State agencies

Debating the merits of mandatory seat belts on school buses

March 28, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in larger buses, the spacing and height of the seats offer crash protection for children through “compartmentalization.” But opinions remain divided about whether compartmentalization does enough to protect students and whether school bus seat belts should be required by law.
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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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Judges rule on Evansville environmental coverage case

March 23, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has determined a Marion County judge properly granted summary judgment in favor of a group of insurance companies because the city of Evansville was seeking coverage for projects aimed at preventing future sewer discharges, rather than remediating past discharges, which wouldn’t be covered by the policies.
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Court rules FSSA notices are unconstitutional

March 22, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held that the notices sent by the state Family and Social Services Administration to inform applicants they were denied Medicaid, food stamps, or family assistance benefits are unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment’s due process clause because they do not sufficiently explain the reasons for being denied.
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COA affirms ruling in favor of mining company, DNR

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the decision to release a surface mining reclamation bond obtained by a mining company, finding the reclamation requirements of the Indiana Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act have been satisfied.
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Justices affirm ruling in dispute between health care facility and FSSA

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed the outcome of a case between Family and Social Services Administration and a decertified intermediate care facility, in which the net result was a wash for both sides.
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State senator appointed secretary of state

March 19, 2012
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels has appointed Sen. Connie Lawson, R-Danville, as Indiana secretary of state. She fills the vacancy left by Charlie White, who was recently convicted of several felonies, making him ineligible to hold office.
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Justices rule Charlie White was eligible for office

March 15, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Refusing to go against the will of Indiana voters, the state’s highest court has held that Charlie White was eligible to run for secretary of state and assume that office after being elected in 2010.
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Supreme Court rules Charlie White was eligible to assume office

March 15, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held that Charlie White was eligible to assume the office of secretary of state after being elected to that post in the 2010 general election. The justices point out the average voter was aware of concerns surrounding White’s voter registration history and they will not, on the basis of the petition before them, “judicially disenfranchise voters who went to the polls.”
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Questionable results of drug tests

March 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Attorney Fran Watson worries that people have been wrongfully convicted in Indiana, and findings released from a court-appointed task force show that she may be justified in having that fear.
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Justices: Tax Court erred in prima facie showing requirement

March 12, 2012
Michael Hoskins

The Indiana Supreme Court has found that the Indiana Tax Court erred in requiring the state revenue department to produce more evidence of a proposed assessment of additional tax liability for a corporation.

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Indiana Civil Rights Commission to kickoff statewide CLE series

March 9, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Civil Rights Commission will host a continuing legal education seminar on March 30 – the first of a free, six-session statewide program.
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Rally to bring attention to CASAs

March 5, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Child Advocates Network and the State Office of GAL/CASA of the Division of State Court Administration held a rally at the Indiana Statehouse Monday morning to highlight the need for and the importance of court appointed special advocates.
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COA: agency's claim for Medicaid reimbursement allowed

February 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that a trial court erred in concluding that the Family and Social Services Administration’s preferred claim for reimbursement of Medicaid benefits against an estate was not timely filed.
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Disclosing environmental violations

February 29, 2012
Case involving a pork producer was first test of law enacted in 2009.
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Weddings promote heart health

February 29, 2012
IL Staff
For the sixth consecutive year, the Marion County clerk’s office was transformed into a wedding chapel on Valentine’s Day, and Clerk Beth White performed civil marriage ceremonies to raise money for the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign.
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COA upholds judgment in favor of employer in wrongful termination suit

February 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Department of Insurance in a lawsuit filed by a former employee claiming wrongful termination.
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Justices slash amount non-merit state employees can get in back pay

February 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has adjusted the time frame for which state non-merit employees who sued for back pay may be able to recover funds. Instead of the period going back some 20 years, the justices decided the non-merit employee’s time period should be the same as merit employees.
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Justices rule governor doesn't have to testify in IBM case

February 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
On the same day it heard arguments, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed a Marion Superior judge’s ruling and held that Gov. Mitch Daniels does not have to testify or be deposed in an ongoing lawsuit over the cancelled contract to modernize the state’s welfare system.
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Justices take environmental, land rights appeals

February 13, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted two civil cases last week on transfer, in addition to the two-high profile appeals involving legislative fines against lawmakers and Secretary of State Charlie White.
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Justices take secretary of state case

February 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court decided Tuesday to hear the appeals of a Marion County judge’s decision that found Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White ineligible to hold office.
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Governor appoints interim secretary of state

February 6, 2012
IL Staff
After Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was found guilty of six felony charges Feb. 4, Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Jerry Bonnet as interim secretary of state. A convicted felon cannot hold statewide office in Indiana.
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Judges order pharmacy board to respond to subpoena

January 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior trial court erred in granting the Indiana Board of Pharmacy’s motion to quash a defendant’s subpoena that the board produce a certified copy of “any and all” of his prescription records so he could use the information as defense for the charges of possession of a controlled substance, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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DCS recognized with national award

January 11, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Department of Child Services has won one of four Casey Family Programs “Excellence in Leadership” awards for 2011. The award is given to those involved in child welfare who work to improve the lives of children and families.
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AG asks justices to take secretary of state case

January 11, 2012
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to take the Indiana Recount Commission’s appeal of the finding that Secretary of State Charlie White was ineligible to be on the November 2010 ballot.
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  1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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