Northern Indiana

Jury finds South Bend teen convicted of murder had gang ties

April 4, 2016
 Associated Press
South Bend jury finds teenager convicted of murder should have sentence enhanced for criminal gang activity.
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6 counties next in line for trial court e-filing

December 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Six Indiana counties — Clark, Harrison, Henry, St. Joseph, Shelby and Wells — will be joining Hamilton County in implementing e-filing in the trial courts during the first half of 2016, with more to come later.
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5 officials want judge to block Indiana conflicts law

December 16, 2015
 Associated Press
Five municipal employees in northwestern Indiana are asking a state court judge to block a law that prohibits them from holding elected office in the same city or town.
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Attorney questions if schools complied with Nativity ruling

December 15, 2015
 Associated Press
An attorney who filed a lawsuit that led to a federal judge banning a northern Indiana school district from including a live Nativity scene in its annual Christmas show says he believes the district's use of mannequins instead of student actors had many of the same constitutional flaws.
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Banned live Nativity goes on with mannequins

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
School officials say a federal judge's injunction only applied to a live scene and that they complied with the order.
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Paralyzed woman’s claim against security guard’s company proceeds

December 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Whether a security guard, who shot a woman during an argument while he was on duty, was acting to further his employer’s business when he shot her is a matter that should be decided by a judge or jury, the Indiana Supreme Court held Tuesday.
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City workers lose challenge to law, must quit to take office

December 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
Five Lake County civil servants lost their lawsuit challenging a state law that forbids them from serving in elected office in the same city that employs them.
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Prosecutor seeks to dismiss charge against abortion doctor

December 2, 2015
 Associated Press

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday the doctor fulfilled terms of a pretrial diversion program he entered after being charged last year with failing to report an abortion performed at the Women's Pavilion on a 13-year-old in 2013.

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Judge: Nativity lawsuit plaintiffs can remain anonymous

December 1, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge has ruled that a high school student and a parent can remain anonymous as they sue over a live Nativity scene that’s part of a northern Indiana school district’s annual Christmas show.
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ILS awarded grant to help northern Hoosiers

October 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Legal Services Inc. has received a $10,000 award to help families in the northern part of the state with bankruptcy filings.
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Woman convicted in baby’s death seeks visitation with daughter

July 1, 2015
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana woman who spent more than five years in prison for battering her infant who eventually died of the injuries has filed court document seeking visitation time with her other daughter.
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Judge slams city with default sanction in wrongful arrest case

June 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal judge threw the gavel at the city of Gary for ignoring court orders to respond to discovery in a social worker’s wrongful arrest suit against the city, Gary Community School Corp, and two Gary police officers who worked for the schools.
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Notre Dame mock trial team rallies, excels after death of coach

June 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
Dawson Robinson remembers getting the shocking news that his mock trial coach, mentor and friend Drew Haase had died at age 31. Haase died on April 1, just 16 days before his beloved Fighting Irish were to make their first appearance in five years at the American Mock Trial Association national championship tournament.
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Environmental groups sue over Illiana Tollway approval

May 27, 2015
 Associated Press
Illinois environmental groups have filed a lawsuit over the proposed Illiana Tollway. They claim federal approval relied on faulty information and didn't adequately consider environmental impacts.
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Fugitive former Indiana surgeon caught in Arizona

May 1, 2015
 Associated Press
Authorities say a fugitive former surgeon convicted of stalking his ex-wife in Indiana has been caught in Arizona.
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Judy Stanton stepping down as leader of NWI Volunteer Lawyers Inc.

December 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Judy Stanton was not immediately attracted to the law. She graduated from college and started a family. But an article she read in the mid-1970s in her alumni magazine about lawyers sparked her interest in the law. She's since spent more than 30 years helping the underserved.
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Spotlight: North/Central Indiana

September 24, 2014
IL Staff
A round up of news from northern and central Indiana, including a mayor's attempt to stay his contempt order.
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Indiana Tech Law School mentors bring law to life

March 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A unique program at the Fort Wayne school matches students with attorneys and judges for real-world learning.
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Firm must defend deceased lawyer’s ‘inflammatory’ counterclaim

October 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
Litigation that has outlived an attorney who filed a counterclaim accusing a northwest Indiana construction company of racketeering, among other things, still could cost the late lawyer’s former firm.
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Suspect’s disheveled appearance, not GPS, led to drug discovery

October 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A suspect’s attempt to pull up his unbuckled and falling pants as he stepped from his car negated any taint on the evidence caused by local law enforcement placing a GPS on his vehicle.
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Cappas appointed Lake Superior judge

October 4, 2013
IL Staff
Longtime Highland criminal defense attorney Sam Cappas has been appointed judge in the Lake Superior Criminal Division.
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Failure to object to anonymous jury not ineffective assistance

September 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of murdering his 39-week-pregnant estranged wife cannot claim he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney failed to object to an anonymous jury, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Small-claims change of judge time limit further divides appellate courts

September 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
How long a small-claims court litigant has to request a change of judge is a question that divided a Court of Appeals panel Monday, where a majority found that an earlier appellate panel majority got it wrong. The dissenting judge authored the prior opinion, and said it shouldn’t be disturbed even if it may have been wrongly decided.
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Longest-serving Lake Superior judge takes leave

September 23, 2013
Dave Stafford
The longest-serving Lake Superior judge is stepping aside, at least temporarily, effective today, according to an order of the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Stopped traffic snarls purse snatcher’s getaway scheme

September 23, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the getaway car moved only a few feet after being stopped by police, a man in the passenger seat still was properly convicted of resisting law enforcement because he instructed the driver of the car to “take off.”
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  1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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