Monroe County

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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Fatal accident leads COA to examine boating statute

December 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A boat operator’s appeal of his convictions stemming from a fatal accident on Lake Monroe in 2010 split the Indiana Court of Appeals as to whether I.C. 14-15-4-1 is unconstitutional as applied.
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Justices reject Spierer-obsessed man’s appeal of gun confiscation

November 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from a man whose 51 guns and ammunition were seized after authorities became alarmed by his behavior near the site where missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer was last seen.
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CASA conference to train, honor volunteers

September 12, 2013
IL Staff

A single mother of two from Monroe County will receive the honor of volunteer of the year this weekend at an annual conference of court-appointed special advocates.

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Man who alarmed police near Lauren Spierer site appeals gun seizure

September 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man whose 51 guns were ordered seized by a judge who determined him dangerous after his behavior alarmed Bloomington police near the site where missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer was last seen is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to return his firearms.
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Justices reinstate sex offender’s maximum sentence lowered by COA

July 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated a trial court sentence that imposed maximum consecutive prison terms for a man convicted of two counts of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor.
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COA upholds termination of Bloomington high school teacher

June 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that substantial evidence supported the decision by the school board to end Bloomington High School South teacher Stephen Smith’s contract, and that the board followed proper procedures in canceling the contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s affirmation of the board’s decision.
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Grandchildren not entitled to proceeds of land sale under will

June 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Monroe Circuit judge did not err in denying a motion by three grandchildren to correct errors in which they claimed that they, instead of their grandmother’s second husband, should have received the proceeds of the sale of land in Bloomington. The Indiana Court of Appeals held the Bloomington residence was adeemed by extinction, so the proceeds of the sale pass to Cora Young’s second husband, Theodore.
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Rehab, not jail, shows promise in lowering recidivism

April 10, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Advocates for alternative programs are asking the Indiana Legislature for funding.
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Monroe County attorney sentenced for counterfeiting

February 28, 2013
IL Staff
Philip Chamberlain, a Clear Creek attorney accused of stealing from his clients, was sentenced to community service Tuesday by Monroe Circuit Judge Teresa Harper.
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Environmental groups lob new suit at I-69 work

February 28, 2013
Scott Olson
An Indiana environmental group once again is attempting to stop construction of the Interstate 69 extension between Evansville and Indianapolis by filing suit in federal court.
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Husband’s settlement proceeds should be included in marital pot

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the Monroe Circuit Court to include a husband’s settlement proceeds from an action against his former employer as a marital asset when he and his wife divorced.
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Bloomington attorney enters into plea agreement

October 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A jury trial set for this week for a Monroe County attorney accused of stealing money from clients has been cancelled because a plea agreement has been reached.
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Monroe County man’s suit against ex-wife and city still alive in trial court

September 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday that portions of a man’s lawsuit alleging false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and other claims against his ex-wife and the city of Bloomington may continue. The trial court had dismissed all claims against the parties, which includes Monroe County.
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No error in finding defendant jointly and severally liable

May 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that a man was jointly and severally liable for damages following a fight over a girl.
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Appellate court orders hearing on judge's impartiality

February 13, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a Monroe Circuit judge abused her discretion in denying a motion to recuse in a small claims case that involved an attorney who previously served as the judge’s election campaign committee chair.
 
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Maurer law school names interim dean

December 13, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana University board of trustees appointed Hannah L. Buxbaum as acting dean of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, effective Feb. 1. Buxbaum will serve as dean while the current dean, Lauren Robel, is interim provost for the school’s Bloomington campus.
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Shepard to speak at IU commencement

December 9, 2011
IL Staff
On the heels of the announcement that Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard is retiring from the Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana University announced this week that the justice will address graduates at the Bloomington campus’ winter commencement Dec. 17.
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Robel named interim provost at IU Bloomington

December 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana University Maurer School of Law Dean Lauren Robel has been named interim provost for IU’s Bloomington campus. She’s filling the role temporarily until a replacement can be found for Karen Hanson, who is leaving in January to become senior vice president and provost at the University of Minnesota.
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COA: Insurance policy covers deputy killed while directing traffic

August 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy that was killed while directing traffic was using her car at the time of the accident and was entitled to coverage under the county’s policy under the uninsured/underinsured motorist endorsement, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Defense attorney's arranged drug buy illegal

February 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a Bloomington attorney’s argument that his arrangement of a drug buy in an attempt to discredit a state’s witness against his client wasn’t a criminal offense because he’s “on the same legal footing” as prosecutors or police in planning controlled buys.
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Judges reverse summary judgment for agent, partner

February 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A case involving a Bloomington real estate transaction required the Indiana Court of Appeals to decipher the statutes in question without the aid of previous interpretations because of a lack of previous caselaw interpreting them.
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Disciplinary Actions - 1/19/11

January 19, 2011
See who's been suspended by the Disciplinary Commission.
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New approach to foreclosure prevention successful

September 15, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Courts around the state have experienced more success with a new approach to settlement conferences utilizing facilitators – who interact directly with borrowers and lenders – than past attempts to find alternatives to foreclosures.
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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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