Pro se

Man convicted in swordfight death loses PCR appeal

January 12, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of killing his great-uncle in a 2009 swordfight that also took the life of his grandmother failed Tuesday in his pro se post-conviction relief appeal.
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Planned Parenthood shooting case stalls for mental exam

December 24, 2015
 Associated Press
The case against the man who acknowledges killing three people in an attack on a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic moves into a new phase while he awaits a mental competency evaluation, ordered after he defiantly told a judge he wanted to fire his public defender and represent himself.
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Judge: Indianapolis house blast defendant to keep lawyers

December 16, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge has rejected a request by a defendant in an Indianapolis house explosion that killed two people to dismiss his attorneys and represent himself one month before his trial is scheduled to begin.
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Speeding ticket tossed because of invalid Carmel ordinance

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
“Carmel’s wholesale adoption of chapters of Indiana Code resulted in its ordinance being nothing more than a ‘duplicate’ of already existing State law,” Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May wrote.
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Conour appeals to 7th Circuit to defend self, remove judge

December 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
Ex-attorney William Conour claims in a jailhouse motion he filed Thursday that the judge who sentenced him to 10 years in prison for wire fraud appears to be biased in favor of prosecutors and must be removed for preventing him from representing himself.
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Suspected killer cancels request to represent himself

November 19, 2015
 Associated Press
A northwest Indiana man charged with strangling two women has decided not to represent himself during his upcoming trial.
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Gary man charged with killing 2 seeks to represent himself

November 17, 2015
 Associated Press
A northwest Indiana man charged with strangling two women and who could face the death penalty if convicted is asking a judge to allow him to represent himself during the trial.
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Go-it-alone defendant has hard day in court

August 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A pro se defendant who changed his mind and asked for counsel mid-trial instead got a lesson in legal precedent.
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Pro se plaintiff wins appeal round vs. DOC

August 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A pro se plaintiff who claimed property seized from him in a “strip cell” disciplinary action and wasn’t returned will have his day in court after the Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated his claim Friday.
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Court aid offered for non-English-speaking, pro se litigants

July 16, 2015
IL Staff
Court improvement grants of up to $50,000 are available to assist unrepresented litigants and those with limited English proficiency.
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Ex-firefighter sues over drug tied to compulsive gambling

June 22, 2015
 Associated Press
A former Indianapolis firefighter has sued two drug companies, saying they failed to act on reports that a medication she was prescribed for restless leg syndrome causes compulsive behaviors such as gambling.
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Supreme Court appoints team to look at pro se litigant problems

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Less than two years after appointing a commission to expand civil legal services for the indigent, the Indiana Supreme Court has assembled another group to examine the nagging problems caused by pro se litigants.
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Mediation Assistance Program appoints counsel to help litigants settle cases

May 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The program, started in 2009, matches attorney volunteers with pro se litigants as they enter settlement talks. In its inaugural year, MAP appointed legal counsel to two settlement conferences. By 2013, MAP attorneys assisted in 43 conferences.
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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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