Courts

Judges: Town ordinance invalid

July 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declared today a Plainfield town ordinance authorizing the imposition of storm-water fees on properties outside of the town's corporate boundaries to be invalid because under Indiana Code, the town only has the authority to collect the fee within its corporate limits.
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COA: Dog sniff requires reasonable suspicion

July 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Analyzing the issue for the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals today determined reasonable suspicion is needed to conduct a drug-detecting dog sniff of a private residence. Even though the state didn't argue the police had reasonable suspicion, it established the officers relied on the warrant executed after the sniff in good faith.
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Funeral services set for Indiana federal judge

July 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
U.S. District Judge Allen Sharp in the Northern District of Indiana has died, ending a four decade long judicial career on both the state and federal benches during which he presided over some of the most controversial issues of our time.
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Township assessor loses appeal

July 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled against a township assessor who filed a suit last year after the General Assembly enacted a bill that eliminated her office and transferred her duties to the county assessor.
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Attempted murderer may adopt under statute

July 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Under Indiana statute for adoption, attempted murder isn't listed as a conviction that would prohibit a court from granting the adoption, but aggravated battery is.
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Judges don't agree candidate is 'qualified'

July 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed as to whether an elected at-large school board candidate was "qualified" under the Indiana Constitution to take office because his election caused three members from the same school district to be on the board.
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COA: alternative murder sentence illegal

July 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a defendant is entitled to re-sentencing on his murder conviction since the trial court wasn't authorized to sentence him to death and to a term-of-years sentence if the death penalty was overturned.
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ACLU sues State Board of Law Examiners

July 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The ACLU of Indiana has filed a lawsuit against the members of the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners, alleging the state's bar examination application violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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COA: Rentals not restricted by covenants

July 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined today the rental of cabins in a subdivision was allowed under its restrictive covenants because the rental property was for "residential use."
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Federal judge OKs state's judicial canons

July 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge says the Indiana Supreme Court can regulate judicial speech through its cannons, and has ruled the existing rules do not violate a judge or judicial candidate's constitutional free speech or association rights.
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COA: Home isn't allowed in marital estate

July 8, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a trial court believed a wife's testimony that her in-laws' purposefully kept her from receiving any money from the sale of the marital residence in the event of a divorce, the lower court erred by including the residence in the marital estate, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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First impression for habitual offender statute

July 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide whether a defendant's prior conviction for conspiracy to deal in cocaine qualified as a conviction for dealing in cocaine under the state's habitual offender statute.
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Artist chosen in federal courthouse competition

July 7, 2009
IL Staff
An Indianapolis artist has been chosen to create murals for the federal courthouse in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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COA reverses rape conviction in cold case

July 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed a man's recent conviction for a murder he committed more than 20 years ago, but it reversed his rape conviction on insufficient evidence. The state failed to file a charge in which it had evidence to support a conviction of a sexual attack against the victim.
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Indiana attorney fights Alaska's merit selection

July 6, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A Terre Haute attorney has filed a federal suit challenging the merit-selection system in Alaska, arguing the state bar association has unconstitutional control over the judicial nominating commission and takes away the people's right to choose their judges.
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High court grants 5 transfers

July 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted five transfers late on July 2, including cases on possession of cocaine in a family housing complex and "no fault" attendance policies in workplaces.
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U.S. judge: Indiana Supreme Court was wrong

July 2, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge has tossed a death row inmate's capital sentence, saying the Indiana Supreme Court was wrong in ruling the man convicted of a triple murder wasn't prejudiced by having to wear a stun belt in the jury's presence.
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Phone-a-thon helps 2,000 homeowners

July 2, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
A phone-a-thon June 30 helped 2,000 Indiana homeowners by giving them a chance to get more information if they were afraid of facing foreclosure or already knew their home was or would likely go into foreclosure.
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Court: daylight saving time not an issue

July 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A trial judge shouldn't have suppressed a drunk-driving breath test on grounds that a time change interfered with the prosecution, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today on an issue of first impression.
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High court to hear arguments on CHINS case

July 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday in a Marion County case dealing with whether a child can be determined in need of services with respect to one parent but not the other.
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Justices rule on residency-restriction law

July 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court says the three-year-old state law restricting sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of where children congregate constitutes an unconstitutional form of retroactive punishment. However, the sex offender who won the appeal has been dead since September 2008.
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Shutdown wouldn't cripple legal system

June 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
As the clock ticked closer to a partial shutdown of state government, the Hoosier legal community received word this afternoon from the Indiana Supreme Court that trial courts should conduct business as usual and that the state's legal system would continue as much as possible if lawmakers fail to pass a budget by deadline.
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Justices issue ruling in casino revenue case

June 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled today on an ongoing appeal about how casino revenue is funneled to a for-profit organization in East Chicago, an issue that has also been raised in an ongoing federal racketeering suit in northern Indiana.
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Court: counties responsible for GAL, CASA fees

June 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In a significant opinion about the funding of child welfare cases, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today that any guardian ad litem or Child Appointed Special Advocate fees associated with a child in need of services case must be paid by the county and not the state agency that lawmakers gave more oversight power to in the past year.
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Transfer sought in compulsive gambling case

June 29, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Arguing that common law should protect anyone intentionally harmed by someone else, an Evansville attorney is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to consider a case of first impression in which he contends a compulsive gambler was targeted and taken advantage of by a casino, resulting in her loss of $125,000 in a single night.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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