Pro se

Pro se medical malpractice claim fails without expert testimony

December 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals chastised a pro se litigant for supporting his medical malpractice claim with only a “perfunctory and self-serving” affidavit instead of submitting expert testimony.
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7th Circuit upholds bank robbery conviction despite errors

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although a federal court in Indianapolis committed some errors in admitting certain evidence at a man’s bank robbery trial, those errors were harmless based on DNA evidence and the defendant matching the robber’s description, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Southern District amends filing under seal, pro se notice rules

December 1, 2014
IL Staff
Federal court rules for the Southern District of Indiana pertaining to filing documents under seal and providing notice to pro se litigants will be amended effective Jan. 1, 2015, Clerk Laura Briggs announced.
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Reversal holds bank’s suit on repossessed vehicle filed too late

June 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
A pro se litigant won a reversal at the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday, which ruled a trial court erred when it ruled in favor of a bank seeking to collect after a vehicle repossession.
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Tax Court affirms 2006 assessment appealed pro se

June 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although sympathetic to a mother and daughter’s plight, the Indiana Tax Court affirmed the 2006 assessment of a downtown Indianapolis condominium. The judge pointed out that pro se litigants are held to the same standards as licensed attorneys.
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Defender’s trial strategy trumps inmate’s pro se early-trial request

April 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
A prison inmate who asked for a public defender then said at an initial hearing he wanted to “file for fast and speedy trial too” lost his appeal that argued the court erred by not ruling on his request and his trial counsel was ineffective.
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Improper conduct by trial court does not require reversal of contempt order

January 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday found a trial judge committed some improper conduct during a hearing on a protective order, with one judge noting the court was “precariously close to crossing the line” when intervening in the proceedings. Despite this, the appellate court affirmed the order of contempt in favor of the petitioner.
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Untying the knot yourself

January 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Couples forgoing legal counsel in divorce risk creating big messes the courts can’t clean up.
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Dickson: Trial courts face 'crisis' of unrepresented litigants

October 23, 2013
Dave Stafford
About three in five litigants appearing in Indiana’s civil trial courts are doing it themselves, according to data compiled from statewide case filings this summer.
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Appeals court upholds allowing represented defendant to argue pro se

September 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
A criminal defendant represented by counsel who unsuccessfully argued on his own to withdraw a guilty plea to a Class A felony charge of dealing cocaine had a burden of proving manifest injustice, which he failed to do, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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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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Court cites 1827 case to affirm mortgage trumps land contract

September 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
A bank that issued a mortgage to a person selling a property on a land contract has the right to foreclose on the loan, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, citing caselaw nearly 200 years old.
 
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Molester’s imprisonment alone insufficient to bar contact with son

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
Serving 50 years in prison for conviction of eight counts of Class A felony child molesting, a count of Class C felony child molesting and Class C felony criminal confinement is insufficient by itself for a court to rule an incarcerated father may not have phone or mail contact with his child, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Vigo court too hasty in tossing killer’s pro se PCR petition, panel rules

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of murder who represented himself in his post-conviction relief proceeding was wrongly denied a chance to plead his case, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The court reversed an order by Vigo Superior Judge Christopher Newton summarily denying the petition.
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Justices to take up partial consecutive sentence case

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
Whether state law allows a criminal defendant to receive a partial consecutive sentence may be determined by the Indiana Supreme Court, which agreed to hear a case successfully argued by a pro se litigant to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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No new trial for defendant who discovered pitfalls of proceeding pro se

August 15, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s request for a do-over after representing himself at trial and being found guilty was denied by the Indiana Court of Appeals with the admonishment “proceeding pro se is riddled with pitfalls.”
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COA orders new trial for man who represented himself

June 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a defendant did not knowingly or intelligently waive his right to counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday ordered a new trial on strangulation and domestic battery charges.
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Divided COA adds to difference of opinion on partial consecutive sentences

June 3, 2013
Dave Stafford

The Indiana Court of Appeals issued a 2-1 opinion Monday that further deepened an appellate divide on whether judges may impose partially consecutive sentences.

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Attorneys use pro bono tax work to fill the gap

March 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Almost immediately after taking her seat on the Indiana Tax Court, Judge Martha Blood Wentworth saw the problem. Flowing into her court were numerous pro se litigants who ended up getting their cases bounced because they had made a procedural error.
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Sovereign citizens disavow legal system, make bogus filings aimed at police, judges

January 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
Martin Jonassen describes himself as a sovereign citizen, one of a loose affiliation of people who believe most laws don’t apply to them. Adherents also strive to make life difficult and sometimes dangerous for law enforcement and the judiciary, and Indiana lawmakers have taken notice.
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Conour court filings reveal lavish lifestyle

December 19, 2012
Dave Stafford
The ex-attorney is still without counsel in his wire fraud case and is proceeding pro se in his divorce and foreclosure cases.
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Attempted ‘hybrid’ defense delay didn’t violate speedy trial rule

December 18, 2012
Dave Stafford
A criminal defendant who filed motions on his own behalf and who also had consented to appointment of a special public defender was not denied a speedy trial when a delay of more than 70 days occurred, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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New Marion County Small Claims rules a ‘change in atmosphere’

October 16, 2012
Dave Stafford
A new set of rules for Marion County’s nine township Small Claims courts will make the forums more transparent and put important court information online for the first time, according to the judge overseeing reform efforts.
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Woman unable to prove attorney actions were prejudicial

August 13, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A woman’s petition for post-conviction relief on the grounds her trial counsel was ineffective was denied by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Majority reverses Hopper advisement created last year

November 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Supreme Court has reversed its 2010 decision to require pro se defendants be informed about the dangers of pleading guilty without an attorney. Two of the justices who originally voted to create the “Hopper advisement” found themselves in the minority on the high court’s decision on rehearing.
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  1. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  2. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  3. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  4. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  5. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

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