Pulaski County

Deputy prosecutor appointed to Pulaski bench

July 19, 2017
IL Staff
Pulaski County chief deputy prosecutor Crystal A. Brucker Kocher has been appointed by Gov. Eric Holcomb to fill a vacancy on the Superior Court bench in the northern Indiana courthouse in Winamac.
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State’s $25 million payout in DCS abuses case is the largest ever of its kind

June 14, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indiana attorney general and Department of Child Services’ decision to settle a lawsuit brought by a wrongly prosecuted family yielded the largest payment of its type in state history.
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State agrees to pay family $25M to settle DCS case

May 25, 2017
Dave Stafford
Indiana will pay $25 million to conclude a northern Indiana family’s decade-long legal fight to clear their names after the Department of Child Services falsely prosecuted them for their daughter’s death.
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Senior judge appointed part time to Pulaski Superior Court

May 19, 2017
IL Staff
A Pulaski County senior judge has been appointed to replace a former Superior Court judge in the county on a part-time basis as the search for the judge’s permanent replacement continues.
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2 northern Indiana law firms rebuilding after fires

March 10, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Two northern Indiana law firms were destroyed by separate fires this past week, forcing attorneys to scramble to set up new offices and continue to serve clients.
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9 charged after toddler found locked inside box

December 19, 2016
 Associated Press
Authorities in northern Indiana have charged three people with neglect after a 3-year-old girl was found locked inside a wooden box for extended periods of time.
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State appealing $31M judgment against DCS workers

November 1, 2016
IL Staff
The state of Indiana is asking the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the $31 million jury verdict awarded to a Pulaski County family after they sued Department of Child Services workers and others for the wrongful removal of their children and prosecution of the parents.
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Judge: State must reply to lawyers seeking fees of $2.8M in DCS case

October 7, 2016
Dave Stafford
A judge has ordered the state to reply to the petition of four lawyers for fees of $2.8 million for winning a $31 million judgment for a northern Indiana family victimized by the state Department of Child Services.
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Judge denies state bid to reduce $31 million award against DCS

September 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Friday rejected the state of Indiana’s motion to reduce a jury’s $31 million award last year against Department of Child Services workers and a state police officer for the wrongful removal of a couple’s children and prosecution of their parents.
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Justices: Couple not entitled to prescriptive easement

February 16, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed the holding of a trial court that a couple should receive a prescriptive easement for the use of their outbuildings that encroached onto a strip of land purchased at a tax sale.
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13 Indiana counties to join Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative

January 27, 2016
IL Staff
Thirteen counties will join Indiana’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative this year, which will include 32 counties after the expansion is complete.
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DCS 'became the abusers'

October 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A jury has awarded $31.3 million in an "arbitrary and capricious" case against parents in their child's death.
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Federal jury rules against DCS, awards family $31.3 million

October 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
The family of a 14-year-old Pulaski County girl who died as a result of prescription error has been awarded $31.3 million in a judgment against state agents who wrongly removed the couple’s children from their home and prosecuted the parents for their daughter’s death.
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Authorities arrest Pulaski County deputy coroner

August 21, 2015
 Associated Press
Authorities in Pulaski County have arrested and charged a chief deputy coroner on preliminary charges of theft and official misconduct.
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Appeals court partially reinstates colonoscopy malpractice claim

October 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A northern Indiana court inappropriately granted summary judgment in favor of a doctor and medical practice defending a suit brought by a patient who claimed negligence after a colonoscopy, a divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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House, Senate override veto of HEA 1546

June 12, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana legislators gathered Wednesday on the first regular technical session of the 118th General Assembly to vote on whether to override Gov. Mike Pence’s veto of House Enrolled Act 1546, a bill concerning tax administration matters. Pence vetoed the bill over concerns about retroactive approval of taxes collected in Jackson and Pulaski counties.
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Former senior judge faces disciplinary proceedings

February 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
A former senior judge in northern Indiana faces disciplinary action for charges that she had a sexual relationship with a client to whom she was appointed as a public defender.
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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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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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