Northern Indiana

Hammond traffic judge faces misconduct charges

June 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Hammond City Judge Jeffrey A. Harkin faces three misconduct charges for operating an illegal traffic school deferral program and dismissing cases without assessing required fees, as well as dissuading one litigant from contesting a seatbelt violation in court.
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Justices: Child placement statutes are constitutional

June 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In a much-anticipated ruling, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled three statutes relating to juvenile judges’ authority on out-of-state placement cases are constitutional and that the Department of Child Services has statutory power to consider costs when considering those placements.
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Justices take certified question on railroad issue

June 27, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted a certified question posed by the United States Court of Federal Claims regarding railbanking and interim trail use.
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Group can't challenge high school closure

June 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a parent and taxpayer group’s legal challenge to the closing of a Fort Wayne school, finding the decision doesn’t violate the state constitution.
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High court questions whether transactions are leases or security interest sales

June 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Examining whether a transaction between two businesses is a lease or a sale subject to security interest, the Indiana Supreme Court has adopted an approach used in Colorado. The court held that various factors, such as the economy, must be considered in each situation to decide that question.
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Judges to travel to Angola for arguments

June 14, 2011
IL Staff
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges will hear arguments in a contempt of court case Wednesday in northeast Indiana.
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7th Circuit: Indiana judge violated man's Sixth Amendment right to counsel

May 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An appellate court has ruled that a senior judge in the Northern District of Indiana violated a man’s Sixth Amendment rights by not allowing him to proceed to trial with the lawyer of his choosing.
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COA to hear arguments in trademark case at Merrillville High School

May 20, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear oral argument in An-Hung Yao v. State of Indiana and Yu-Ting Lin v. State of Indiana at 12:30 p.m. (CDT) May 25, 2011, at Merrillville High School in the Freshman Center Lecture Hall. A panel of judges consisting of Chief Judge Margret G. Robb, Judge Michael P. Barnes, and Judge Terry A. Crone will hear the case on appeal from Huntington Circuit Court.
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Justices suspend former judge for misconduct

May 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended a northwest Indiana attorney for helping a litigant whose cases he’d presided over more than a decade ago when he was a Jasper Superior judge.
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Lawyer sentenced for theft, corrupt business practice

May 16, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A northeast Indiana attorney who pleaded guilty to stealing from his clients has been sentenced to 11 years in prison, with five and one-half of those years suspended to active probation.
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Indiana Tech plans to open law school in 2013

May 16, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana may soon have a fifth law school. Indiana Tech’s Board of Trustees voted May 13 to move forward with establishing a law school in Fort Wayne.
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Governor signs courts, judicial age bills

May 11, 2011
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed into law changes to various courts around the state, as well as the legislation that removes age restrictions of certain judges who run for office.
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Bills on courts, forfeiture before governor

May 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Several Indiana counties will have their Circuit and Superior courts unified and certain judges will no longer have to be less than 70 years old when they take office, thanks to legislation passed during the 2011 session of the General Assembly.
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Judge rejects plea for former physician

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
U.S. Judge Philip Simon in the Northern District of Indiana rejected a plea agreement on April 27 for former physician Mark Weinberger, who faces at least 22 criminal counts of billing insurers and patients for procedures he didn’t perform.
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Munster students finish 10th in national We the People competition

May 3, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
A group of teens from Munster High School finished 10th from a field of 52 in the national finals of We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution.
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IU-Maurer Ft. Wayne alumni lunch

May 3, 2011
IL Staff
Allen Superior Judge Stanley Levine and Indiana University Maurer School of Law Dean Lauren Robel will make remarks at a Fort Wayne alumni reception.
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General Assembly wraps up on time

May 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 2011 session of the Indiana General Assembly ended on schedule despite the weeks-long walkout by House Democrats. Now, bills impacting Indiana’s courts and legal community make their way to the governor’s desk.
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Appellate court to visit Wabash for arguments

April 28, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals travels to Wabash Friday to hear arguments in an insurance case.
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Justices reverse forfeiture of truck

April 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court agreed with the lower appellate court that a man’s truck shouldn’t have been lost in a civil forfeiture action because the state didn’t prove any substantial connection between the truck and the commission of a crime.
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Bicycling barristers

April 27, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Lawyers say fitness and networking are among the perks of traveling to the office on two wheels.
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Effort seeks to revive citizens' civic interest

April 27, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The message from lawyers, lawmakers, and educators is clear: Civic education is suffering, and along with it, our country. But no one seems certain how to convince people to care about civics.
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Judges address 'public utility' questions

April 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In a case of first impression in this state, the Indiana Court of Appeals has determined that BP Products North America Inc.'s petroleum refinery plant in northern Indiana isn’t a public utility as defined by state statute when it acts as a sort of conduit and provides natural gas and other services such as steam and wastewater to other private companies nearby.
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Justices put school board member back on Hammond mayoral ballot

April 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court late Thursday reversed a decision from a Lake Superior judge and put a nonpartisan school board member back on the ballot for the Hammond mayoral run in the upcoming primary election.
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Legislation impacting judiciary awaiting final approval

April 20, 2011
Kelly Lucas
Several bills that may alter the look of the Indiana judiciary await final approval during the waning days of the 2011 legislative session.
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Allen Superior Court seeks magistrate judge

April 15, 2011
IL Staff
The Allen Superior Court Criminal Division is accepting applications for the magistrate judge position that will open up after Magistrate Judge Robert J. Schmoll retires. Magistrate Schmoll was appointed to the bench in January 1995.
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  1. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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