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 concernRestricted Content

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. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  2. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  3. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  4. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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