Marion County

Marion County’s Odyssey transition: a tech-free week

May 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
The clerk’s office in Indianapolis’ City-County Building is in the middle of a throwback week, revisiting a simpler time when a hand stamp on paper was all you needed to file court documents. Blame technology.
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Officer pleads not guilty to new drunken-driving charges

May 1, 2013
IL Staff
David Bisard, the suspended Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer who was charged Monday with misdemeanor drunken-driving charges while on bail awaiting trial for his role in a fatal accident, pleaded not guilty in Marion County to the new charges.
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Indianapolis officer faces more drunken-driving charges

April 30, 2013
IL Staff
The suspended Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer accused of killing one motorcyclist and injuring two others in an August 2010 crash has been arrested and charged with two misdemeanor drunken-driving offenses.
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Marion County Odyssey transition may cause delays

April 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
Civil filings in Marion Circuit and Superior courts could experience delays after Friday when the JUSTIS case management system will go offline pending a transition to the Odyssey CMS. Odyssey is slated to go live in the civil courts May 13.
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Rat poison not yet linked to Shuai newborn death

April 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
Prosecutors acknowledged Thursday they could not currently provide a witness who would definitively testify that rat poison Bei Bei Shuai ingested was the cause of her newborn’s death, for which she stands charged with murder.
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Admission of violation is too little to revoke probation

April 23, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A Marion County man’s admission of a probation violation is not enough to revoke his probation without an evidentiary hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Self-defense claim of man who killed 2 fails on appeal

April 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man’s claim that the state failed to disprove his claim of self defense did not persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to revisit his two murder convictions and sentence of 115 years in prison.
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INBOX: Voter Experience Project

April 10, 2013
A letter to the editor looks at Marion County's voting technology.
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COA affirms car forfeiture when owner arrested for iPhone theft

April 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Wal-Mart worker who tried to steal four iPhones from the store at the end of her workday has no protection from forfeiture laws that allowed the state to take her car, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Hearings set for trio charged in southside Indy explosion

April 8, 2013
IL Staff
Three people charged in an explosion that killed two people and leveled part of a southside Indianapolis housing development will go before a judge in Marion Superior Court on Wednesday.
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Law students to join Bei Bei Shuai rally

April 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Students from Indiana University Maurer School of Law will take part in a rally this weekend to call for an end to the prosecution on murder and attempted feticide charges of Bei Bei Shuai. Shuai consumed rat poison while pregnant, and her newborn daughter died shortly after birth.
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Trial court improperly suspended driving privileges for life

April 4, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior Court exceeded statutory authority when it suspended a man’s driving privileges for life, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held. At the time Thomas Porter was arrested and charged, his driving privileges were suspended for life, but that was no longer the case when he was sentenced.
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Bill adding magistrates, judges in 3 counties moves to governor

April 3, 2013
IL Staff
Legislation that will add more judicial officers in Hamilton, Hendricks and Owen counties passed unanimously out of the House of Representatives Tuesday.
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Defendant in neighborhood explosion now faces conspiracy to commit murder charge

March 28, 2013
IL Staff
Mark Leonard, one of three arrested and charged for an explosion in an Indianapolis neighborhood that killed two people, has been charged with Class A felony conspiracy to commit murder. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office alleges he attempted to arrange a murder-for-hire plan while in jail on charges stemming from the explosion.
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Tax clinic brings relief to homeowners fighting high assessments

March 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
At Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, the attorneys suspected there was a gap in pro bono tax help for owners of homes valued at $150,000 or less. They were looking for a volunteer opportunity so they organized the first ever Homeowner Property Tax Clinic.
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Police following drug package wire into home unconstitutional, COA rules

March 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
Police violated Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure when they used a parcel wire to track the opening of a shipment of marijuana in an Indianapolis man’s home, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Judge tosses township jurisdiction challenge in collection cases

March 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has ruled that Marion County collections cases need not be filed in the township where a defendant lives or a contract was signed, a key ruling regarding a practice criticized as “forum shopping.”
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Man’s statement on drug allowed at trial

March 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday that a trial court did not commit fundamental error in admitting Charles Meriwether’s statement to police that he had marijuana in his car.
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Man must reinstate original complaints for lawsuits to proceed

March 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday that a man with a propensity to sue over purchases made online may not file a new lawsuit in Marion County after a similar one was dismissed without prejudice.
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Gerdt Furniture owners embroiled in $4M court fight

March 14, 2013
Scott Olson
A family dispute involving the owners of Gerdt Furniture & Interiors Inc. has led to a lawsuit accusing them of owing nearly $4 million in unpaid rent and loans.
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Spotlight: Change of venue case requires planning, preparation and packing

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Moving a trial from one court to another can be cumbersome and brings with it logistical matters that have to be worked out so the lawyers can focus on presenting their case. Transporting office supplies, reserving hotel rooms, securing conference rooms and learning the demographics of the community before selecting the jury are among the tasks that have to be addressed.
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Ruling: Easement to Eagle Creek indeed leads to water

March 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court ruling that forbid residents of a lakefront subdivision from accessing the water from a public easement was overturned Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Lawsuit accuses BMV of overcharging for driver’s licenses

March 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A lawsuit filed in Marion County claims that the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has overcharged residents for their driver’s licenses by as much as $7 per license.
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State didn’t prove man committed trespass

March 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a criminal trespass conviction for a Marion County man after finding the state didn’t prove a material element of the crime.
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401(k) contributions are income for child support calculation

February 28, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday affirmed that the money a father contributed to his 401(k) account during his marriage may be included as income for purposes as determining child support.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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