St. Joseph County

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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Justices rule on judicial mandate case

June 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In its first case since the state amended its rules last year on how judicial mandates are handled, the Indiana Supreme Court has today issued a decision about a St. Joseph Superior judge’s mandate for the county to pay for multiple items he considered necessary for running the local juvenile justice system.
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SCOTUS won't take Indiana lab tech case

June 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court won’t take a case from the Indiana Supreme Court, which decided last year that it did not violate a man’s Sixth Amendment rights for a lab technician who’d processed DNA evidence to not testify at trial.
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Bar associations statewide mark Law Day

May 12, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
In April and early May, bar associations around the state and the Indiana Supreme Court celebrated Law Day, which is officially May 1, according to the American Bar Association.
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Court pilot programs boost foreclosure conferencesRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Foreclosure rates have remained at record highs for Indiana the past few years, and a court program to help homeowners hasn't been as successful as hoped. That's now changing.
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COA sets standard in parental rights cases

March 31, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In addressing a statutory inconsistency on parental rights terminations, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that trial judges must offer findings of fact in those types of cases just as they're required to by law for children in need of services cases and grandparent visitation matters.
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Legislature's end suspenseful for legal community

March 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
As the Indiana General Assembly got down to its final hours in a short-session, significant changes for the Hoosier legal community were on the table to possibly increase the number of appellate judges, change how one county chooses its trial judges, and impact how juveniles can be placed outside the state.
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Legislators revisit vetoed merit-selection measure

March 12, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In the final days of the Indiana General Assembly session, as lawmakers pushed to finish and put final touches on the end-of-term business, a 2009 measure that divided the Hoosier legal community came back into play.
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Police animal amendment moves to full House

February 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The proposed amendment making it a Class D felony for someone who kills a police animal while driving drunk has found a home in legislation.
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AG files suit to recover taxpayer money

February 18, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Attorney General has filed a complaint in St. Joseph Circuit Court to recover public money that the former Lakeville clerk-treasurer allegedly spent on personal items like movie rentals and satellite television.
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Police deaths, injury inspire late legislation

February 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Although the deadline has passed to introduce new legislation, St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak has called on legislators to find current bills that will allow amendments to statute in response to two separate car accidents involving police officers.
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Suit claims courthouse violates ADA

January 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Four defendants in cases pending before the St. Joseph Superior Court have filed a lawsuit claiming that county's courthouse is inaccessible for people with disabilities
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Judge wins in mandate action

October 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A special judge has ruled in favor of St. Joseph Probate Judge Peter Nemeth, who'd issued a judicial mandate earlier this year directing county officials to transfer money for pay raises and improvements for the juvenile justice center.
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Former St. Joseph Superior judge dies

October 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Judge William T. Means, a former judge on the St. Joseph Superior Court for more than two decades, died Oct. 21 at the age 80.
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St. Joseph Bar evaluates judges

October 22, 2009
IL Staff
The St. Joseph County Bar Association has released the results of its 2009 survey evaluating Superior Court judges. This is the second time the bar association has completed and published this survey.
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Court: No rehearing based on another decision

October 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court granted a petition for rehearing to clarify its ruling that a Hamilton County property qualified for a charitable/religious exemption. The Tax Court also denied rehearing a St. Joseph County case that claimed the decision in that case should be reconsidered based on the original ruling in the Hamilton County case.
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Town court judge publicly admonished

June 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications issued a public admonition of the Walkerton Town Court judge today for employing his wife as court clerk for more than 10 years and for participating in an ex parte conversation with a defendant about her traffic infractions.
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Judicial merit-selection override a possibility

May 14, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The state's top executive has rejected the idea of scrapping merit selection in St. Joseph County, but it remains unclear whether lawmakers will attempt to override that veto during a special session.
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Governor gets judicial merit-selection bill

May 6, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels received today legislation that, if signed, would toss out merit selection and retention of St. Joseph Superior judges and also create a new three-judge panel for the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Governor likely to soon get St. Joe judges bill

April 29, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels will likely receive legislation today aimed primarily at scrapping judicial merit selection in St. Joseph County and creating a new Indiana Court of Appeals panel starting 2011.
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UPDATE: Committee tweaking St. Joe judges bill

April 23, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A legislative conference committee is debating what changes might be possible for a bill aimed at scrapping merit selection for St. Joseph Superior judges.
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Former justice discusses merit selection

April 22, 2009
Michael Hoskins
During a visit to South Bend today, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor pushed a message that merit selection is the best way to ensure an independent judiciary, though her words come at a time when state lawmakers are close to scrapping that very system in the county she visited.
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Senate OKs COA panel, St. Joe judge elections

April 15, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The full Senate voted today in support of legislation scrapping the St. Joseph Superior judge merit-selection system for judicial elections, and also creating a new panel for the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Senate gets St. Joe judges bill, with twist

April 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The full Indiana Senate will consider in the next week whether St. Joseph Superior judges should be elected or merit-selected and retained by voters. A Senate committee wants the full legislative body to consider that issue, but with a twist: An amendment has been attached to the controversial House Bill 1491.
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  1. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  2. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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  4. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  5. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

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