State agencies

General Assembly returns for 2011 session

January 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Senate and House of Representatives reconvened this afternoon to begin the 2011 long session. The legislators still have time to file bills, but there are already several bills introduced that may affect Indiana courts and the legal community.
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Bankruptcy delays collection effort

January 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Former East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick has filed for bankruptcy, putting on hold the state’s attempt to seize his property to help pay off the $108 million he owes from a civil racketeering default judgment against him.
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Unsuccessful Medicaid applicants aren't entitled to in-person hearing

December 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
People whose applications have been denied for Medicaid disability benefits do not have a constitutional right to an in-person administrative hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Judges split on approving high-cost retraining tuition

December 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals couldn’t agree on whether a laid-off man’s request for training at an expensive college should be approved.
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Governor appoints former prosecutor candidate to ATC

December 10, 2010
IL Staff
Mark Massa, the Republican candidate for Marion County prosecutor, is the new chairman of the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission. Gov. Mitch Daniels announced the appointment Thursday.
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Judge: not all farm expenses are tax deductible

December 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A probate court incorrectly allowed an estate to deduct three farm-related expenses from its inheritance tax return, but affirmed the deduction of the remaining nine in question, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Tuesday.
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Settlement reached on foster care rates

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Department of Child Services has agreed not to cut subsidies for foster and adoptive parents and other caregivers as part of a class-action settlement in federal court.
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Social-services recipients entitled to injunctive relief

December 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Family and Social Services Administration’s adverse action notices pertaining to public benefits programs that don’t name specific missing eligibility documents don’t comport with the requirement of procedural due process, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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AG's involvement questioned in prosecutor forfeiture suit

November 24, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office plans to “zealously defend” 78 prosecutors being sued over civil forfeiture collection practices, meaning the state courts will likely have to analyze not only the merits of that issue but also whether two separate state statutes restrict how Indiana’s top attorney can intervene in this taxpayer-filed qui tam lawsuit.
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Court programs, economy among focuses of foreclosure conference

November 24, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When it comes to the problem of mortgage foreclosures in Indiana, there appears to be no end in sight, at least not yet.
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Programs target older foster youth

November 24, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
For foster youth who are about to age out of the system or have already done so, there often is no support system. That decreases one’s chance of getting a good education and increases the likelihood that the former foster youth will end up homeless or become involved in illegal activity and be arrested after aging out.
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AG holds first criminal justice summit on death penalty costs

November 24, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In what was the first of its kind in Indiana, the state Attorney General’s Office held a criminal justice summit at the University of Notre Dame this month to examine the critical issues the legal system faces from capital cases where the death penalty is utilized.
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ATC chairman stepping down

November 10, 2010
IL Staff
P. Thomas Snow, a former judge in Wayne County, is resigning as chairman of the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission.
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Ukrainian lawyers in Indiana

October 27, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
On their recent visit to Indiana, six delegates from the Ukraine in various legal roles learned how similar and different their legal system is compared to the justice system in the U.S. by visiting and observing it firsthand.
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COA: Candidate remains on ballot

October 20, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Republican winner of the primary election for Indiana House of Representatives District 74 will remain on the ballot for the general election, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Ukrainian delegates visit Indianapolis, observe legal system

October 19, 2010
IL Staff
Six delegates from the Ukraine’s legal community will be in Indianapolis through Saturday to learn about the American legal system by observing court hearings and meeting with members of the legal community, as well as participating in cultural activities.
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States' lawsuit challenging federal health-care law can proceed

October 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The lawsuit filed by 20 states, including Indiana, challenging the constitutionality of the new federal health-care law can go forward on two counts, a Florida federal judge ruled Thursday.
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ISBA panel still studying ALJ issues

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels fired the state’s top utility regulator recently, citing ethical concerns about how a now-former administrative law judge presided over cases involving a regulated energy company leading up to his taking a job there.
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7th Circuit finds for energy plant

October 12, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed a decision out of Indiana regarding a claim by the Environmental Protection Agency that Cinergy Corp. was wrong to modify its coal-burning plants without first obtaining a permit from the EPA.
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Court cuts $42.4 million state back pay award

October 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals today significantly slashed a $42.4 million damages award against the state, cutting the period from which employees can recover back pay from 20 years to about two months.
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Governor: 1-year cooling off period applies to ALJs

October 5, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The governor today fired the state's top utility regulator, citing ethical concerns about how a former Administrative Law Judge presided over cases involving a regulated energy company leading up to his taking a job there.
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Judicial candidacy appeal moving quickly

September 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has refused to sidestep the state’s intermediate appellate court on a judicial election issue from Lake County, which involves a prospect for the bench being able to stay on the ballot.
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Lugar, Zoeller to discuss Mexico's criminal justice system

September 23, 2010
IL Staff
Sen. Richard Lugar and Attorney General Greg Zoeller will be in Indianapolis Sunday to discuss Mexico’s conversion to a new criminal justice system as it struggles with organized crime cartels.
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Justices remind parties about decision certification

September 16, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted a rehearing on the appeal involving East Chicago casino money, using the chance to warn parties to not jump the gun in how it responds once an appellate ruling is initially issued.
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Court appoints new CLE commission members

September 13, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has appointed three new members to the Commission for Continuing Legal Education to replace those whose terms expire at the end of the year.
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  1. Falk said “At this point, at this minute, we’ll savor this particular victory.” “It certainly is a historic week on this front,” Cockrum said. “What a delight ... “Happy Independence Day to the women of the state of Indiana,” WOW. So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)

  2. congratulations on such balanced journalism; I also love how fetus disposal affects women's health protection, as covered by Roe...

  3. It truly sickens me every time a case is compared to mine. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld my convictions based on a finding of “hidden threats.” The term “hidden threat” never appeared until the opinion in Brewington so I had no way of knowing I was on trial for making hidden threats because Dearborn County Prosecutor F Aaron Negangard argued the First Amendment didn't protect lies. Negangard convened a grand jury to investigate me for making “over the top” and “unsubstantiated” statements about court officials, not hidden threats of violence. My indictments and convictions were so vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals made no mention of hidden threats when they upheld my convictions. Despite my public defender’s closing arguments stating he was unsure of exactly what conduct the prosecution deemed to be unlawful, Rush found that my lawyer’s trial strategy waived my right to the fundamental error of being tried for criminal defamation because my lawyer employed a strategy that attempted to take advantage of Negangard's unconstitutional criminal defamation prosecution against me. Rush’s opinion stated the prosecution argued two grounds for conviction one constitutional and one not, however the constitutional true threat “argument” consistently of only a blanket reading of subsection 1 of the intimidation statute during closing arguments, making it impossible to build any kind of defense. Of course intent was impossible for my attorney to argue because my attorney, Rush County Chief Public Defender Bryan Barrett refused to meet with me prior to trial. The record is littered with examples of where I made my concerns known to the trial judge that I didn’t know the charges against me, I did not have access to evidence, all while my public defender refused to meet with me. Special Judge Brian Hill, from Rush Superior Court, refused to address the issue with my public defender and marched me to trial without access to evidence or an understanding of the indictments against me. Just recently the Indiana Public Access Counselor found that four over four years Judge Hill has erroneously denied access to the grand jury audio from my case, the most likely reason being the transcription of the grand jury proceedings omitted portions of the official audio record. The bottom line is any intimidation case involves an action or statement that is debatably a threat of physical violence. There were no such statements in my case. The Indiana Supreme Court took partial statements I made over a period of 41 months and literally connected them with dots… to give the appearance that the statements were made within the same timeframe and then claimed a person similarly situated would find the statements intimidating while intentionally leaving out surrounding contextual factors. Even holding the similarly situated test was to be used in my case, the prosecution argued that the only intent of my public writings was to subject the “victims” to ridicule and hatred so a similarly situated jury instruction wouldn't even have applied in my case. Chief Justice Rush wrote the opinion while Rush continued to sit on a committee with one of the alleged victims in my trial and one of the judges in my divorce, just as she'd done for the previous 7+ years. All of this information, including the recent PAC opinion against the Dearborn Superior Court II can be found on my blog www.danbrewington.blogspot.com.

  4. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  5. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

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