Courts

Parts of Indiana Code now in Spanish

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Select portions of the 2006 and 2007 Indiana Code have been translated into Spanish, the Indiana Supreme Court has announced. An alphabetical index of terms and a glossary outlining topic areas also were translated. The goal of the translation is to better serve the Spanish-speaking population and those who represent them. By translating some of the basic codes, interpreters will be able to use the same terms for charges and it will create a standard document of legal terminology. The translations...
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Profession marks 50th Law Day today

January 1, 2008
Rebecca Berfanger
Bar associations and courts in Indiana and nationwide are celebrating Law Day this week. Today marks the official 50th anniversary, according to the American Bar Association, which has named this year's theme, "Foundation for Communities of Opportunity and Equity."Today, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard was scheduled to speak at a luncheon and award presentation in Fort Wayne, while members of the St. Joseph and Lake County bar associations, among other attorneys around Indiana, will speak to high school and junior high...
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Tinder authors first 7th Circuit opinion

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Judge John Tinder, formerly of the U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, now on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, released his first authored opinion today with the federal appellate court. Judge Tinder joined the 7th Circuit in January. Judge Tinder wrote the 22-page opinion in Jeanette Petts v. Rockledge Furniture LLC, a division of Ashley Furniture Industries Inc., No. 07-1989, in which he and Judges Kenneth Ripple and Diane Sykes affirmed the decision of the U.S. District Court, Western...
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Former Marion Superior Court judge dies

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
A former Marion Superior Court judge and Indianapolis City-County councilor died March 5 of natural causes. Judge Z. Mae Jimison was the first African-American woman to serve as judge in Marion Superior Court. Judge Jimison, 64, served on the bench from 1996 to 2002 and spent much of that time creating and supervising Marion County's Drug Court. In 1999, she applied to become a justice on the Indiana Supreme Court after Justice Myra C. Selby announced she would step down to return to...
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Lack of surgery doesn't support jury instruction

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a jury award and remanded for a new trial after ruling there was insufficient evidence to support an affirmative defense of a failure to mitigate damages instruction to the jury because a plaintiff failed to have surgery. In Elwood and Lila Simmons v. Erie Insurance Exchange, No. 32A04-0710-CV-552, the couple appealed a judgment awarding them each $10,000 following an automobile accident involving Elwood and another driver, who was at fault. They filed a complaint seeking underinsured...
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New legal center opens in Marion County

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Marion Superior Court Family Resource Center - created by the Family Court Project for families with legal disputes - opens Monday and will offer easier access to information about legal and social services resources. The center will provide resources and referrals for various services such as domestic violence, protective orders, substance-abuse treatment options, and how to find an attorney. Residents filing pro se will be able to view videos that walk them through the self-representation process, as well as use...
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COA to hear sex offender arguments Monday

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a case regarding the state's sex offender residency law March 31 at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis.In State of Indiana v. Anthony W. Pollard, Pollard is a convicted sex offender who has lived for 20 years within 1,000 feet of a property where children could gather. He was charged for violating Indiana Code 35-42-4-11 and told that he could no longer live in his home. Pollard argues the law was...
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Justices grant transfer in 2 cases

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court granted two transfers this week.Justices will consider an Indiana State University case involving unemployment benefits for a discharged university professor, and another case delving into the attorney general's power to demand discovery in consumer complaint investigations.One transfer comes in the combined appeals of Liberty Publishing Inc. and Nu-Sash of Indianapolis v. Steve Carter, No. 49A02-0606-CV-502, which the state's appellate court ruled on June 25. The appeals court affirmed Marion Superior Court judgments that the attorney general has the...
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Marion Superior Judge Charles Deiter dies

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Indiana has lost a longtime Marion County judge who's been on the probate bench for three decades and was considered one of the state's top probate jurists.Marion Superior Judge Charles Deiter, 71, who presided over the court's probate division, lost a battle to cancer this morning, according to his colleague and longtime friend Judge Tanya Walton Pratt."He was a wonderful judge, someone who was well-loved by everyone in the community and on the bench," said Judge Pratt, who said the two...
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Lawyer convicted of battery, confinement

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana attorney often in trouble with the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission was convicted Friday of crimes against a woman in a wheelchair. Northern Indiana attorney Michael Haughee was convicted of sexual battery and criminal confinement, both Class D felonies, and interference with the reporting of a crime, a Class A misdemeanor. Haughee was arrested in October 2006 following an incident at the woman's home. Haughee claimed he went to the woman's house to register her to vote. At the...
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Equal pay lawsuit heads to trial

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A $42 million class action lawsuit involving Indiana state employees is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 19 in Marion Superior Court. The lawsuit was brought by state employees who worked more hours than other state employees in comparable jobs. In Paula Brattain, et al. v. Richmond State Hospital, et al., No. 49D11-0108-CP-1309, the class seeks compensation from the state for an estimated 15,000 state employees who were required to work a 40-hour week while some employees in similar positions at...
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In vitro firing case one of first impression

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
In the first of its kinds for any federal appellate court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an Indiana woman who claimed she was wrongly fired for taking time off work to have in vitro fertilization.The 7th Circuit issued its decision on the Illinois case Wednesday in Cheryl Hall v. Nalco Co., No. 06-3684, a case that could have implications for women workers across the country. The appellate panel reversed a ruling from U.S. District Judge David...
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Judges differ on day-care credit, child support

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel disagrees about whether or not a parent who uses day care when he or she isn't working is entitled to a child-support tax credit.In Craig Cross v. Victoria Cross, No. 49A05-0802-CV-94, authoring Judge Elaine Brown and Judge Paul Mathias ruled the trial court erred in ordering father Craig Cross to pay $30 more a week to pay for Victoria Cross' work-related day care for their adult child with autism. At issue is whether or not the...
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Court: Records inspection needs testimony

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court decision to allow a couple to inspect a company's financial statements, finding the trial court relied only on an affidavit - and not testimony - to allow the inspection. In Bacompt Systems, Inc. v. Angelina Peck and David C. Peck, No. 29A02-0708-CV-646, the Pecks made separate written requests to view Bacompt's financial documents. The Pecks, who lived in Pennsylvania, owned approximately 25 percent of the company's stock. Prior to David C. Peck's termination...
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Supreme Court grants 4 transfers

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted four transfers yesterday in cases involving expungement of an arrest record, Indiana's prostitution statutes, a landlord/tenant dispute, and whether control or title is critical in determining whether the vendor in a land-sale contract owes a duty to third parties. In State of Indiana v. Chad Arnold, No. 49A02-0610-CR-961, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court order denying the state's motion pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 60(B), which requested relief from the order that Indiana State...
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Judge: Courts can't trim budget and function

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Faced with the possibility of cutting even more from the Carroll County's courts budget this year, that county's judges stood firm against Carroll County Council requests to again slash the court's budget. The judges sent a letter to the council stating if the Indiana Supreme Court would relieve the courts of some duties, then the court's budget could be further reduced. The letter was sent to point out the absurdity of the requested cuts, said Carroll Superior Judge Jeffrey Smith. Cutting...
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Post-conviction case gets transfer

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer June 26 to a case involving a summary disposition in favor of the state on a post-conviction relief petition. In Shawn E. Norris v. State of Indiana, No. 43A03-0708-CR-396, Shawn Norris filed for post-conviction relief alleging newly discovered evidence. Norris' stepsister told police that Norris had touched her daughter. Norris pleaded guilty to the charge of child molesting.After Norris was sentenced, he filed his petition for post-conviction relief and included an affidavit from his stepsister, saying...
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COA: Sex-offender registration still applies

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's convictions of failing to register as a sex offender, finding his argument "nonsensical" that his duty to register began before the statute was enacted.In Jesse S. McCown v. State of Indiana, No. 79A05-0710-CR-556, Jesse McCown appealed his two counts of failure to register as a sex offender, a Class D felony.McCown pleaded guilty in 1987 to child molesting and was sentenced to serve consecutive six- and two-year terms. In 1994, the General Assembly...
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Civil filing fees go up

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Attorneys who make civil filings are now paying for judicial salaries and future participation of magistrates in a state pension program.Civil filing fees increased slightly on July 1, raising the standard cost from $133 to $136 to pay for court administration and judicial salaries.The General Assembly increased the court administration fee from $3 to $5, and the judicial salaries fee went up from $17 to $18. Other fees remain unchanged.Some attorneys in Marion County have called the local clerk's office to...
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Justices: Jeans require new trial

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court vacated a judgment in favor of a plaintiff who claimed he was injured by slipping on diesel fuel at a gas station, because of a pair of jeans introduced as evidence on the first day of trial. Those jeans, which the plaintiff said he was wearing the day of the accident, were introduced by the plaintiff without communicating the discovery to the opposing party. In Speedway SuperAmerica, LLC v. Gerald and Madeline Holmes, No. 45S05-0711-CV-258, Speedway appealed the...
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Court: No public intox in private driveway

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a defendant's convictions of public intoxication and carrying a handgun without a license because there wasn't enough evidence to prove either charge. In Cahisa Jones v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0708-CR-658, police responded to a call about suspicious activity at a location in Indianapolis. When the officers arrived, they saw a car parked in a private driveway behind a vacant house. Inside, Jones was lying in the front passenger seat with empty whiskey bottles and beer...
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Court rules on 3 emotional distress cases

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court says that insurance policy language "bodily injury" includes emotional distress subject to its own damage limits, but only if those making the claim are directly involved in the underlying accident or incident.A trio of anticipated rulings came late afternoon on Feb. 28 from the state's highest court, with Justice Frank Sullivan authoring all three as they involve similar cases regarding insurance policy coverage of emotional distress. The cases are: State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Patricia Jakupko, et...
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Justices accept sex-offender registry cases

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is taking on three issues relating to sex-offender restrictions, from when juveniles can be placed on a statewide registry to whether someone can be placed on the list for life.Justices granted transfer in the past week for three criminal cases relating specifically to sex offenders and when people convicted of those crimes must have their names put on the online-accessible public registry.In J.C.C. v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0403-JV-266, the court is taking on a case that asks...
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Local courts seek public comment

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Courts in 16 Indiana counties are seeking public comment on proposed local rule changes, including caseload allocations and court reporter services and fees. The comments are due by the end of June or the middle of July, depending on the county.Cass, Daviess, Lake, LaPorte, Madison, Miami, Jasper, Porter, St. Joseph, Vanderburgh, and Wabash are seeking comment on their courts' caseload allocation plans. Jackson, Morgan, Perry, Ripley, and Warrick counties are seeking comment regarding court reporter fees.In addition to caseload plans, LaPorte...
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Supreme Court clarifies credit time rules

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A trio of opinions from the Indiana Supreme Court gives trial courts additional guidance about how to handle prisoner claims regarding how credit time is applied to sentences.The three-ruling package deal came down late Thursday, with the court simultaneously granting transfer and deciding Keith Neff v. State of Indiana, No. 49S02-0806-CR-362; and Charles Young v. State of Indiana, Nos. 27S02-0806-PC-363 and 27S02-0806-PC-364.Justice Frank Sullivan authored the decisions that are all designed to clarify a ruling the Supreme Court made in Robinson v....
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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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