Courts

State waited too long to file charges, court rules

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a voluntary manslaughter case on grounds that prosecutors waited too long to file charges.Appellate judges issued a decision today in Ralph Barnett v. State of Indiana, 48A02-0605-CR-389 which stems from a 1993 physical confrontation at the Pendleton Correctional Facility. Barnett got into fight with fellow inmate Ricky Combs after being released from cells for a creation session, and Barnett maneuvered a handmade pick away from Combs before starting to walk away. When Combs attacked...
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Carmel met requirements for Southwest Clay annexation

January 1, 2007
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Supreme Court today found for the City of Carmel in a case regarding landowners who opposed annexation of their property in Southwest Clay Township following a settlement between the city and an organization who called themselves No Ordinance for Annexation (NOAX), who filed a remonstrance and agreed to the settlement in 2005.The opinion, City of Carmel, Indiana v. Certain Southwest Clay Township Annexation Territory Landowners, 29S00-0608-CV-300, addresses two issues, according to Bryan Babb, an attorney who represents the City...
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Court accepts habitual traffic violator case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court decided Thursday to consider a case that presents an issue of first impression regarding an Operating While being a Habitual Traffic Violator statute.In the case State of Indiana v. Karl D. Jackson, 29A02-0610-CR-867, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles determined in 2003 that Karl D. Jackson was a habitual traffic violator and suspended his license. The state agency mailed a notice to Jackson, but he hadn't notified the BMV that he had moved so he never received it.A...
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Court rules on military retirement benefits during divorce

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
State courts can't treat military retirement pay waived for veterans' disability pay as marital property to be divided during divorce, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.Citing caselaw from the nation's highest court, a unanimous three-judge panel reversed and remanded a Randolph County decision in William A. Griffin, Jr. v. Shari L. Griffin, No. 68A01-0611-CV-491.William and Shari married in 1985 and divorced in 2006, agreeing as part of the dissolution to divide in half his $1,522 retirement pay from the U.S. Air...
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Court rules on grandparent visitation

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
What is likely to be a ruling of first impression in Indiana and one of a few nationally, the Indiana Court of Appeals today reversed a ruling that had ended a grandmother's visitation with her grandson following the adoption of her adult mother.The 11-page ruling comes in a guardianship action involving the minor, J.E.M, in Maxine E. Handshoe v. Jessica L. Ridgway, No. 76A03=0612-CV-603.Grandmother Maxine Handshoe is appealing the Steuben Circuit ruling that terminated her visitation privileges with her biological grandson,...
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Indiana governor subpoenaed in Vioxx litigation

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will testify this fall in the ongoing federal court litigation involving recalled painkiller Vioxx, which is being blamed for thousands of heart attacks nationwide.Documents in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana's online filing system show that subpoenas went out Tuesday, and Daniels will give a taped deposition in Indianapolis Sept. 11. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is scheduled to do the same Sept. 4 in his home state.Both governors have ties to the drug industry -...
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Court increases registration fee for lawyers

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana attorneys will have to pay $10 more a year to be licensed to practice law in the state, though they'll still fare better than most of their colleagues around the country.The Indiana Supreme Court issued an order this week increasing the fee from $105 to $115, making it effective for this year's Oct. 1 due date.This is the first increase in five years, when the fee rose from $95 to $105.Delinquency fees stay the same: $65 will be added for fees...
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Attorneys suspended over registration fees

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
More than twice as many Indiana practicing attorneys were suspended this year for not paying their registration fees, compared to 2006.Those 133 attorneys were suspended this week from the practice of law - on top of 111 colleagues also suspended this week for not meeting continuing legal education requirements.A set of two orders came from the Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday, though the registration fee suspension order wasn't immediately available from the courts. It was posted online late Thursday. The orders...
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Justices: law requires courts' reasons in sentencing

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Trial courts must issue sentencing statements that include a detailed account of the judge's reasons for imposing penalties, such as aggravators and mitigators, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.Additionally, the state's highest court has reiterated that it will only review a sentence on the grounds of abuse of discretion.In a ruling that answers questions left open following the 2005 revision of state law regarding Indiana's sentencing structure, justices unanimously affirmed a Kosciusko Superior judge's decision in Alexander J. Anglemyer v. State...
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Pro bono director selected for SCOTUS fellowship

January 1, 2007
Rebecca Berfanger
A commission of nine members chosen by the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court has selected Monica A. Fennell, executive director of the Indiana Pro Bono Commission, as the 2007-2008 U.S. Supreme Court fellow assigned to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Her fellowship begins in the fall.Fennell ;s responsibilities would include the analysis and implementation of studies requested by Congress or the Judicial Conference, researching the federal rulemaking process, or drafting publications on administrative issues of...
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Marion County judges start teleconferencing for weekly meeting

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Hearing what happens at the Marion Superior Court Executive Committee meeting no longer means you have to attend the weekly gathering Friday mornings.Starting tomorrow, all you need is a telephone.The court will begin using a teleconferencing system for the 8 a.m. meeting, giving up to 30 people the option of listening and participating by phone rather than attending - which is still a choice.Topics on the Friday agenda for the four-person committee include building authority construction projects involving court build outs,...
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Court examines 'judge' definition

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Appeals Court today upheld the convictions and sentence of man who sent threatening letters to the Marion County Prosecutors Office, a judge, and commissioner after being ordered to have no contact.To be clear in its decision, the appellate court delved into the definition of "judge" and determined the term does include a county commissioner who handles legal matters for the court.In Allen Montgomery v. State of Indiana, No. 49A04-0703-CR-188, Montgomery appealed his two Class D felony convictions for intimidation and 11...
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Court answers question on subcontractors' ability to recover

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court today delved into the meaning of "subcontractor" and determined that performance bond coverage for third parties only goes so far.Stemming from a certified question from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, justices considered: "Does a performance bond required by and issued in accordance with Ind. Code §8-23-9-9 afford coverage to a third-tier claimant?"Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard wrote the opinion saying the statute does not afford that coverage, noting that a subcontractor is...
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Indiana Roll of Attorneys office moving

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The office that keeps track of Hoosier attorneys is changing locations.The Indiana Roll of Attorneys office is moving from the Statehouse and into the Indiana Government Center South to where the Court Clerk ;s Records Division is located.As of April 2, attorneys will need to have that new address – 302 W. Washington St., Room W062 – for mailing in or dropping off registration fees, changes of address, temporary admissions forms, or disciplinary filings. The fax number will also change, but...
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Indiana Supreme Court rules on wage statute

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled today that the term "days" in the Wage Payment Statute refers to business days, not calendar days. The opinion also clarifies several school-related aspects relating to the state statute.A 13-page decision in Tabatha J. Naugle and Sandra M. Cain v. Beech Grove City Schools (http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/04270701trb.pdf), 49S02-0606-CV-242, affirms a decision by Marion Circuit Judge Ted Sosin.Aside from the definition of days, justices also unanimously clarify a two-year-old ruling in Brownsburg Community School Corp. v. Natare Corp., 824...
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Court discusses Indiana's 1907 eugenic sterilization law

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will host an educational seminar Wednesday about how Indiana adopted the first eugencial sterilization law in the world 100 years ago.A panelist discussion and presentation about the law will be from 3 to 4:15 p.m. in the Supreme Court ;s courtroom at the statehouse.Indiana passed the law in 1907, and subsequently similar laws were adopted in more than 30 states and a dozen countries worldwide. The Indiana Supreme Court overturned the state statute in 1921, but a...
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ISBA offers 'insider view' of appellate courts

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana attorneys and jurists came together Wednesday to get an insider's view of the state's appellate process and learn more about the nuances of the system. An afternoon continuing legal education seminar took about 100 attorneys on a walk through the appellate process, from filing motions, how staff attorneys and courts review, and what lawyers can do to make the process easier. "This is the stuff we all get sweaty palms about, and we'd like to know where the daggers...
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Annexation case back on for COA

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Arguments are set for 1 p.m. Sept. 18 in the City of Carmel v. Certain Home Place Annexation Territory. The appellate court had decided last year to put the case on hold until ruling came down from the justices; that happened June 27 with the potentially landmark decision in City of Carmel, Indiana v. Certain Southwest Clay Township Annexation Territory Landowners http://www.ai.org/judiciary/opinions/pdf/06270701rts.pdf, 29S00-0608-CV-300.Carmel City Council voted to annex both areas in November 2004, but residents in the two areas challenged the...
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New COA judge robing ceremony Thursday

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
Three weeks after first taking the bench on the Indiana Court of Appeals, Judge Cale Bradford will formally join the court in a robing ceremony Aug. 23. Gov. Mitch Daniels will attend the ceremony in the Supreme Court courtroom to administer the oath of office. Judge Bradford's family, colleagues, and special guests will also attend the ceremony and reception. Seating is by invitation only. Judge Bradford took his 2nd District seat on the Court of Appeals Aug. 1, replacing retiring Judge...
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Courts see changing of judicial guard

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
Both state and federal courts in Indiana are saying good-bye to long-serving judges today and welcoming new faces to the bench.In a ceremony in South Bend, Joseph Van Bokkelen will be sworn in as a U.S. District judge in the Northern District to replace retiring Judge Rudy Lozano, who is taking senior status. Van Bokkelen has been a U.S. Attorney in that district.Meanwhile, Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Patrick D. Sullivan's 38-year tenure on the court will be celebrated today. A...
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Court mulls non-competes, parental rights

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Two sets of arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court this morning gave justices a look at the scope of non-compete agreements, and how much parental privilege exists when it comes to discipline and corporal punishment.First, the jurists posed questions in Central Indiana Podiatry P.C. v. Kenneth J. Krueger, Meridian Health Group P.C., 29S05-0706-CV-256, which the Court of Appeals ruled on in January. The appellate court overturned a lower court decision and held the podiatrist, Krueger, should have stopped working pending trial after...
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High court rules doctor can sue in med mal case

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that summary judgment should not have been granted because it prohibited a doctor from asserting a statutory negligence claim against a medical malpractice claimant, her attorney, and her attorney's law firm.In the ruling Wednesday, Justices Brent Dickson and Ted Boehm concurred, with Chief Justice Randall Shepard concurring in a separate opinion. Justice Frank Sullivan concurred in part and dissented in part with a separate opinion in which Justice Robert Rucker concurred.In Eusebio Kho M.D. v Deborah...
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Court rules on inclusion of inherited property in marital estates

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals ruled today on a case of distributing inherited property during dissolution of a marriage, stating property inherited by either party should be included in the marital estate. In Sharren M. (Garrity) Grathwohl v. Steven T. Garrity, http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/07300703mpb.pdf the Court of Appeals remanded the case back to the trial court for the purpose of requiring the trial court to include both parties' inherited property in their marital estate, to value the properties, and to issue a new order...
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Mental retardation claim anticipated in Fort Wayne case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A mental retardation defense could prevent the state from seeking the death penalty in a case involving a Fort Wayne man accused of killing his wife and three children in 2005.Fort Wayne public defender Michelle F. Kraus plans to ask Allen Superior Judge Fran Gull to appoint an expert to evaluate accused killer Simon Rios in order to determine if he is mentally retarded.If that happens and an expert finds the 35-year-old Rios mentally retarded, state law does not allow him...
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Supreme Court accepts 4 cases

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer in four cases. Justices heard arguments Tuesday morning in Philip Littler v. State, 71A03-0510-CR-509, and granted transfer later that day. The case is a murder conviction appeal involving whether the trial court abused discretion in excluding certain testimony from the victim ;s mother, properly allowed the state to add a murder charge after the omnibus date, and whether sufficient evidence was provided to support the charge. The Court of Appeals had affirmed the...
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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