Indiana General Assembly

Bill seeks to give Indiana appellate judges more time on the bench

January 5, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Sen. James Buck is again pushing to increase the mandatory retirement age for Indiana appellate judges.
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Bill would let Hoosiers refuse gay-wedding services

January 5, 2015
 Associated Press
Legislation that supporters contend is needed to protect Indiana residents with strong religious beliefs by allowing them to refuse services for same-sex weddings is drawing fire from gay rights groups and others who say it would legalize discrimination.
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Impact of Indiana's criminal code changes unclear

December 29, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana's prosecutors and judges are still adjusting to sweeping changes to the state's criminal code intended to send more low-level, nonviolent criminals to community corrections programs and jails instead of state prisons.
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Little Statehouse appetite exists for government reform

December 29, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers set to reconvene next week aren't showing any signs they'll embrace some of the more sweeping changes to the structure of the state's local government proposed by a bipartisan commission.
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Indiana senator plans medical marijuana proposal

December 17, 2014
 Associated Press
A state senator says she plans to push for the legalization of medicinal marijuana in Indiana.
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Death records law causing headache for genealogists

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Supreme Court recently confirmed that death certificates listing the cause of death are public records, the state is continuing to grapple with questions over privacy and online access to the documents.
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Frustrations with patent trolls spark push for pest control

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Three years after passing the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act which overhauled the U.S. patent system, Congress and state legislatures have been introducing bills that primarily seek to reform the process by clamping down on so-called patent trolls.
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Senate president says funding for We the People will continue

December 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Praising the We the People curriculum for instilling a sense of civic responsibility in the next generation, Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long pledged that state funding for the program would continue.
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Hamilton County seeks an out to avoid referendum for renovation

December 15, 2014
Andrea Muirragui Davis, IBJ Staff
Hamilton County leaders are asking state legislators for relief from a 2008 law that requires all capital projects costing more than $12 million be put to a vote.
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Judicial officers in demand

December 3, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Seven counties are asking the Legislature for 11 magistrates to handle increasing caseloads.
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ISBA seeks malpractice time-limit legislation

December 3, 2014
A proposal adopted by the Indiana State Bar Association's House of Delegates in October has yet to be formalized, but it recommends legislation that would limit malpractice liability for attorneys to two years after discovery of an error or not more than three years after the conclusion of representation.
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Indiana ethics chief seeks changes after scandals

November 21, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana Inspector General David Thomas has published a series of ethics reforms, asking for improved disclosure and new rules for state officials after a trio of Statehouse scandals.
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Indiana lawmakers sworn in on Organization Day

November 19, 2014
 Associated Press
Members of the General Assembly took their oaths of office Tuesday as a part of Organization Day formalities and talked about some of their plans for when they return to work full-time in January.
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New Indiana state senator sued by ex-employer

November 13, 2014
 Associated Press
A newly elected Indiana state senator is being sued by his stepmother's company over allegations that he misspent about $55,000 on himself.
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Big GOP wins create questions for Indiana Democrats

November 5, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana Democrats are looking for places to rebuild after an election drubbing that saw Republicans capture all three statewide offices on the ballot, build on an already overwhelming supermajority in the state Senate and protect their supermajority in the House.
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Second chance law needs a second look

November 5, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys say Indiana's expungement law still has issues that the Legislature needs to fix.
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Senator seeks stiffer punishment for decapitations

October 29, 2014
 Associated Press
The chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee says Indiana needs stronger penalties for decapitation.
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Legislative committee recommends making annexations more difficult

October 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The legislative committee examining Indiana’s annexation laws underscored how complex and difficult the issue is when committee members looked at the laws Wednesday. The members took a third of the time allotted for the meeting to decide that a remonstrance should succeed if a simple majority of property owners oppose a municipality’s effort to incorporate their land.
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Lawmakers in no rush to fix Marion County’s judicial selection process

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County’s unique power-sharing judicial-election system won’t be fixed anytime soon, even though a federal judge has ruled the four-decade-old system is unconstitutional.
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Indiana panel not making ethics suggestions

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
A state legislative panel isn't making any recommendations on ethics rule changes that the General Assembly is expected to consider during its upcoming session.
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Judiciary interim study committee to vote on magistrates

October 14, 2014
IL Staff
The Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary is expected to vote Thursday on endorsing magistrate judge requests from seven Indiana counties.
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House GOP plans changes in school funding, ethics

October 14, 2014
 Associated Press
House Republicans plan to spend the 2015 session seeking changes in how the state funds its schools and rewriting their own ethics rules.
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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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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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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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  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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.

  5. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

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