Courts

Man may not have drug sentence reduced after pleading guilty

March 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a defendant’s request to reduce his sentence after he pleaded guilty to distributing crack cocaine. The judges also pointed out concerns with the use of a form order in his case.
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Kenley appears warm to boost in Odyssey funding

March 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, on Thursday signaled he supported a boost in funding for the Odyssey case management system and other court technology functions, after proposed funding was reduced in the House budget plan.
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7th Circuit rules against homeowners on quiet title action

March 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Hamilton County couple who went into default on their home mortgage loan had the dismissal of their action to quiet title and claims of negligence and unconscionability upheld Friday by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Judge: State can’t enforce 2 parts of immigration law

March 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker has ruled that the state can’t enforce two sections of the Indiana law dealing with immigration: one dealing with arrests and one dealing with the use of consular identification cards for identification.
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Bill reforming criminal code passes Senate committee

March 29, 2013
IL Staff
The first comprehensive overhaul of Indiana’s felony statutes in more than 35 years passed the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law Thursday by a vote of 8-1.
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Judge rules in favor of Caterpillar in tax deduction dispute

March 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Tax Judge Martha Wentworth granted summary judgment to Caterpillar Inc. Thursday, finding the company’s foreign source dividends are deductible in calculating its state net operating losses available for carryover as a deduction from taxable income in future years.
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COA budget request delays Appeals on Wheels webcasts

March 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
A modest increase requested over the next two budget cycles won’t include technical upgrades to allow webcasts of traveling Court of Appeals oral arguments, Chief Judge Margret Robb told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
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Defendant in neighborhood explosion now faces conspiracy to commit murder charge

March 28, 2013
IL Staff
Mark Leonard, one of three arrested and charged for an explosion in an Indianapolis neighborhood that killed two people, has been charged with Class A felony conspiracy to commit murder. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office alleges he attempted to arrange a murder-for-hire plan while in jail on charges stemming from the explosion.
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Prosecutor can’t grant use immunity to parents of injured infant

March 28, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday that a prosecutor can’t petition a court to compel a party to testify under the grant of use immunity when the party is the primary target of the investigation and has invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination if no charges have been filed or a grand jury proceeding hasn’t been initiated.
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Mother not denied due process by not having appointed counsel in CHINS case

March 28, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
While disappointed that a trial court did not follow through with the appointment of counsel for a mother regarding a child in need of services action, any error in that failure was harmless, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. It upheld the termination of mother J.A.’s parental rights to her son G.P.
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Pence appoints Hostetler to St. Joseph bench

March 28, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced Thursday that he has selected Steven L. Hostetler to replace St. Joseph Superior Chief Judge Michael P. Scopelitis when he retires June 3.
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Senators skeptical of funding Odyssey access for public defenders

March 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Senate budget writers appeared skeptical of a request Thursday to spend more than $2.1 million over the next four years to give public defenders statewide the same access to case management systems that prosecutors, judges and others have in many counties.
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Appeals court tackles sex offender use of social media

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Two months after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state’s law prohibiting sex offenders from using certain social media sites, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Indiana Code 35-42-4-12 violates an Elkhart County man’s First Amendment rights.
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COA: Court allowed to admit evidence from man’s home

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Allen County man who tried to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that law enforcement shouldn’t have searched his trash and been allowed to obtain a warrant based on evidence from that trash lost his appeal Wednesday.
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Court erred in striking state’s response as untimely

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that the post-conviction court erred in striking as untimely the state’s response to a man’s motion for summary judgment on his post-conviction relief petition. The judges also refused to grant the state’s request to hold that it is relieved of the time constraints of Indiana Trial Rule 56.
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COA reverses vacation of grandparent visitation

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a grandmother lacked standing to pursue a grandparent visitation order when it was granted, the trial court erred in later vacating the order, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The grandchildren’s guardians’ objections to the grandmother’s lack of standing were waived when they failed to appeal the original order.
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Judges reduce sentence due to ineffective trial counsel

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday ordered a Lake Superior court to resentence a man to 23 years for his convictions stemming from a drunken-driving accident that killed another man. Joseph Scott’s trial attorney was ineffective because he failed to inform Scott of the correct maximum sentence he could face.
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Pence gets finalist list for St. Joe judgeship

March 27, 2013
IL Staff
A letter containing the names of the five finalists vying to succeed St. Joseph Superior Judge Michael P. Scopelitis has been delivered to Gov. Mike Pence. Scopelitis will retire in June. The list was tweaked after finalist Elizabeth Hurley was appointed to fill another pending vacancy on the court.
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Attorneys use pro bono tax work to fill the gap

March 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Almost immediately after taking her seat on the Indiana Tax Court, Judge Martha Blood Wentworth saw the problem. Flowing into her court were numerous pro se litigants who ended up getting their cases bounced because they had made a procedural error.
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Lawmakers advance bill to aid courthouse restoration, but money is missing

March 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
Nearly every county seat in Indiana could benefit from a bill promoting historic courthouse renovation and maintenance projects. Only problem is, when lawmakers passed the legislation through the Senate they stripped out the money for it.
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Behind the News: Lawsuit over Simon’s bonus may expose board’s mindset

March 27, 2013
Greg Andrews
The $120 million retention bonus that Simon Property Group Inc.’s board awarded David Simon two years ago has spawned a bitter legal battle in Delaware that promises to shed fascinating light on the inner workings of the board.
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Renovation project raises questions on public bidding

March 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Contractors claim in lawsuit that a school corporation's financing method circumvented the law.
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Hazing suit weighs college, fraternity liability

March 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
A former freshman pledge hurt as fraternity brothers at Wabash College carried and then dropped him will have his case heard by the Indiana Supreme Court, testing the reach of Indiana’s anti-hazing statute.
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Disciplinary Actions - 3/27/13

March 27, 2013
IL Staff
See who's been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Indiana solicitor general: ‘Good day’ for traditional marriage at SCOTUS

March 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana and other states against same-sex marriage appeared to make a strong impression on the U.S. Supreme Court justices Tuesday, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher said after watching arguments in Washington.
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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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