Monroe County

Tax court affirms CVS valuation, stands by prior retail rulings

November 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
A CVS store in Bloomington has won its case against what it said were inaccurate tax assessments after the judge of the Indiana Tax Court rejected the argument that her previous rulings were inaccurate.
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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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COA: Discovery rule applies in inverse condemnation action against Duke Energy

September 13, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a Monroe Circuit Court decision to dismiss a complaint against Duke Energy after finding that the trial court erred when it ruled that the statute of limitations for the complaint had expired.
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Bail reforms encourage risk assessments in pretrial release decisions

September 7, 2016
IL Staff
As part of an effort to reform the state’s bail system and reduce recidivism rates, the Indiana Supreme Court has adopted a new criminal rule to encourage the prompt release of arrestees who do not pose a significant threat to public safety.
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Woman sues state over untimely insurance enrollment

July 21, 2016
IL Staff
A lawsuit filed Thursday alleges the state ignored federal law requiring it to provide health insurance coverage within a reasonable time frame and must retroactively pay for an Elletsville woman’s medical bills.
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Man loses home damage appeal that blamed neighbor’s watering

May 20, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man whose Monroe County home was lost to mold contamination lost his appeal of a jury verdict in favor of his neighbor. The homeowner had claimed his neighbor's excessive watering of her lawn caused water damage to the basement of his home.
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Judge says Spierer search warrants must remain sealed

February 3, 2016
 Associated Press
A judge says information regarding search warrants connected to the 2011 disappearance of an Indiana University student need to remain sealed so the investigation won't be compromised.
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Deadline May 1 for out-of-county jury in Bickford case

January 18, 2016
 Associated Press
Prosecutors and the attorney for a former Indiana University student accused of attacking a Muslim woman have until May 1 to agree on a county to select jurors from for his trial.
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Pretrial release project to test assessment tool

January 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court is preparing to test the viability of allowing certain offenders to be released pretrial without having to pay a bail.
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Suit: Nonprofit took improper fees from special needs trusts

November 17, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis nonprofit is accused in a lawsuit of taking millions of dollars in excessive fees from trusts owned by people with disabilities.
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Winning plaintiff agrees prejudgment interest award not warranted

July 22, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A real estate investor who was successful in her protracted feud with her real estate broker acknowledged an error in the calculation of her award and induced the Indiana Court of Appeals to make a reversal.
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Convenience stores win one, lose one in property assessment battle

July 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
In a pair of decisions, the Indiana Tax Court has upheld two rulings that found different valuations for the same property.
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Monroe County wants to bring trained dogs to court

June 2, 2015
 Associated Press
Efforts are underway in Monroe County to bring trained dogs to the courthouse in Bloomington.
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Wife of Indiana judge charged with sending him threats

May 13, 2015
 Associated Press
The wife of an Indiana Court of Appeals judge is accused of sending her husband threatening messages in a scheme to make it appear that their son-in-law was terrorizing the family.
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Monroe Circuit courts closed until April 26

April 22, 2015
IL Staff
Courts in Bloomington will be closed the rest of this week due to a plumbing backup that Monroe Circuit Court Presiding Judge Valeri Haughton said has created a health emergency.
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New book aims to benefit children's advocate program

April 8, 2015
 Associated Press
Proceeds from the sales of the book "Nessy's New Home" will benefit Monroe County Court Appointed Special Advocates, a volunteer program that pairs child victims of abuse or neglect with adults who represent them in juvenile court.
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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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New Bloomington mental health court starting up

October 13, 2014
 Associated Press
A new Monroe County mental health court is aimed at keeping people mentally stable and out of trouble and the community safe, officials said.
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Attorney’s attempt to expunge arrest record denied again

September 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Monroe County attorney who was arrested in 2008 on allegations of misconduct involving his clients and violations of the Indiana Securities Act was unsuccessful in his attempt to have similar charges filed in 2006 expunged.
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Court must make findings in denying visitation for imprisoned dad

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man released to probation on a murder conviction but subsequently ordered to serve the remainder of his sentence following probation violations failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse denial of his request for parenting time.
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Plea deal rejected for ex-Indiana county auditor

August 5, 2014
 Associated Press
Lawyers are reworking an agreement under which a former county auditor in southern Indiana was expected to plead guilty to criminal charges of wrongly paying personal expenses with county-issued credit cards.
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Judge blocks ordinance aimed at I-69 work noise

July 22, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Department of Transportation can resume nighttime work on the Interstate 69 extension near Bloomington.
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Indiana sues county over I-69 noise ordinance

July 16, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Department of Transportation is suing the commissioners of a southern Indiana county, saying they have no authority to limit construction of the Interstate 69 extension near Bloomington with an ordinance that restricts overnight noise.
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Judge strikes Bloomington smoke-detector ordinance; similar measure pends in Indy

February 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
A judge’s recent ruling that struck a Bloomington ordinance requiring hard-wired smoke detectors in rental properties comes as the Indianapolis City-County Council considers raising the requirements for all dwellings in Marion County.
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Defendant entitled to cash bail refund under former statute

January 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
A pro se litigant convinced the Indiana Court of Appeals that he was entitled to a refund of a $250 cash bond. The COA reversed a Monroe Circuit order denying a motion for release of cash bond dating to 2003.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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