Courts

SCOTUS won't take Indiana bar exam case

October 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to take several Indiana cases, including a federal suit against the state’s Board of Law Examiners filed by a man who wants to take the bar exam without going to law school.
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Deadline approaching for criminal justice grant

October 10, 2011
IL Staff
On Sept. 30, the Bureau of Justice Assistance announced an award of $4,423,859 for the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG). The deadline to apply for JAG funds is Oct. 31.
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COA affirms jury's rejection of insanity defense

October 7, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has sided with a jury in rejecting a man’s insanity plea, holding that even when crimes seem horrific and senseless, that does not mean the perpetrator is legally insane.
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'Best Practices' will not advance to rulemaking stage

October 7, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard signed an order Oct. 7 stating that rather than advance the Mortgage Foreclosure Best Practices to the rulemaking stage, the court will oversee the guidelines, updating them as needed.
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Attorney must register as a sex offender

October 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An attorney and former Democratic candidate for Gibson County prosecutor indicted on charges including possession of child pornography and false informing, entered into a plea agreement Tuesday that wouldn’t have required he register as a sex offender. After further review, the trial judge realized Indiana law requires him to do so.
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New bankruptcy rules effective Oct. 11

October 7, 2011
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Indiana, issued an order Oct. 5 amending local bankruptcy rules.
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COA: Remonstrators didn't request timely stay of annexation

October 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of remonstrators’ challenge to annexation of land by the city of Evansville, finding the issue to be moot because the annexation has already been completed.
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Deputy owed no duty to warn of icy road

October 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A county sheriff’s department that doesn’t own, maintain or control a county road does not owe a common law duty to warn the public of known hazardous conditions upon the roadway, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Justices take certified questions

October 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted three certified questions stemming from a case in the Southern District of Indiana.
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Judges extend due process safeguards regarding interpreters to civil cases

October 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court must take the same steps in a civil action as it does in a criminal action regarding the use of an interpreter in order to address due process concerns, the Indiana Court of Appeals held for the first time Tuesday.
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Pro bono award winners announced

October 4, 2011
IL Staff
An attorney who made significant contributions in pro bono service will receive a posthumous honor on Oct. 21.
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Appellate judges will hear arguments in East Chicago

October 4, 2011
IL Staff
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges will travel to northern Indiana Thursday to hear the appeal of a man convicted of attempted murder.
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SCOTUS doesn't take any Indiana cases

October 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to take several Indiana cases, including a criminal appeal about whether a stun belt restraint on a defendant during trial and sentencing is prejudicial.
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PACER fee increase begins April 2012

October 3, 2011
IL Staff
The 2-cent increase per page to access electronic information on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system will take effect April 1, 2012. The Judicial Conference of the United States authorized raising the fee to 10 cents a page to cover maintenance costs as well as to enhance the system.
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Judges uphold admission of robbery confession

October 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in admitting evidence of uncharged misconduct from another incident during a defendant’s trial for robbery, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The evidence contained a letter that helped corroborate the man’s confession to the robbery.
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Commission urges discipline for former Marion County prosecutor

September 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Commission wants the state's highest court to find former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi committed misconduct when he made statements about two high-profile cases he handled as prosecutor.
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Justices agree subsidiaries are not new employers

September 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Emphasizing its ruling only deals with determining the proper merit rate for unemployment fund contributions, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled a manufacturer did not create employers through its new subsidiaries, so it wasn’t entitled to a lower rate.
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Bankruptcy judges relocating

September 30, 2011
IL Staff
Beginning in October, three of the bankruptcy judges in the Southern District of Indiana will be relocating their courtrooms because of construction at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse.
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SJCBA releases results of judicial survey

September 30, 2011
IL Staff
The St. Joseph County Bar Association has released the findings of its annual survey of Superior judges. The bar association conducts the survey each year even if no judges are up for retention, which is the case for 2011.
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Appellate court to visit southern Indiana Oct. 4

September 30, 2011
IL Staff
Two panels from the Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments at universities in southern Indiana next week.
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Justices suspend attorney for collecting 'exploitive fee'

September 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended an Indianapolis attorney after finding he engaged in attorney misconduct by collecting a “clearly unreasonable and exploitive fee” from a vulnerable client.
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Court: CHINS fact-finding hearing required by due process

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagrees with the state Department of Child Services that fact-finding and dispositional hearings in a child in need of services case are interchangeable. The appellate panel has ruled a Marion County father’s due process rights were denied because he didn’t receive the opportunity for a fact-finding hearing.
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Justices uphold murderer's convictions

September 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed that a man will serve life in prison without parole for his role in the murders of seven people in Indianapolis in 2006.
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Appeals court reverses judge on visitation ruling

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The state’s intermediate appellate court has reversed a southern Indiana judge’s ruling that a boyfriend should retain visitation rights over an ex-girlfriend’s child. It ruled that the finding is contrary to law because lawmakers didn’t allow for that type of circumstance to warrant visitation.
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Federal judge finds U.S. law preempts state 'robo-call' statute

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The state is not able to prevent out-of-state entities from placing political calls to residents within Indiana because of an existing federal law, according to a federal judge’s ruling on Indiana’s auto-dialer statute.
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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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