Government

Bomb threat causes evacuation of courthouse

September 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A bomb threat called into the clerk’s office in Hancock County Wednesday morning prompted an evacuation of the building for several hours.
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Civic index numbers show Indiana trails most states in voter turnout

September 14, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The inaugural Indiana Civic Health Index shows that while the state is on-par with national standards in volunteerism, its voter turnout and registration are among the lowest in the country.
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Questioning judicial campaign contributions

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The American Bar Association urges states to adopt recusal rules because of judicial fundraising concerns.
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Judges disagree on whether use of names or initials is appropriate

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A clear divide exists at the Indiana Court of Appeals these days and is anything but confidential. Judges are debating whether parties’ names on certain cases should be released publicly or be shielded through use of initials only.
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Indiana makes gains in permanent placement

September 14, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The state sees improvement, but aims to do better.
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Fall protection mandatory for residential jobs

September 14, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
On Oct. 1, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration will begin enforcing fall protection plans for residential contractors. The regulations have long applied to commercial construction, but this year marks the first that OSHA will begin requiring residential contractors to exercise the same level of caution when employees are working more than six feet above the ground.
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2 Indiana lawyers part of legal team representing plaintiffs in 9/11 litigation

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Even now, chills run down Mary Beth Ramey’s spine when she stands along the canal in downtown Indianapolis and thinks about how that spot ties into the litigation she’s been involved in for the past decade.
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Justices consider state back-pay suit

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Almost a year after the Indiana Court of Appeals significantly slashed a $42.4 million damages award against the state, the Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Sept. 8 on whether past and present employees can recover back pay and how much should be awarded.
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Bar foundation names 'legendary lawyer'

September 9, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Fellows of the Indiana Bar Foundation have chosen Leslie Duvall as the 2011 Legendary Lawyer. On Sept. 27, Indianapolis firm Lewis & Kappes will hold a ceremony in his honor.
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Criminal code study group meets Friday

September 8, 2011
IL Staff
The Criminal Code Evaluation Commission will have its fifth meeting Friday. According to the meeting agenda, Rep. Ralph Foley, R-Martinsville, will give a presentation on unspecified data and Deborah Daniels will give a presentation on penalties for sex offenders.
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7th Circuit tackles 'novel' U visa review request

September 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it does not have jurisdiction to review immigration orders denying a specialized visa to a non-citizen trying to stay in the country after assisting in an investigation or prosecution.
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State preparing to pay maximum in stage collapse damages

August 31, 2011
Scott Olson
The state of Indiana is set to forgo costly and lengthy litigation and instead pay the maximum $5 million in damages allowed by law to victims of the Indiana State Fair concert stage collapse, Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Wednesday.
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Man's detainment by officer violated 4th Amendment

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Conservation officers checking to see if a fisherman had a valid license did not have reasonable suspicion to detain the man and ask to see what was inside his bag after verifying his license, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Toxic dust exposure leads to litigation

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indianapolis attorney Gabe Hawkins has already attended the funerals of three former clients, and he hopes that he won’t have to see a fourth before finally being able to say that the courtroom battle they’ve been waging for years has paid off.
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Meth use linked to increase in CHINS

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Leslie Dunn, Indiana state director for GAL/CASA, said the number of Child in Need of Services cases over time remains stable, but she’s seen some remarkable variations in cases per-county from year to year. In Vanderburgh County, for example, new CHINS cases jumped from 448 in 2008 to 818 in 2010. People who are watching these numbers with concern cite several possible reasons for these variations.
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Economic woes hitting state's public defense

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Years ago, those working in the Porter County Public Defender Office reported seeing a bright blue Post-it note tagged to their caseload reports that said, “HELP!” in huge hand-written print. That was a common occurrence at a time when the local public defender’s office faced a critical overload point because of skyrocketing caseloads and too few attorneys.
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Jefferson County celebrates reopening of courthouse

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A fire in May 2009 displaced the courts and government offices. After more than two years, they were able to move back into the courthouse.
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2011-2012 Civil Legal Aid Fund figures released

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Division of State Court Administration has released figures for 2011-2012, showing how the $1.5 million Civil Legal Aid Fund has been distributed among 11 qualifying agencies.
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Attorney general wants State Fair class action dismissed

August 30, 2011
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General filed a motion Monday in Marion Superior Court to dismiss a proposed class-action lawsuit filed as a result of the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair.
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Indiana University to host 9/11 Commission members

August 30, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana University Maurer School of Law will host a talk by former U.S. Rep. Lee H. Hamilton, the past vice chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States, also known as the 9/11 Commission.
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Governor appoints new ALJ

August 26, 2011
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Friday the appointment of Aaron Raff as chief administrative law judge for the State Employees’ Appeals Commission. He succeeds Judge William “Tim” Rider, who has accepted a position at the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board.
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Lawmakers discuss Barnes police entry ruling

August 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana summer study committee met for the second time Wednesday to discuss a state Supreme Court ruling from earlier this year involving the right to resist police entry into one’s home.
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Justice touts Odyssey, counties seek addition judicial officers

August 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Commission on Courts meeting Wednesday contained some familiar elements: Indiana Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan testified regarding Odyssey and two trial judges have once again asked for an additional judicial officer.
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New IPAC leader named

August 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Longtime prosecutor David N. Powell from Greene County is the newest leader of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council.
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Class-action lawsuit filed over State Fair stage collapse

August 23, 2011
Scott Olson
A class-action lawsuit filed by an Indianapolis law firm is the largest legal action to arise so far from the collapse of a concert stage at the Indiana State Fair.
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