Courts

Justices say sentencing scores can be used

June 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State trial judges can consider sentencing scores to help tailor penalties to individual defendants, as long as those results aren’t used as final aggravating or mitigating factors in deciding a penalty length, the Indiana Supreme Court says
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Court rules on literacy program, educational credit time

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
While applauding a prison inmate for pursuing higher education while behind bars, the Indiana Court of Appeals has determined that man shouldn’t receive additional educational credit time for a program the state system doesn’t consider to fit into its definition of “literacy and life skills” programs.
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Justices differ on defining 'youth program center'

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices objected to affirming a man’s drug sentence for possession within 1,000 feet of a “youth program center” because the church that ran the programs wasn’t easily identifiable as regularly running programs for kids.
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Articles about pending cases raise concerns

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
At least two attorneys are questioning how some legal publications have included articles, columns, or other types of coverage on pending cases, and they worry that these articles may influence the judges on the cases.
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Indiana Justice Boehm stepping down after 14 years

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
After more than a decade on the Indiana Supreme Court, Justice Theodore Boehm is ready to enter the next stage of his life and career.
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Criminal tax evasion offers legal option in targeting dog, puppy mills

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A July 2009 law put more strength behind local prosecutors and state regulators who can now more diligently pursue illegal animal activity of puppy mills who don't pay taxes.
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Schedule set to fill upcoming Indiana Supreme Court vacancy

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Anyone who wants to be the next Indiana Supreme Court justice has until the end of June to apply for upcoming vacancy on the state’s highest court.
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Senate votes on federal magistrate's nomination

June 9, 2010
Michael HoskinsMore

Justices order new trial based on traffic judge's conduct

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has set the stage for a judicial disciplinary action against a Marion County Traffic Court judge for his courtroom conduct on a speeding and suspended license case last year.
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Pizza chain sued for Rockwell-themed ads

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The owners of the rights to Normal Rockwell art are suing a Michigan-based pizza company for re-creating a famous painting to sell pizzas during the holidays.
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Officer's questions went beyond seat belt act

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The inquiry by a police officer to a driver stopped for a seat belt violation about the "large, unusual bulge" in his pants went beyond the state's Seatbelt Enforcement Act, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Man's suit filed after all statutes of limitations

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed a Logansport resident has standing to sue his city over the operation and management of a city park, but that his suit is barred by statutes of limitations.
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Court excited about magistrate's elevation

June 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Within a week, the state's third federal female judge could be ready to handle her constitutionally created duties in the Southern District of Indiana.
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7th Circuit upholds denial of alien's motion to dismiss

June 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals sidestepped ruling directly on the exhaustion requirement of a federal law dealing with an alien’s challenge to the validity of a deportation order. The appellate court could affirm the denial of the man’s motion to dismiss because he failed to meet any of the law’s exhaustion requirements.
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Court to award $290,000 for abuse programs

June 3, 2010
The Indiana Court Improvement Program has announced it will be giving away up to $290,000 in grants to programs that help families and children involved in cases of neglect or abuse.
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Schedule set for Supreme Court justice vacancy

June 2, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Anyone who wants to be the next Indiana Supreme Court justice has until the end of this month to apply.
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Justices deny transfer in more than a dozen cases

June 1, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Supreme Court considered 13 appeals during the past week, denying them all and rejecting a case that it had previously agreed to hear.
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SCOTUS reverses 7th Circuit on sex offender registration

June 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court reversed the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today on an Indiana case, holding that that a federal sex offender registry law does not apply to those convicts whose interstate travel happened before the 2006 statute took effect.
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7th Circuit won't stay ruling, despite likely SCOTUS appeal

May 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals won’t stay its ruling that allows an independent state agency access to records about mentally ill inmates’ treatment, even though the Indiana government agency being sued is appealing to the Supreme Court of the United States.
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Court sets drug-court termination requirements

May 28, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
An Indiana Court of Appeals ruling today sets requirements for drug court terminations after a man’s participation was terminated without minimum due process.
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COA: Breathalyzer certificate is not testimonial

May 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
For the first time since the Supreme Court of the United States’ 2009 ruling that found a defendant had a Sixth Amendment right to confront the analysts who prepared lab certificates certifying the defendant had cocaine, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a trial court did not violate the defendant’s right to confrontation by allowing the inspection certificate for a breathalyzer into evidence, even though the certifier of the equipment did not testify at trial.
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Debate swirls around citations, use of the NFP

May 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Envision a world in which lawyers successfully defended a client on what all parties thought was a significant legal issue, but future attorneys couldn't use that case result to help persuade judges in their litigation.
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Indiana Scouts proud of their own

May 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A small paperweight sits on attorney Terry White’s desk in Evansville, reminding him of an organization and motto that’s been a central part of his life since childhood. No matter the issue he faces in the legal world or in his personal life, he knows that he can always find guidance in the phrase close to his heart.
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Attorneys say ruling confuses discovery regarding expert materials

May 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A liability lawsuit filed by the victims of a water-heater explosion a year after the May 2004 blast has erupted in its own metaphorical explosion of discovery disputes.
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Indiana AG officially joins health care suit

May 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Following through on a promise from more than a month ago, the Indiana Attorney General today joined a lawsuit challenging the new federal health care law passed by Congress earlier this year.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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