Public defenders

Public defender accused of harassing ex-girlfriend suspended

May 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
A northern Indiana public defender accused of repeatedly harassing his ex-girlfriend has been suspended from the practice of law in Indiana for at least one year.
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Trial court had no statutory authority to impose second public defender fee

March 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Marion Superior Court abused its discretion in imposing a second supplemental public defender fee on an indigent litigant because it lacked statutory authority to impose the fee, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit rejects collateral attack

February 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a man’s petition for collateral relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel because the man failed to allege facts that proved his public defender did not provide proper counsel.
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‘Dismayed’ by trial court, COA orders resentencing

January 31, 2017
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis judge who sentenced a defendant to jail without permitting him to speak on his own behalf disregarded state law and violated the defendant’s rights, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a stern ruling.
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Petition to Supreme Court seeks statewide public defender system

December 15, 2016
Dave Stafford
Advocates for reforming Indiana’s patchwork approach to public defense for indigent Hoosiers announced they have petitioned the Indiana Supreme Court for a statewide system to remedy what they describe as an unfair, unequal and underfunded system.<
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Court abused discretion in letting public defender withdraw appearance

December 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
An attorney seeking a motion to withdraw appearance had to prove there was justification for his withdrawal and provide sufficient notice to the party he represented before the motion could be granted, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday.
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New report critical of Indiana’s indigent defense

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
The report found Indiana is failing to equally provide constitutionally mandated effective counsel to indigent people accused of felony, misdemeanor and juvenile offenses.
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Prosecutors balk at curbing eyewitness identifications

November 2, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Public Defender Council touts the proposed rule as helping to prevent wrongful convictions.
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Report: Indiana fails to provide consistent indigent defense

October 24, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana is failing to equally provide constitutionally guaranteed effective counsel to indigent people accused of misdemeanor, felony and juvenile offenses, according to a report released Monday. In some counties, poor people facing criminal charges are encouraged to negotiate directly with prosecutors before being appointed counsel.
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Ex-prosecutor becomes Clark County chief public defender

October 19, 2016
 Associated Press
After nearly 14 years with the Floyd County Prosecutor's Office, Abraham Navarro has jumped over to Clark County to serve as chief public defender.
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COA vacates public defender, probation fees for indigent man

September 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has vacated an order for a man convicted of public intoxication and found to be indigent to pay more than $600 in public defender and probation fees.
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Groups cite inadequate funds to defend death row inmate

August 22, 2016
 Associated Press
Five legal groups are supporting a Missouri death row inmate, whose execution was halted hours before it was to be carried out in 2014, saying that he can't receive an adequate defense with the money allocated.
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Conour defender asks off case, cites ‘near adversarial relationship’

July 7, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal public defender representing former attorney William Conour has asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to remove her “due to the near adversarial relationship now existing between attorney and client.”
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Maryland public defender arrested for DUI, assault on cop

June 24, 2016
 Associated Press
A public defender in Annapolis, Maryland has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and kneeing an arresting officer in the groin.
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High-profile cases deplete county's public defender fund

May 31, 2016
 Associated Press
Officials are blaming an increase in drug-related activity and crime spilling over from Indianapolis for draining a suburban county's $500,000 public defender fund.
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COA: Man should have met with state public defender’s office

February 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the grant of the state’s motion for summary denial of man’s request for post-conviction relief because his case was not forwarded to the State Public Defender’s Office.
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Suit filed against Allen County over public defender system

January 6, 2016
 Associated Press
A second county in Indiana is facing a federal lawsuit claiming that its public defender system violates indigent defendants' rights to adequate legal defense.
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Johnson County judges, public defenders sued for ‘systemic’ problems

October 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
People who’ve been arrested in Johnson County are taking the unusual step of filing a class-action lawsuit against the county, judges and public defenders there, claiming they have not been represented by an underfunded and overburdened public defender system.
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Public defender charged with sex offenses involving inmates

June 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis attorney and ex-judge working as a Shelby County public defender has been charged with three counts of sexual misconduct and one count of official misconduct after he was accused of inappropriately touching inmates at the Shelbyville jail. Authorities said one instance was recorded on video.
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Public defender’s brief stricken, COA orders ‘competent counsel’ appointed

March 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reiterated Wednesday for at least the fourth time in seven years to a public defender that he cannot use the “manifestly unreasonable” argument to challenge a client’s voluntary manslaughter sentence.
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Indiana judge admonishes abducted teens' sister at hearing

March 9, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis judge admonished the sister of two Indianapolis teenagers kidnapped and held for ransom after she allegedly stole from her ex-boyfriend.
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Judge: No 2nd lawyer for defendant in Hartford City killings

March 4, 2015
 Associated Press
A Blackford County judge has denied a request for a second court-appointed lawyer from an eastern Indiana man accused of killing a father and daughter.
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Conour appeal focuses on defense withdrawal, sentencing terms

December 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
Convicted fraudster and ex-attorney William Conour’s appeal of his conviction and 10-year sentence on a federal wire fraud charge argues the court failed to investigate his defense counsel’s withdrawal. His appeal also claims that the court wrongly imposed “suspicionless” searches and other conditions of supervised release following his imprisonment.
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NDLS loan repayment program growing in dollars and applications

October 20, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Notre Dame Law School’s program to assist its graduates who pursue careers in the public service sector has reached the $1 million milestone.
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Judge pushes for full-time public defender office

October 20, 2014
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana judge says his county needs a full-time public defender office to ensure those who can't afford attorneys receive strong legal representation.
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