Courts

Newly elected judge shot in northern Indiana

December 24, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A northern Indiana deputy prosecutor and soon-to-be LaPorte Superior judge was shot in her home late Monday night.
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COA: Let a sex offender stipulate

December 23, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A convicted sex offender accused of failing to register will get a new trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Justices issue robo-call decision

December 23, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court says the state's two-decade old law on pre-recorded, autodialed calls isn't limited to those placed to consumers with commercial messages. But justices stopped short of deciding how the law applies to political messages, leaving that question for another day.
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Appellate court rules on GAL feesRestricted Content

December 23, 2008
Michael HoskinsMore

Muncie lawyer named city court judge

December 22, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A Muncie law firm will remain intact after both of its longtime partners take the bench in January.
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Court will hear attorney withdrawal case

December 22, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to take a case exploring how litigants can proceed on their own after the attorney withdraws prior to trial, particularly when a language barrier may exist.
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COA: Warrant didn't need to be admitted

December 22, 2008
Rebecca Berfanger
In a case of first impression involving whether an active arrest warrant must be admitted into evidence when the defendant has not challenged the warrant's validity, the Court of Appeals has affirmed an appellant-defendant's conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana that an officer discovered during a routine traffic stop.
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Court remands to recalculate attorneys' fees

December 19, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the eviction of a renter and an award of damages in favor of her former landlord, but it reversed the amount of attorneys' fees she has to pay because the trial court's rationale in determining the amount was insufficient.
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Governor backs court reforms

December 19, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Expect some talk of sweeping court reforms in the coming legislative session.
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Special masters named in senior judge's case

December 19, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has named three trial judges to serve as special masters in the disciplinary action against Senior Judge Walter P. Chapala, formerly of the LaPorte Superior Court.
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Committed woman's charge must be dismissed

December 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Faced with a question the U. S. Supreme Court declined to address more than 35 years ago, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a trial court's decision to dismiss a criminal charge against a committed woman who may never be able to stand trial because of incompetence.
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COA: Dealership not denied due process

December 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
he Indiana Court of Appeals directly addressed for the first time today the due process implications of an administrative law judge conducting a hearing without the participation of a party who received notice but couldn't be contacted by telephone at the time of the hearing. The appellate court found a car dealership's due process hadn't been violated when it failed to participate in a telephone hearing with the administrative law judge and a former employee.
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Judges differ on insurance coverage

December 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed about whether a school bus driver who also worked as an independent farmer over the summer should be covered by the school corporation's insurance following a car accident while hauling grain.
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Men took substantial steps to commit crime

December 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the same issue in two separate Indiana cases of men chatting on the Internet with people they believed to be teen girls: whether there was evidence the men had taken "substantial steps" toward committing the crimes of enticing a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.
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High court grants transfer, remands case

December 17, 2008
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Dec. 16 to a post-conviction case and remanded it to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Court: Rehabilitation evaluation a must

December 17, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court says that before any juvenile can be placed on the state's sex offender registry, a trial court must first evaluate whether that minor has been rehabilitated to determine if there's clear and convincing evidence he or she might re-offend.
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Bankruptcy filings up in Indiana

December 16, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Bankruptcy cases in federal courts have increased more than 30 percent in the fiscal year ending in September as compared to the 2007 fiscal year. In Indiana, bankruptcy cases have increased more than 25 percent in the U.S. District Court's Northern and Southern districts.
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No summary judgment in mailbox case

December 16, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The owners of a mailbox struck by a woman's car that left the road inexplicably aren't entitled to summary judgment on the woman's negligence claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today.
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Justices asked to take Terre Haute mayor case

December 16, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is being asked to consider the role a federal law plays in deciding who is Terre Haute's current mayor and whether a special election is needed.
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Jury awards NW Indiana couple $48 million

December 15, 2008
IL Staff
A Lake County jury awarded a couple $48 million for injuries the man sustained after a workplace accident.
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Governor appoints city court judge

December 15, 2008
IL Staff
Governor Mitch Daniels has appointed Brian G. Poindexter as judge of the Carmel City Court.
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Tax sale petitions OK because of lack of notice

December 15, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a woman in two separate cases involving the purchase of her property at tax sales in Franklin County after determining she received insufficient notice of the sales.
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Judge argues for suspension, not removal

December 15, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge who's been suspended from the bench pending a final decision from the Indiana Supreme Court believes his penalty should fall somewhere between a public reprimand and removal.
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Mom not in contempt over middle name change

December 12, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in finding a mother in contempt for not changing the middle name of her child, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. The appellate court remanded the case for consideration of whether the name change would be in the best interest of the child.
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Former Allen County judge dies

December 12, 2008
IL Staff
Former Allen Superior Judge Norman E. Baker died Wednesday in Fort Wayne. Baker, an Evansville native, served as an Allen Superior Court Civil Division judge. He also served as a senior judge in the court.
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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