St. Joseph County

Finalists selected for St. Joseph Court

January 29, 2013
IL Staff
Two attorneys in private practice and three public servants are finalists for an upcoming vacancy in St. Joseph Superior Court.
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13 interviewing for St. Joseph judicial vacancy

January 25, 2013
IL Staff
Thirteen candidates for a judgeship in South Bend are being interviewed Friday by the St. Joseph County Judicial Nominating Commission. The panel this evening will narrow the field of candidates to fill a St. Joseph Superior Court vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Roland W. Chamblee Jr.
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COA orders court to determine whether driver fired for just cause

January 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday that a St. Joseph Circuit judge erred by granting summary judgment in favor of a school corporation instead of making an independent determination of whether a school bus driver was discharged for just cause.
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Judge gets private reprimand

January 4, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Four months after the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission filed charges against St. Joseph Probate Judge Peter Nemeth, the JQC and the judge have agreed to a private reprimand.
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Applications being accepted for St. Joseph Superior Court

December 19, 2012
IL Staff
Those interested in joining the St. Joseph Superior bench have until Jan. 18 to apply to the court’s nominating commission. The applicant chosen will replace Judge Roland Chamblee Jr., who is retiring in March.
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COA affirms $55k judgment for couple who purchased wind turbine

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that a St. Joseph Superior judge applied the correct legal standard in determining that a company breached a contract with a couple that purchased a wind turbine that failed to live up to the company’s claims.
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Lawsuits test gun restrictions at polling places, local regulations

September 12, 2012
Dave Stafford
Can you carry a gun to the ballot box? With a few narrow exceptions, the answer appears to be yes. A lawsuit filed last month in St. Joseph Superior Court could clarify further whether a 2011 law that voids local firearm regulations would make efforts to keep guns out of voting precincts illegal.
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Court of Appeals rejects typo argument in reversing a sentence for child molestation

September 11, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In a split ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a South Bend man’s conviction of child molestation but rejected the state’s claim that wording on a supplemental sentencing order was a scrivener’s error.
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Massa appointed chair of St. Joe judicial nominating commission

August 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson has appointed Justice Mark Massa chairman of the St. Joseph Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission. Massa is filling the vacancy left by former Justice Frank Sullivan, who recently left the bench to teach.
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JQC files charge against St. Joseph Judge Peter Nemeth

August 14, 2012
IL Staff
St. Joseph Probate Judge Peter Nemeth’s comments in denying an interpreter for an 18-year-old deaf person who was the subject of a guardianship proceeding have resulted in disciplinary charges filed by the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission.
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St. Joseph County magistrate receives public admonition

July 5, 2012
Kelly Lucas
St. Joseph Probate Magistrate Barbara Johnston received a public admonition Thursday stemming from an ex parte ruling she made in 2011 which denied the father due process in a custody hearing.
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Appeals court affirms admission of victim video in molestation trial

June 7, 2012
Dave Stafford
St. Joseph Probate Court did not err when it allowed videotaped evidence of a child molesting victim to be presented at the fact-finding hearing of a minor who subsequently was placed at the Indiana Boys School.
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Disbarred attorney accused of forgery

May 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Rodney P. Sniadecki, a sole practitioner in South Bend who was disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court in 2010, has been indicted on three counts of forgery.
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South Bend probate judge candidate forum

April 16, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The six candidates for Probate Court in St. Joseph County will participate in a forum from 3 to 4 p.m. April 28 at Indiana University South Bend.
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4 charged after investigation of ballot petition case

April 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Four people in St. Joseph County have been charged following an investigation into whether signatures were forged on an election ballot petition for president in the 2008 Indiana primary election. A special prosecutor has been assigned to the cases.
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Confidentiality issues raised

March 28, 2012
Michael Hoskins
St. Joseph County case creates concern about protecting callers’ identities on child abuse claims.
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7th Circuit dismisses South Bend's appeal

February 7, 2012
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was presented a novel jurisdictional issue Tuesday: whether a municipal land use case can come within the exception to the doctrine of mootness for cases that are capable of repetition yet elude review.
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Attorney survey on Marion County judiciary begins

January 9, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Eighteen Marion County judges will be on the ballot in the May 2012 primary. The Indianapolis Bar Association is asking attorneys to voice their opinions about those jurists.
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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 court

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

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The litigation technique is rare in Indiana.
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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