Government

Plainfield facility to house low-risk, first-time offenders

October 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Gov. Mike Pence announced Thursday the conversion of a Plainfield short-term offender program into an individualized program for first-time, lower-risk offenders sentenced to prison.
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Indiana AG proposes home contractor registry

October 1, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana residents looking to hire contractors for home repair or remodeling projects would be able to search a state registry that's among a package of legislative proposals Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Tuesday he's supporting in an effort to boost consumer protections.
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U.S. judge blocks Obamacare tax rule for non-exchange states

October 1, 2014
 Bloomberg News
An Oklahoma federal judge dealt a blow to President Barack Obama’s health care law, invalidating IRS rules aimed at making policies affordable for consumers around the country.
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Petition seeks charges in crash that killed 7

October 1, 2014
 Associated Press
A Georgia man hopes an online petition will help persuade a northwestern Indiana prosecutor to file charges against a trucker for a crash that killed seven family members.
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Prison agency gets $1 million to fight injuries

September 29, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Department of Correction has been awarded nearly $1 million to identify offenders with traumatic brain injuries and help them avoid a return to prison.
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Former workers file suit against state lawmaker

September 29, 2014
 Associated Press
A lawmaker who was one of nine Republican state senators to vote against a right-to-work law two years ago is accused in a lawsuit of failing to pay his employees more than $220,000 in wages and other benefits.
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Dispute over unpaid sewer fees could head to court

September 29, 2014
 Associated Press
Dozens of residents in southern Indiana could face legal action for failing to pay to tie in to sewer lines in a newly annexed area.
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Access counselor doubts city's need for secrecy on justice center RFP

September 26, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Indiana Public Access Counselor Luke Britt told the city of Indianapolis that he wasn't swayed by its reasons for withholding its request for proposals for a new $500 million criminal justice complex.
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Program gets $1 million US grant to mentor ex-cons

September 26, 2014
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis nonprofit is receiving a $1 million Department of Justice grant to mentor released prison inmates who are mothers and fathers.
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Annexation called ‘legalized bullying’ during interim study committee meeting

September 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Property owners told Indiana legislators Sept. 24 that despite the General Assembly’s continual tinkering with the state’s annexation statute, the process still favors municipalities by giving them all the power to take the land they want without considering the owners’ wishes.
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Child services investigators claim unpaid overtime

September 25, 2014
 Associated Press
Two Indiana Department of Child Services investigators say in a lawsuit that they've had to work extensive overtime without receiving required overtime pay.
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White House says Holder resigning as attorney general

September 25, 2014
 Associated Press
Eric Holder, who served as the public face of the Obama administration's legal fight against terrorism and pushed to make the criminal justice system more even-handed, is resigning after six years on the job. He is the nation's first black attorney general.
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State's way of paying public defenders debated

September 24, 2014
 Associated Press
The state pays the salaries of its judges and prosecutors, but public defenders are paid by counties that are only partially reimbursed for their costs — an approach that some including the executive director of the Indiana Public Defender Council want to see changed.
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Line blurs on intoxication

September 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
Convictions for public intoxication don’t just require being pickled in public anymore. An inebriated person now has to do something else, but conduct elements added to the criminal statute in 2012 have blurred what constitutes a misdemeanor.
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Representation is imperative to due process for immigrants

September 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The cases involving immigrant children coming to the U.S. from Central America are creating more need for pro bono legal representation and are highlighting an area of asylum law that the courts struggle to clearly define.
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Mentally ill inmates straining jail and DOC resources

September 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
An interim legislative committee is examining the need for treatment options but is unsure if funding will be available.
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Spotlight: North/Central Indiana

September 24, 2014
IL Staff
A round up of news from northern and central Indiana, including a mayor's attempt to stay his contempt order.
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No dismissal of charges against county treasurer

September 22, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge has rejected a central Indiana county treasurer's request for the dismissal of criminal charges that he mishandled public money.
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Indiana Toll Road operator files for bankruptcy

September 22, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge and creditors will have to decide who runs the Indiana Toll Road after the highway's private operator filed for bankruptcy protection, formally acknowledging that it couldn't afford the debt from the multibillion-dollar deal to take over the highway.
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State holds $1.2 million in domestic violence funds

September 19, 2014
 Associated Press
The trustees of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute have decided to stick by a plan that withholds $1.2 million in domestic violence prevention funds from private agencies until they submit spending plans.
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Judgment favoring policeman’s meth-exposure claim reversed

September 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
A police officer who claimed disability resulting from his work dismantling methamphetamine labs had a favorable trial court ruling reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday.
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DCS settles adoption subsidy lawsuit

September 18, 2014
IL Staff
Families who sued the Department of Child Services will receive $15.1 million in state foster child adoption subsidies withheld from 2009 to 2014, DCS announced Thursday.
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Judge rules for revenue department on man’s claim for sanctions

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man who argued that the Indiana Department of State Revenue should be sanctioned for allegedly producing his ex-wife’s transmittal envelope for her tax return and passing it off as his own lost his case before the Indiana Tax Court Thursday.
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Indiana may slash funds for domestic violence victims

September 18, 2014
 Associated Press
Advocates for domestic violence victims and the administration of Gov. Mike Pence clashed Wednesday over whether it's seeking to slash funding for services when demand is surging after a video showed suspended NFL player Ray Rice hitting his future wife.
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Judiciary study committee to consider new judges, consent to adoption

September 17, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana General Assembly’s Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary meets Thursday for the first time this year and will look at the addition of judges in several counties.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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