Southern Indiana

Economic woes hitting state's public defense

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Years ago, those working in the Porter County Public Defender Office reported seeing a bright blue Post-it note tagged to their caseload reports that said, “HELP!” in huge hand-written print. That was a common occurrence at a time when the local public defender’s office faced a critical overload point because of skyrocketing caseloads and too few attorneys.
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Jefferson County celebrates reopening of courthouse

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A fire in May 2009 displaced the courts and government offices. After more than two years, they were able to move back into the courthouse.
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COA: Insurance policy covers deputy killed while directing traffic

August 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy that was killed while directing traffic was using her car at the time of the accident and was entitled to coverage under the county’s policy under the uninsured/underinsured motorist endorsement, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Lawyer jailed on meth charges

August 17, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
A Southern Indiana attorney is in Harrison County Jail on drug charges.
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Rising CHINS cases cause concern

August 17, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Southern Indiana counties struggle with increase in child abuse cases.
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Judge reduces death sentences to life without parole

August 15, 2011
Michael Hoskins
If he’d had the ability more than three years ago to factor in a jury’s deadlocked view on the death penalty, a southern Indiana judge says he would have imposed life without parole rather than the death penalty for a man convicted of triple murder.
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Judges won’t revisit associational standing issue on same case

August 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Finding it had already ruled on an associational standing question six years ago in the same case, the Indiana Court of Appeals has denied an electric utility's attempt to re-litigate that issue based on the law-of-the-case doctrine.
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COA: Suit against sewer district isn’t a public lawsuit

August 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Spencer Circuit Court erred in finding a lawsuit filed by property owners challenging the requirement they connect to a new sewer system is a public lawsuit and the property owners must pay $9 million in bond to proceed with the suit, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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COA divided on whether 'bully' comments require new trial

August 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split in affirming a man’s drunk-driving conviction, with the dissenting judge finding the prosecutor’s questions to the jury and repeated reference to the defendant as a bully at trial made a fair trial impossible.
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Court reverses suspension of mother's parenting time

July 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the modification of a mother’s parenting time to end any visitation with her autistic son because the father didn’t present evidence justifying terminating the parenting time.
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Indiana securities attorney dies

July 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Prominent Indiana trial attorney Thomas A. Hargett, who obtained a $262 million jury verdict against a securities company nearly a decade ago, died last week after battling cancer.
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Southern District magistrate up for reappointment

June 22, 2011
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is seeking comment as to whether Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann Jr. should be recommended for reappointment. The current term of Magistrate Hussmann, who works in the Evansville Division, expires April 3, 2012.
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Supreme Court aligns with trial court in dog-attack case

June 21, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed a trial court judge’s finding that the city of Evansville and its animal control division are not liable in a dog attack that seriously injured a boy.
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Clark judges sue over budget cuts

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Clark Circuit and Superior judges have filed lawsuits against county officials over proposed budget cuts, restarting the kind of litigation that four years ago led to the Indiana Supreme Court’s urging that trial judges work with and share in the financial decision-making process rather than resorting to judicial mandates.
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Poseyville middle school students to compete in national civics event

May 23, 2011
IL Staff
Middle school students from North Posey Junior High School will compete in the National Project Citizen Showcase in August, after winning the state competition on May 17.
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ISBA conference registration deadline extended

May 20, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association has extended the early bird registration deadline for its Solo & Small Firm Conference to May 23.
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COA: Tractor sale contract not enforceable

May 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals says it’s against public policy to uphold any civil contract that’s based on an illegal action, and so the court says it won’t create a rule allowing that transaction agreement to be enforced.
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Perry County only preferred venue for wage suit

May 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue with no clear precedent regarding statutory interpretation with respect to the Wage Claims Act, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a trial court didn’t err in concluding Perry County was the proper venue for a suit filed by the Commissioner of Labor under the act.
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Justices divided on whether case should be before Tax Court

May 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court split Thursday on whether the attorney general’s attempt to recover an erroneously issued “tax refund” to a company should proceed in state court or in the Indiana Tax Court.
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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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Evansville bar names Gresham award winner

May 4, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Evansville Bar Association presented the James Bethel Gresham Freedom Award to Vanderburgh Circuit Judge Carl A. Heldt on April 29 at its annual Law Day dinner.
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Pinched nerve causes chief justice to miss arguments, Evansville event

May 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard is dealing with a painful pinched nerve in his neck but is working on managing the pain and has not been hospitalized as a result of the condition, said Supreme Court Public Information Officer Kathryn Dolan.
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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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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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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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