Courts

Disciplinary Actions - 3/12/14

March 12, 2014
IL Staff
Read who's been suspended recently by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Supreme Court: Father’s consent not needed in adoption

March 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A father who had been incarcerated and failed to keep up with support payments wasn’t denied due process when the children’s mother remarried and her new husband adopted the children.
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Miranda warning given during police interview makes confession admissible

March 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s confession made during a police interrogation is admissible because while officers questioned the defendant in what they called a “pre-interview,” they Mirandized him before he confessed.
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Small-claims hearsay letter properly admitted

March 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A dentist’s letter that said a man suing him had never complained about the service he received was not improperly admitted in a small-claims collections action, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Justices: Inmate will serve longer term for punching prison worker

March 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Department of Correction inmate serving a 17-year sentence was improperly given credit time that reduced his sentence for punching a prison worker in the face.
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Medmal claim sent via FedEx before deadline was timely filed

March 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A medical malpractice complaint was timely filed when an attorney delivered it to Federal Express a day before the statutory deadline, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled, reversing lower court orders and remanding the complaint to the trial court.
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Judge: Case not made for airport justice center site

March 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
The judge who has authority over Marion County court facilities is casting doubt on the city’s preferred site for a Criminal Justice Complex at Indianapolis International Airport.
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Information used to obtain search warrant splits Court of Appeals

March 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the statements from three individuals were hearsay and initially led law enforcement to enter the wrong apartment, a split Indiana Court of Appeals found, collectively, the information supported probable cause.
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Appeals court: Requests for modification don’t nullify foreclosure

March 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a mortgage servicer despite the property owners’ attempts at modifying the mortgage.
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Divided Supreme Court reinstates parental termination order

March 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals impermissibly reversed termination of a father’s parental rights, a majority of the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Friday in reinstating a trial court order.
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Central American judge visits Indianapolis to learn about Indiana judicial system

March 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A member of Guatemala’s judiciary is making a two-day visit to Indianapolis to learn and exchange ideas with judges, attorneys and other dignitaries.
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Federal suit filed against Indiana marriage statute

March 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
While Indiana’s same-sex marriage amendment is on hold in the Legislature, a challenge to the state’s law banning same-sex marriage was filed March 7 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Institute analyzing proposed sites for Marion County criminal justice complex

March 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana University Public Policy Institute is analyzing proposed sites for a Marion County Criminal Justice Complex and may reveal its findings by the end of next week.
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Highway supervisor’s termination not subject to judicial review

March 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the decision by the Fayette County Board of Commissioners to not reappoint its county highway supervisor was a ministerial decision, the Indiana Supreme Court held it was not subject to judicial review.
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Judges order more proceedings in property distribution after divorce

March 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Citing inconsistencies and lack of information, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered more proceedings to determine issues of spousal maintenance and distribution of the marital estate in a divorce case.
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COA: Buyer complied with notice statutes for obtaining tax deed

March 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Noting that the parties and trial court did not follow the established procedures to set aside a tax deed, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that the court erred in finding a buyer’s notices sent certified mail were statutorily deficient. The notices did not request return receipt.
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Judges order woman resentenced for health care fraud

March 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a woman knowingly and voluntarily pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud, but it sent her case back to the District Court for resentencing. The District judge violated the ex post facto clause by sentencing her under the wrong version of the sentencing guidelines.
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ATF agent’s testimony supports gun conviction

March 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s weapons conviction Tuesday, ruling that the expert testimony of an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives could be used to prove that a gun had crossed state lines.
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Judge Kimberly Brown removed from bench by justices

March 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court removed Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown from the bench Tuesday after finding she “engaged in significant judicial misconduct.” The judge had been on paid suspension since Jan. 9 pending final discipline.
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Justices remove Judge Kimberly Brown from bench

March 4, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon removed Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown from the bench. Brown had been on paid suspension since Jan. 9 pending final discipline.
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COA affirms cures imposed for title insurance company’s statutory violations

March 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found nothing wrong in the trial court’s decision to uphold the Indiana Department of Insurance’s order that found a title insurance company violated several statutes and outlined what the company must do to cure its violations.
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Indianapolis announces short list for creating justice complex

March 4, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
The city of Indianapolis Tuesday morning announced three development groups that will be invited to submit proposals for a new criminal justice complex.
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Judge’s pending retirement leaked in clerk applicant’s letter

March 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
News of Indianapolis-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Tinder’s retirement about a year from now came in a way he didn’t expect. And while he won’t be hearing cases in real life afterward, he may be available to play a judge on TV if the opportunity arises.
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Penn High School takes home its first state Mock Trial trophy

March 4, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Soon after the Penn High School Mock Trial team was crowned the 2014 state champions, the congratulatory messages on Twitter and other social media began. The students were praised and called an "inspiration." Penn secured its first Indiana Mock Trial championship by defeating long-reigning state champion, John Adams High School of South Bend.
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Indianapolis to host ALJ midyear conference

March 3, 2014
IL Staff
The National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary’s Midyear Conference is coming to Indianapolis April 6 – 8. This is the first time the city has hosted the event.
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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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