Northern Indiana

Split COA affirms northern Indiana utility rate increase

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A northern Indiana utility company can increase its rates after a divided Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission followed the appropriate statutory guidelines in approving the rate hike.
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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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  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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