St. Joseph County

St. Joseph County plans events to mark passage of crime victims’ legislation

April 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The 2014 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, a law that provides support services and compensation for crime victims.
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COA tackles 2 issues of first impression

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed two new issues in a child solicitation and prostitution case regarding authenticating emails and text messages and whether the defendant’s actions actually constituted a crime.
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Judges split over ruling in failed adoption case

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday reversed summary judgment in favor of the facilitator of an adoption on a negligence claim brought by the adoptive parents after the baby’s biological father sought and was awarded custody.
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Magistrate, expungement bills pass committee

January 17, 2014
IL Staff
Legislation updating Indiana’s expungement law – including language specifying where a petition for expungement must be filed – is now eligible for consideration by the full House. The expungement bill is one of several that moved out of committee Thursday.
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Humvee maker, defense giant BAE wrangle over $277M judgment

December 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
A dispute over the true cost of Humvee body armor rushed to the battlefield in the deadliest days of the Iraq war has resulted in a court battle that includes suggestions that one of the world’s top defense contractors may have serious business problems as it argues against posting full security for a $277 million judgment.
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Justices reverse custody modification but order status quo to continue, for now

November 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The laws in place to protect children caught in the middle of a custody battle were ignored by a St. Joseph Superior Court, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, pointing to a change in custody despite a lack of a proper evidentiary hearing.
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Defense firm appeals $277M verdict for Humvee maker

October 21, 2013
Dave Stafford
A defense contractor is appealing an Indiana judge’s order that it pay $277 million to the Mishawaka-based manufacturer of Army Humvee military vehicles. The contractor overcharged for armor kits to retrofit the vehicles during the bloodiest days of the Iraq war, the judge ruled.
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South Bend attorney to be sentenced in December on forgery convictions

October 11, 2013
IL Staff
A disbarred sole practitioner from South Bend who was found guilty in September on three counts of forgery will be sentenced Dec. 11 in St. Joseph County.
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‘Notre Dame 88’ lawyer cleared in discipline case

October 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
An attorney who argued that a judge’s bias warranted her recusal from a case involving pro-life students arrested for protesting the announcement of President Barack Obama’s appearance at the University of Notre Dame was cleared of disciplinary charges Tuesday.
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Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County awarded grant to expand project

August 28, 2013
IL Staff
The Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County has been awarded a two-year grant to support its work with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
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Court upholds Sturgis’ conviction for murder of son

June 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
St. Joseph County resident Jerry L. Sturgis Sr. lost his appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday that challenged convictions stemming from the beatings and abuse of three of his children, leading to the death of his 10-year-old son in 2011.
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Deputy prosecutor fired for errors in handling protective order violation

June 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The employment of an unnamed St. Joseph County deputy prosecutor has been terminated after deciding not to prosecute a man following his May arrest for violating a protective order. Several days later, that man allegedly stabbed and killed his young daughter.
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COA reverses summary judgment for NCAA on negligence claim

May 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who was injured at a fencing event at the University of Notre Dame should have been granted more time to present relevant materials in opposition to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s motion for summary judgment on her negligence claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Man gets 90 years for murder of girlfriend

May 14, 2013
IL Staff
St. Joseph Superior Judge Jerome Frese sentenced a South Bend man to 90 years for murdering his girlfriend in October 2009. This is the second time Brice Webb has been convicted and sentenced for Cherlyn Reyes’ death.
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COA: Glove not enough to convict man of burglary

April 25, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Worried that upholding a man’s conviction based solely on DNA presence on a glove found at a crime scene would create a precedent for criminals to frame someone else, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a burglary conviction out of St. Joseph County. 
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Humvee maker wins $277M

April 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
A defense subcontractor marked up kits, resulting in millions of dollars in armor overcharges.
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Man found guilty again in South Bend murder

April 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A St. Joseph County man who was convicted of killing his girlfriend – but later had the conviction overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court – was found guilty again April 12 of murder.
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COA affirms father’s convictions stemming from daughter’s injuries

April 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a St. Joseph County man’s claims that the trial court abused its discretion regarding the admission and exclusion of certain evidence at his jury trial for charges related to injuries to his infant daughter.
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Governor appoints 2 to St. Joseph Superior bench

April 10, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has made his first two judicial appointments, naming Elizabeth C. Hurley and Steven L. Hostetler to the St. Joseph Superior bench to replace two judges retiring this year.
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Gammage appointed magistrate in St. Joseph Circuit Court

April 4, 2013
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael Gotsch announced Wednesday that Andre B. Gammage will replace Elizabeth C. Hurley as magistrate judge on the court. Hurley was recently appointed to the St. Joseph Superior bench by Gov. Mike Pence.
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Pence appoints Hostetler to St. Joseph bench

March 28, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced Thursday that he has selected Steven L. Hostetler to replace St. Joseph Superior Chief Judge Michael P. Scopelitis when he retires June 3.
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Pence gets finalist list for St. Joe judgeship

March 27, 2013
IL Staff
A letter containing the names of the five finalists vying to succeed St. Joseph Superior Judge Michael P. Scopelitis has been delivered to Gov. Mike Pence. Scopelitis will retire in June. The list was tweaked after finalist Elizabeth Hurley was appointed to fill another pending vacancy on the court.
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Pence appoints Hurley to St. Joseph bench

March 25, 2013
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence on Monday made his first appointment to the judiciary, announcing Elizabeth C. Hurley will fill a vacancy when St. Joseph Superior Judge Roland W. Chamblee retires March 31.
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5 finalists named for St. Joseph judgeship

March 19, 2013
IL Staff
The St. Joseph County Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission has selected the five finalists to fill an upcoming vacancy on the court when Chief Judge Michael P. Scopelitis retires in June.
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Interviews Monday for St. Joseph judicial opening

March 15, 2013
IL Staff
The St. Joseph Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission meets Monday to conduct interviews of applicants to fill a vacancy on the court due to Judge Michael P. Scopelitis’ retirement.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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