Government

64 claimants accepted settlement offers stemming from stage collapse

December 20, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Monday that 64 of 65 claimants offered settlements in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse have accepted the offers. Checks will be issued by year-end, the AG’s office said, paying out the entire $5 million in tort claim funds the state has available by law.
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Federal Circuit hears judges' pay case

December 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal appellate court heard arguments Friday in a case that could ultimately decide if Congress has the authority to withhold judicial pay increases as it’s done in the past or whether cost-of-living adjustments are required.
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Judge: Governor can be deposed

December 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels shouldn’t be excused from appearing for a deposition in a lawsuit challenging the cancelled multi-million dollar contract with IBM to modernize the state’s welfare system, according to Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer.
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AG wants justices to consider prosecutor disqualification

December 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Arguing that prosecutors must face an actual conflict of interest before they can be removed from a case, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General wants the state justices to take the high-profile case of a former state trooper being tried for murders that happened more than a decade ago.
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Governor names new general counsel

December 16, 2011
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Friday that Anita Kolkmeier Samuel, assistant general counsel and policy director for the governor, has been named general counsel. Samuel replaces David Pippen, who has resigned to accept a position with Indianapolis law firm Bose McKinney & Evans.
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63 claimants will accept settlement in State Fair stage collapse

December 15, 2011
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General has heard from all 65 claimants who were offered settlements stemming from the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in August, and 63 will accept the settlements.
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Grand jury indicts 2 attorneys, real estate broker

December 14, 2011
Cory Schouten
A grand jury in South Bend has returned a 14-count criminal indictment against two attorneys and a real estate broker from central Indiana over a state lease deal in Elkhart.
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Judges reverse termination of parents' rights

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case filled with several errors and discrepancies, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the termination of parental rights of a mother and two fathers because the Department of Child Services failed to meet the burden of proving that termination is in the best interest of the children.
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District judge and state senator to receive honorary BSU degrees

December 12, 2011
IL Staff
U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt and Indiana Sen. Luke Kenley will receive honorary doctor of laws degrees from Ball State University at its winter commencement Dec. 17.
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Former IURC chairman indicted

December 12, 2011
IL Staff
The former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, David Lott Hardy, has been indicted by a Marion County grand jury on felony official misconduct charges, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office announced Monday.
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AG's office begins distribution of funds to State Fair victims

December 7, 2011
IL Staff
The estates of the seven people killed by the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in August will receive at least $300,000 each if the offers extended by the state are accepted, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Tuesday.
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Labor law to be key issue in 2012

December 7, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Indiana legislators disagree about merits of right-to-work legislation.
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Juvenile judge returns from military mission

December 7, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Judge Marilyn Moores spent nearly a year teaching Afghans how to put an agricultural infrastructure in place, helping create a public defense system for that country and strengthening the role women lawyers have in shaping that society for the future.
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We the People state finals Dec. 17 and 18

December 7, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Bar Foundation is preparing to host its annual We the People state finals later this month.
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Judge rules on case involving legislative walkout fines

December 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge has ruled that state courts don’t have the ability to interfere with the Indiana General Assembly’s constitutional authority to pass laws or its own internal rules, including how it compels attendance or imposes fines.
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Former city-county councilor sentenced to 40 months

December 2, 2011
IL and IBJ Staff
U.S. Senior Judge Larry McKinney on Thursday sentenced former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Lincoln Plowman to 40 months in federal prison for attempted extortion and bribery.
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7th Circuit rules on Indiana's prison grievance process

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Addressing a question for the first time about prison inmate complaints, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a prisoner's participation in internal affairs investigations isn’t an alternative for the administrative process an inmate must follow in filing a grievance.
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Supreme Court rules town can regulate aquifer's water use

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Underground aquifers are “watercourses” as defined by state law and as a result the Indiana Supreme Court says community officials have the ability to reasonably regulate how that water is taken out and used by other local governments.
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Targeting stolen money

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
AG says lawsuits against  public officials show need  for better oversight.
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Unifying Indiana courts

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Unification of courts is leading to greater efficiency and cooperation.
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Stopped short

November 23, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
State tuition law creates chasm between undocumented immigrants and college.
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Judge rejects dental coverage cap

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Ruling puts Medicaid dental program in jeopardy.
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Laws on immigrant tuition vary

November 23, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
States differ on interpretation of federal law, create state statutes addressing in-state status for college students.
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Justices rule on applicable statute of limitations

November 17, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court decided Thursday that the period within the general statute of limitations controls the limitation period when a medical provider may seek payment of outstanding bills for authorized treatment to an employer’s worker. The justices came to that conclusion after finding the Worker’s Compensation Act is silent on what the applicable limitation period is for this matter.
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Congress proposes cutting legal aid funding

November 16, 2011
IL Staff
If an agreement between the members of Congress passes, Legal Services Corp. will see its budget reduced by 14 percent. The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee had previously proposed cutting it by 17 percent.
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