State agencies

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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Judge allows Charlie White to remain in office pending appeal

January 4, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Recognizing the judiciary has the ability to minimize damage caused by the ongoing Indiana secretary of state court challenge, a Marion Circuit judge has put a hold on his ruling that the state’s top election official be immediately removed from office and a successor appointed.
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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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