St. Joseph County

Patel decision restricts feticide prosecutions

August 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals holds the Legislature didn’t intend feticide charges for pregnant women.
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Boyfriend gets 55 years for killing woman as kids watched

July 26, 2016
 Associated Press
A judge has sentenced a northern Indiana man to 55 years in prison for fatally shooting his girlfriend as her three children watched.
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Supreme Court hears arguments in threat case

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday morning on whether to grant transfer in a case on the question of whether an arrestee's statement could be considered a true threat because there is no evidence that the officer felt threatened by it.
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Pence picks Taft attorney as next Supreme Court justice

May 9, 2016
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence has selected Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP partner Geoffrey Slaughter as Indiana's 109th justice. Pence made the announcement at 1 p.m. Monday from his office in the Statehouse.
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St. Joe Circuit judge named as new federal magistrate

April 27, 2016
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael G. Gotsch is moving from one court to another this year. The judge, who decided not to run for re-election, has been selected to serve as a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Judge accepts 3rd plea deal in Granger party overdose case

April 14, 2016
 Associated Press
A South Bend judge has accepted a third plea agreement for a teenager accused of bringing drugs to a party that two brothers attended before dying of overdoses.
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Jury finds South Bend teen convicted of murder had gang ties

April 4, 2016
 Associated Press
South Bend jury finds teenager convicted of murder should have sentence enhanced for criminal gang activity.
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Jury convicts 7th person in fatal shooting of South Bend boy

April 1, 2016
 Associated Press
Jurors have convicted a seventh person of involvement with gunfire during a gang fight that resulted in a South Bend toddler being fatally wounded by a stray bullet.
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ADA claims against St. Joseph County courts fail in 7th Circuit

March 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment for the St. Joseph County court system in a case involving accessibility of the St. Joseph County Courthouse and the Mishawaka County Services Building. The court said many of the plaintiffs’ claims lack standing, while others failed to raise genuine disputes of material fact.
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Ruling: Simon must face anti-trust suit from competitor

March 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group must face an anti-trust lawsuit from a competitor that developed a northern Indiana shopping center near a Simon mall, a federal judge has ruled.
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Pretrial release project to test assessment tool

January 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court is preparing to test the viability of allowing certain offenders to be released pretrial without having to pay a bail.
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Gotsch will not seek third term as St. Joe Circuit judge

January 6, 2016
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael G. Gotsch announced Tuesday that he will not seek election for a third term in 2016.
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Northern Indiana woman gets probation for home explosion

January 6, 2016
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana woman whom authorities say caused an explosion that heavily damaged her house has been sentenced to nine years on probation after pleading guilty but mentally ill to three counts of arson resulting in bodily injury.
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Carrying on an old family tradition

December 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
Cousins marking 25 years as lawyers are among quartet of Zappias practicing in St. Joseph County.
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6 counties next in line for trial court e-filing

December 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Six Indiana counties — Clark, Harrison, Henry, St. Joseph, Shelby and Wells — will be joining Hamilton County in implementing e-filing in the trial courts during the first half of 2016, with more to come later.
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5 finalists named for St. Joseph judicial position

December 23, 2015
IL Staff
The St. Joseph County Nominating Commission announced Tuesday the five finalists to fill the upcoming vacancy on the Superior Court due to Judge Jerome Frese’s pending retirement.
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Prosecutor seeks to dismiss charge against abortion doctor

December 2, 2015
 Associated Press

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday the doctor fulfilled terms of a pretrial diversion program he entered after being charged last year with failing to report an abortion performed at the Women's Pavilion on a 13-year-old in 2013.

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Vacancy opens up on St. Joseph County bench

November 20, 2015
IL Staff
St. Joseph Superior Judge Jerome Frese is retiring early next year, opening up a spot on the bench. The St. Joseph County Judicial Nominating Commission will hold interviews with candidates in late December.
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Judge calls out DLGF ‘infirmities’ in ruling for township, fire district

November 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana Tax Court Judge Martha Blood Wentworth had a few choice words for the Department of Local Government Finance in finding the state hadn’t answered the key question in a township’s tax appeal.
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Jail conditions ordered eased for Indy blast convict

August 6, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge in South Bend has ordered a northern Indiana jail to ease conditions for an Indianapolis man awaiting sentencing on charges stemming from a deadly house explosion.
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Petition: Jail mistreats Indianapolis house blast convict

August 5, 2015
 Associated Press
Attorneys for an Indianapolis man awaiting sentencing on charges stemming from a deadly house explosion allege he's being mistreated in a South Bend jail.
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St. Joe County to pay $270K for not holding prompt hearings

August 5, 2015
 Associated Press
St. Joseph County in northern Indiana has agreed to pay $270,000 to settle a federal class-action lawsuit that accuses the county of failing to provide those arrested with probable cause hearings within 48 hours, the South Bend Tribune reported.
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Jury hears closing statements on man accused in home blast

July 13, 2015
 Associated Press
Jurors have heard closing statements from the state and defense in the trial of a man accused of planning a 2012 home explosion that gutted an Indianapolis subdivision and killed a neighboring couple.
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Defense calls 1 witness in Indianapolis home explosion trial

July 10, 2015
 Associated Press
More than 160 witnesses testified for the prosecution in the month-long trial of a man accused of planning a home explosion that gutted an Indianapolis subdivision in 2012, killing two neighbors.
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Judge gives 35-year term in South Bend toddler's killing

July 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana judge has sentenced a 20-year-old man to 35 years in prison in the 2014 shooting death of a South Bend toddler.
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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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