St. Joseph County

COA reverses summary judgment for NCAA on negligence claim

May 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who was injured at a fencing event at the University of Notre Dame should have been granted more time to present relevant materials in opposition to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s motion for summary judgment on her negligence claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Man gets 90 years for murder of girlfriend

May 14, 2013
IL Staff
St. Joseph Superior Judge Jerome Frese sentenced a South Bend man to 90 years for murdering his girlfriend in October 2009. This is the second time Brice Webb has been convicted and sentenced for Cherlyn Reyes’ death.
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COA: Glove not enough to convict man of burglary

April 25, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Worried that upholding a man’s conviction based solely on DNA presence on a glove found at a crime scene would create a precedent for criminals to frame someone else, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a burglary conviction out of St. Joseph County. 
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Humvee maker wins $277M

April 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
A defense subcontractor marked up kits, resulting in millions of dollars in armor overcharges.
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Man found guilty again in South Bend murder

April 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A St. Joseph County man who was convicted of killing his girlfriend – but later had the conviction overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court – was found guilty again April 12 of murder.
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COA affirms father’s convictions stemming from daughter’s injuries

April 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a St. Joseph County man’s claims that the trial court abused its discretion regarding the admission and exclusion of certain evidence at his jury trial for charges related to injuries to his infant daughter.
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Governor appoints 2 to St. Joseph Superior bench

April 10, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has made his first two judicial appointments, naming Elizabeth C. Hurley and Steven L. Hostetler to the St. Joseph Superior bench to replace two judges retiring this year.
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Gammage appointed magistrate in St. Joseph Circuit Court

April 4, 2013
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael Gotsch announced Wednesday that Andre B. Gammage will replace Elizabeth C. Hurley as magistrate judge on the court. Hurley was recently appointed to the St. Joseph Superior bench by Gov. Mike Pence.
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Pence appoints Hostetler to St. Joseph bench

March 28, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced Thursday that he has selected Steven L. Hostetler to replace St. Joseph Superior Chief Judge Michael P. Scopelitis when he retires June 3.
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Pence gets finalist list for St. Joe judgeship

March 27, 2013
IL Staff
A letter containing the names of the five finalists vying to succeed St. Joseph Superior Judge Michael P. Scopelitis has been delivered to Gov. Mike Pence. Scopelitis will retire in June. The list was tweaked after finalist Elizabeth Hurley was appointed to fill another pending vacancy on the court.
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Pence appoints Hurley to St. Joseph bench

March 25, 2013
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence on Monday made his first appointment to the judiciary, announcing Elizabeth C. Hurley will fill a vacancy when St. Joseph Superior Judge Roland W. Chamblee retires March 31.
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5 finalists named for St. Joseph judgeship

March 19, 2013
IL Staff
The St. Joseph County Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission has selected the five finalists to fill an upcoming vacancy on the court when Chief Judge Michael P. Scopelitis retires in June.
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Interviews Monday for St. Joseph judicial opening

March 15, 2013
IL Staff
The St. Joseph Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission meets Monday to conduct interviews of applicants to fill a vacancy on the court due to Judge Michael P. Scopelitis’ retirement.
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Applications open for St. Joseph judgeship

February 11, 2013
IL Staff
Applications are being accepted for a forthcoming vacancy on the St. Joseph Superior Court, the Indiana Supreme Court has announced.
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Mishawaka man sues Walgreens over alleged violation of 'guns in workplace' laws

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A former Walgreens store employee plans to file a lawsuit Thursday in St. Joseph County alleging the company fired him for lawfully carrying his gun into another Walgreens location where his wife worked.
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Northern Indiana judges help create state's mock trial tradition

January 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Standing between two judges offering different opinions on how to proceed is not a place many attorneys would want to be. However, a group of students at Adams High School in South Bend often found themselves with opposing pieces of advice from the jurists. Two sets of instructions, two judges and no chance for a recess.
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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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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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