor Greg Ballard will seek to gather votes to pass the divisive 35-year private-public partnership next month. Ballard’s statement drew a rebuke from council chairwoman Maggie A. Lewis.
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Hope town marshal to spend 2 weeks in jail

April 17, 2015
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana town marshal will spend two weeks in jail after a jury in Columbus convicted him of felony misconduct and misdemeanor false informing.
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Council committee shoots down plan for Indy justice center

April 15, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
Mayor Greg Ballard's $1.6 billion justice center project suffered what could be a fatal blow in an Indianapolis City-County Council committee Tuesday night.
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Evansville residency ordinance hearing to be broadcast

April 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush has approved a Vanderburgh Superior judge’s request that an en banc hearing be held regarding an ordinance passed last year that says a person appointed to a board serving the city of Evansville must live in the city.
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Leaky roof, mold among repair needs at Floyd County jail

April 13, 2015
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana jail is battling a leaky roof, mold and other problems that need costly repairs sooner than later, but financial challenges could make the work a daunting task.
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Justice Center needs additional bid process for key offices

April 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
The proposed criminal justice center deal before the Indianapolis City-County Council will be just the first of at least two long-term, multi-million dollar contracts. A second contract to be presented to the council later is expected to increase total construction costs by $35 million to $54 million.
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Supporters: Justice Center needed now, will boost downtown Indianapolis

April 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
Representatives of legal, business and labor organizations said the proposed Marion County Criminal Justice Complex is a long-delayed and necessary development that would employ thousands and pump up downtown Indianapolis by vacating outdated jail and court facilities.
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Hearing to be held on proposed Indy Criminal Justice Center

April 7, 2015
IL Staff
The first of several public hearings on the proposed Indianapolis Criminal Justice Center complex will take place at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Room 118 of the Indianapolis City-County Building.
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New Albany council to weigh in on religious objections law

April 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The revision of Indiana's religious objections law isn't stopping a southern Indiana city from considering a measure condemning the statute.
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State statute protects taxpayers from loan dispute

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Ruling that taxpayers should not be penalized for a bank’s lack of diligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held a financial institution cannot recoup the outstanding balance on a loan for a fire truck.
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Yorktown tweaks canvassing ordinance after ACLU lawsuit

March 23, 2015
 Associated Press
A central Indiana town sued by a consumer advocacy group over its restrictions on door-to-door canvassing has changed a town ordinance to remove the contested language.
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Former Indy Land Bank chief grilled over inconsistent testimony

March 17, 2015
Cory Schouten, IBJ Staff
Former Indy Land Bank director Reggie Walton opted to take the stand in his own defense in federal court this week, and prosecutors used the opportunity to use his words against him.
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Tax Court lacks jurisdiction to hear casino’s claim

March 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court on Monday dismissed a northern Indiana casino’s appeal of the LaPorte County treasurer’s failure to refund paid innkeeper’s tax, finding the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
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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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Northern Indiana county council rejects abortion ordinance

March 11, 2015
 Associated Press
A county council in northern Indiana voted down an ordinance that would have added new local requirements for doctors who perform abortions.
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Lawsuit over Covanta recycling center plan set for hearing

March 6, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
A lawsuit prompted by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s controversial recycling-plant deal is set for hearing March 10.
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Indy Land Bank trial could turn on government wiretaps

March 4, 2015
Cory Schouten
Reginald T. Walton is guilty of "very poor judgment" and "ethics violations," and also "did a pretty good job concealing" his involvement in private real estate partnerships during his tenure leading the Indy Land Bank, but he's not guilty of any crime, his attorney argued in federal court Wednesday.
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Cumberland ups ante in fight to save historic church

March 3, 2015
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
Cumberland officials are stepping up their efforts to stop a supermarket and convenience store chain from demolishing a historic church by hiring one of Indianapolis’ top real estate attorneys to argue their appeal.
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COA affirms attorney fees in frivolous suit challenging Logansport P3 deal

March 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman’s lawsuit that claimed the city of Logansport had to pass an ordinance formally adopting the Public-Private Agreements Act before entering into a P3 deal was frivolous and in bad faith, thus justifying the award of attorney fees to the city, the Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Ex-Chandler commission member’s lawsuit continues after COA ruling

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The member of a town’s advisory plan commission who was appointed to a four-year term, then unanimously recalled, will be allowed to go forward with his lawsuit stemming from his removal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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South Bend council urged to stop seeking police recordings

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
Two of the four South Bend police officers whose telephone recordings are at the center of a police wiretapping case want city council members to end their pursuit of those recordings.
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Attorney general sues county auditor accused of theft

February 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is suing former Owen County Auditor Angie M. Lawson to recover more than $380,000 in embezzled taxpayer funds. Lawson also faces criminal charges stemming from the same theft of public funds.
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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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