St. Joseph County

Justices rule man not disenfranchised under the Infamous Crimes Clause

December 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court hesitantly answered Thursday a certified question from the federal court as to whether misdemeanor battery is an “infamous crime” under Article II, Section 8 of the Indiana Constitution.
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New St. Joe magistrate judge to begin duties Jan. 2

December 14, 2011
IL Staff
Elizabeth C. Hurley has been selected as the newest magistrate judge in St. Joseph Circuit Court. She replaces Magistrate Judge David T. Ready, who is retiring from the bench.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling against woman kicked out of public housing

December 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who challenged the Housing Authority of South Bend’s decision to terminate her lease for federally subsidized public housing because of criminal activity lost her appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Magistrate applicants sought

November 22, 2011
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Court Judge Michael Gotsch is seeking applicants for the position of magistrate judge.
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Supreme Court to hold arguments in St. Joseph County

November 11, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will visit Indiana University South Bend and Notre Dame Law School Monday to hear arguments in two cases, including one in which a teen was sentenced to life without parole for murdering his brother.
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Canines in courtRestricted Content

October 12, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Advocates say dogs can help minimize stress for victims.
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'Shadow' jurors outside the boxRestricted Content

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The litigation technique is rare in Indiana.
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Indiana courts contemplate response to potential juror apathyRestricted Content

August 17, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Kelly Scanlan can’t understand why people don’t want to serve on juries or why some don’t even respond to questionnaires and show up when called.
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AG: DCS out-of-state placements shouldn’t be reviewable by courts

August 4, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Supreme Court decision upholding three statutes relating to juvenile judges’ authority on out-of-state placement cases created what the state attorney general’s office calls too much confusion, and the justices should revisit the ruling it made a little more than a month ago.
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South Bend attorney pleads guilty to fraud charges

August 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A northern Indiana attorney accused of aiding and abetting mail and wire fraud has pleaded guilty to all 13 counts listed in an information filed Monday.
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Justices: Child placement statutes are constitutional

June 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In a much-anticipated ruling, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled three statutes relating to juvenile judges’ authority on out-of-state placement cases are constitutional and that the Department of Child Services has statutory power to consider costs when considering those placements.
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Early intervention for juvenilesRestricted Content

June 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A new law, along with pilot programs, encourage alternatives to keep kids out of courts.
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Misdemeanant challenges voting lockoutRestricted Content

March 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When a former town council member in northern Indiana was sentenced to county jail for two months on a misdemeanor battery conviction, he didn’t realize that experience would take away his right to vote.
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Bar Crawl - 3/2/11

March 2, 2011
IL Staff

ISBA and AG team up for food drive; CLE focuses on stress and social media

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Justices accept certified question on misdemeanor voting

February 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has taken a question proposed by a federal court in a suit challenging the law that prevents voting by people with misdemeanor convictions.
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Hammond District court closed Thursday

February 3, 2011
IL Staff
The Clerk’s Office and Hammond District Court in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana remain closed Thursday due to weather conditions.
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Magistrate judge up for reappointment

January 20, 2011
IL Staff
The term of Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana will expire this year and the District Court is seeking comment on whether the magistrate judge should be reappointed.
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Suddenly soloRestricted Content

January 19, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
At the 2010 Indiana State Bar Association Solo and Small Firm Conference in June, then-ISBA president Roderick Morgan welcomed those in attendance, particularly those who found themselves to be “suddenly solo.” While he may not be the first to use the phrase, a number of attorneys have found themselves either making that decision or having it made for them in the last couple years.
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Justices set man's execution date

January 12, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered the man convicted of killing his wife, her ex-husband, and her son be put to death in April.
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Justices split over IHSAA athlete eligibility ruling

December 20, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana’s justices couldn’t agree on whether they should even rule on a case involving an athlete’s eligibility in high school when the girl is now playing college basketball.
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In case of dishonest lawyers

November 24, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nearly 50-year-old Indiana State Bar Association Clients’ Financial Assistance Fund has seen an unprecedented number of claims against a single attorney.
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All judges up for retention to stay on bench

November 3, 2010
IL Staff
The 11 judges up for retention this year – including five on the Indiana Court of Appeals – will remain on the bench.
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New approach to foreclosure prevention successful

September 15, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Courts around the state have experienced more success with a new approach to settlement conferences utilizing facilitators – who interact directly with borrowers and lenders – than past attempts to find alternatives to foreclosures.
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Legal community helps prosecutor

August 18, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Following a car accident in early June, a St. Joseph County deputy prosecutor’s life was dramatically changed.
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1-year limit toll not extended by appeal

July 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The one-year limit to file a motion for relief from judgment under Indiana Trial Rule 60(B) is not from the time an appeals court rules on the matter, but must be made within one year after the trial court enters its order, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today in an issue of first impression.
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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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