Courts

Justices uphold death sentence

April 7, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the sentence for a man sentenced to die for the 2001 rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in southern Indiana.
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Use of bench warrants still not certain

April 7, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys have settled a federal case that led to the Marion Superior Court scrapping its practice of issuing bench warrants for the arrest of people who'd failed to appear in civil cases, but a statewide investigation of whether state law allows judges to issue these warrants remains ongoing.
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Single larceny rule doesn't apply in case

April 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man's petition for post-conviction relief, finding the defendant's trial counsel wasn't ineffective for arguing a single larceny rule defense because it wasn't applicable in this case.
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Need remains for GAL/CASA help in Indiana

April 7, 2009
IL Staff
While more than 4,000 Indiana children remain on a waiting list for advocates in cases that involve abuse and neglect, Guardian Ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocates programs recruited and trained 911 new volunteers, a 50 percent increase from 2007, according to the 2008 statewide Court Appointed Special Advocates statistics made available today.
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High court rules on recovery issue

April 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Under the statute governing the wrongful death of an unmarried adult with no dependents, the amount recoverable for reasonable medical and hospital expenses necessitated by the alleged wrongful conduct is the total amount ultimately accepted after contractual arrangements with an insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid, and not the total of the charges billed, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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Comment sought on copyright jury instructions

April 6, 2009
IL Staff
The 7th Circuit Pattern Jury Instruction Committee and Copyright Subcommittee are seeking public comment on proposed copyright pattern civil jury instructions for the court.
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COA to hear insurance, attorney fee cases

April 6, 2009
IL Staff
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges will hear arguments Tuesday in Evansville in an insurance coverage case while another panel in Indianapolis will hear arguments in a case involving the division of attorney fees.
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Supreme Court grants 3 transfers

April 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted three transfers Thursday to cases involving what manner an appellate court could reverse a revocation of probation, how to calculate guardian ad litem fees, and whether there is a rebuttable presumption that children ages 7 through 14 can't be found contributorily negligent.
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Attorney didn't commit conversion, malpractice

April 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed the dismissal of conversion and legal malpractice claims filed in LaPorte County against an Illinois attorney following the settlement of a wrongful death claim in Illinois.
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Seminar, CLE on Criminal Justice Act

April 2, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Federal Community Defenders will host a seminar for attorneys interested in joining the Criminal Justice Act panel of attorneys to represent indigent clients accused of crimes against the United States.
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Federal judicial nomination hearing draws crowd

April 2, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Senate Judiciary Committee considered U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton's nomination for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals at a Wednesday afternoon hearing.
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Judges: Vehicle stop by cops reasonable

April 2, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man's illegal gun possession conviction, ruling the South Bend Police officer who made the traffic stop had reasonable suspicion the car may be linked to a shooting in an apartment complex.
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Justices affirm cop killer's death sentence

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A man sentenced to die for fatally shooting a Morgan County sheriff's deputy in 2001 will remain on death row despite his appellate claims he's mentally ill and not eligible for execution.
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Comment sought on ADR rule changes

April 1, 2009
IL Staff
Changes may be coming to the rules governing Alternative Dispute Resolution in Indiana.
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Senate Judiciary holds nomination hearing

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A busy Congressional calendar has caused the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to move its nomination hearing to a room without cameras, which leaves Indiana's legal community in the dark about an Indianapolis-based federal judge's nomination for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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No vote yet on St. Joe judges bill

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Senate committee debated this morning a bill that would make it so St. Joseph Superior judges are elected rather than chosen by merit selection and later retained by voters.
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High court addresses Protected Person Statute

March 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Addressing for the first time under the current Rules of Evidence a case regarding a protected person testifying at trial as well as by videotape or other statement, the Indiana Supreme Court held that if the statements are consistent and both are otherwise admissible, testimony of a protected person can't be presented both in open court and in a pre-recorded statement through the Protected Person Statute.
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Appellate docket offers more public access

March 31, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Docket entries for more than 200 juvenile-related cases are now publicly available online through the Indiana Appellate Clerk's Office.
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First impression in 'non-suspension' rule case

March 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined in a case of first impression that the state's 'non-suspension rule' in Indiana Code depends on the status of the prior criminal conviction at the time of sentencing for a subsequent conviction.
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Text messages must be separately authenticated

March 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined text messages are subject to separate authentication before being admitted into evidence, much like the authentication process that data saved in a computer must undergo before being admitted.
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St. Joe judges election bill hearing Wednesday

March 31, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Room 130 at the Statehouse to discuss several bills on first reading, including House Bill 1491, which would require nonpartisan elections of St. Joseph Superior judges.
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Plea puts stop to federal death penalty trial

March 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The first-ever federal death penalty trial for the Southern District of Indiana was set to start today, but a plea agreement means a trial likely won't be happening at all for a man connected to a violent killing spree four years ago.
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Judges at law school to hear defamation case

March 30, 2009
IL Staff
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges will head a few blocks from their Statehouse courtroom to Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis to hear arguments in a case involving defamation and invasion of privacy claims stemming from a letter written to church leaders.
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Man not prejudiced by attorney's assistance

March 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a defendant's counsel was found to be ineffective based on his "television fantasy" trial strategy, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court denial of his petition for habeas corpus because he didn't show he was prejudiced by his attorney's performance.
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County video project deadline extended

March 27, 2009
IL StaffMore
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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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