Government

Jury returns guilty verdicts in Indy Land Bank case

March 19, 2015
Cory Schouten, IBJ Staff
A federal jury on Wednesday evening returned guilty verdicts on eight felony counts including wire fraud and bribery against Reggie Walton, a former Indianapolis city employee who managed the Indy Land Bank.
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Pence asks Legislature for $15M to add DCS staff

March 18, 2015
IL Staff
On the same day the state released an independent report on workload and caseloads of staff at the Indiana Department of Child Services, Gov. Mike Pence sent a letter to several legislators seeking more funding to increase family case managers and supervisors at the state agency.
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Former Indy Land Bank chief grilled over inconsistent testimony

March 17, 2015
Cory Schouten, IBJ Staff
Former Indy Land Bank director Reggie Walton opted to take the stand in his own defense in federal court this week, and prosecutors used the opportunity to use his words against him.
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Change to Indiana law on sex trafficking victims wins approval

March 17, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana legislators have approved changing state law so that those younger than 18 won't be prosecuted for prostitution if they were a victim of human trafficking.
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Indiana House panel endorses religious objections bill

March 17, 2015
 Associated Press
Rallies drawing hundreds of people on both sides of a contentious proposal that could allow people to cite strong religious beliefs to deny services for activities such as same-sex weddings didn't seem to change any minds among Indiana legislators Monday.
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Senate panel discusses bill to boost industrial hemp crop

March 16, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana Senate committee is considering a bill that lawmakers say could speed up the federal approval process to grow industrial hemp in Indiana.
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Indiana sues auto parts dealer over unpaid fine, auto fluids

March 16, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana's environmental agency is suing an auto parts dealer who was ordered last year to pay a $10,000 fine and clean up automotive fluids and other materials at his Muncie business.
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TIF funds can’t be used to maintain parks, COA affirms

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a Lake County trial court ruling that tax increment financing funds used in the redevelopment of Munster parks could not be used to later maintain the parks.
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At odds with Google, US seeks new rule on computer access

March 13, 2015
 Associated Press
The Justice Department is at odds with Google and privacy groups over the government's push to make it easier to locate and hack into computers in criminal investigations, a simmering conflict with constitutional and policy implications.
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Bill ensures that expungement law extends to individuals most deserving

March 12, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
As the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that tweaks Indiana’s 2013 expungement law, the author warned against nitpicking that might undo what he described as the “delicate balance” struck in the comprehensive measure.
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‘Master magistrate bill’ approved by senate committee

March 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
While the Senate Judiciary Committee moved a bill forward Wednesday that would provide additional magistrates for courts in seven counties, some members indicated a need to revisit in a future legislative session a push to require all judges, including those presiding over town and city courts, be attorneys.
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Law professors warn against Indiana religious freedom bill

March 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
A bill that proponents say would further protect religious freedom in Indiana “will more likely create confusion, conflict, and a wave of litigation” because it will confer a special status to religious rights, according to a letter signed by 30 law professors.
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Indiana joins New York herbal supplement inquiry

March 11, 2015
 Associated Press
Attorneys general from Connecticut, Indiana and Puerto Rico have joined New York's attorney general in an investigation of the herbal supplement industry, saying they're building on the long track record of state attorneys general upholding the rights of consumers.
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Northern Indiana county council rejects abortion ordinance

March 11, 2015
 Associated Press
A county council in northern Indiana voted down an ordinance that would have added new local requirements for doctors who perform abortions.
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'Elkhart Four' convictions put new spotlight on felony murder statute

March 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Three teens convicted of felony murder have asked the Indiana Supreme Court to overturn their convictions because they did not directly kill the victim.
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Decades-long fight over landfill quietly concludes

March 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
A 37-year fight over a planned solid waste landfill in Anderson ended recently, concluding one of the longest environmental battles in state history. Only a few loads of trash were ever dumped at the Mallard Lake Landfill, but fortunes were spent litigating it.
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Legislative debate highlights issues surrounding juvenile offenders

March 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A proposed change to Indiana’s juvenile law has state legislators wrestling with the question of when children should be treated like adults.
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Indiana regulators revoke coal-gasification plant's permit

March 10, 2015
 Associated Press
State regulators have revoked an air permit for a proposed $2.8 billion coal-gasification plant in southwestern Indiana at the request of the plant's developer.
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Appeals panel affirms East Chicago library board must repay insurance premiums

March 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly ruled for the state when it ordered East Chicago Library Board members to repay more than $136,000 in health, dental, vision and life insurance premiums since state law says those members serve without compensation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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State appeals ruling blocking fenced hunting preserve rules

March 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office is appealing a court ruling that state wildlife officials overstepped their authority in trying to shut down Indiana’s high-fenced deer-hunting preserves.
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Class-action suit against Indiana BMV to go to mediation

March 5, 2015
 Associated Press
A class-action lawsuit that says the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles overcharged customers by millions of dollars is set to go to mediation.
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Indy Land Bank trial could turn on government wiretaps

March 4, 2015
Cory Schouten
Reginald T. Walton is guilty of "very poor judgment" and "ethics violations," and also "did a pretty good job concealing" his involvement in private real estate partnerships during his tenure leading the Indy Land Bank, but he's not guilty of any crime, his attorney argued in federal court Wednesday.
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Cumberland ups ante in fight to save historic church

March 3, 2015
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
Cumberland officials are stepping up their efforts to stop a supermarket and convenience store chain from demolishing a historic church by hiring one of Indianapolis’ top real estate attorneys to argue their appeal.
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Debate on common wage repeal lingers during contractor event

March 3, 2015
 Associated Press
A Republican-backed proposal to repeal the state law that sets wages for public construction projects requires further study instead of a quick vote, opponents of the measure said Monday.
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COA affirms attorney fees in frivolous suit challenging Logansport P3 deal

March 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman’s lawsuit that claimed the city of Logansport had to pass an ordinance formally adopting the Public-Private Agreements Act before entering into a P3 deal was frivolous and in bad faith, thus justifying the award of attorney fees to the city, the Court of Appeals affirmed.
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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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