St. Joseph County

COA: Clinics that gave tainted steroid must face suit

November 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
After a widespread fungal meningitis outbreak killed nearly a dozen Hoosiers, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Monday that the providers who injected the injured parties with a contaminated steroid that was purchased from a third party can be found to be negligent under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act.
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COA orders better findings of fact in parental rights case

October 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected Thursday a trial court order terminating a St. Joseph County woman’s parental rights to her daughter and instead ordered the trial court to present more specific findings of fact to support the termination.
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Prosecutor weighs retrial in Indiana triple-murder case

September 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana prosecutor plans to speak to relatives of three people slain in 1998 and review evidence before deciding if he'll retry a man whose second triple-murder conviction was thrown out last week, his office said Monday.
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Bail reforms encourage risk assessments in pretrial release decisions

September 7, 2016
IL Staff
As part of an effort to reform the state’s bail system and reduce recidivism rates, the Indiana Supreme Court has adopted a new criminal rule to encourage the prompt release of arrestees who do not pose a significant threat to public safety.
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Patel leaves prison after feticide conviction overturned

September 1, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana woman whose feticide conviction for a self-induced abortion was overturned has been released from prison after a judge said she should be freed immediately.
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Patel to be released from prison after resentencing on lesser charge

August 31, 2016
IL Staff
The Granger woman whose feticide conviction was overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals last month is now a free woman.
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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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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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