Indiana Trial Courts

Senate gets St. Joe judges bill, with twist

April 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The full Indiana Senate will consider in the next week whether St. Joseph Superior judges should be elected or merit-selected and retained by voters. A Senate committee wants the full legislative body to consider that issue, but with a twist: An amendment has been attached to the controversial House Bill 1491.
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No vote yet on St. Joe judges bill

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Senate committee debated this morning a bill that would make it so St. Joseph Superior judges are elected rather than chosen by merit selection and later retained by voters.
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St. Joe judges election bill hearing Wednesday

March 31, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Room 130 at the Statehouse to discuss several bills on first reading, including House Bill 1491, which would require nonpartisan elections of St. Joseph Superior judges.
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Governor appoints Wayne County judge

March 26, 2009
IL Staff
Charles K. Todd, a private practice attorney, has been appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels as judge of Wayne Superior Court 1.
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Justices disagree on judge's penalty

March 12, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A suspended Marion Superior judge will be able to return to the bench after another 60 days off the bench, this time without pay.
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Judge suspended for 60 days, no pay

March 11, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended Marion Superior Judge Grant W. Hawkins from the bench for 60 days without pay, though two justices wanted a yearlong penalty while two others wanted a month suspension.
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Justices reprimand Allen Circuit judge

March 11, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court today publicly reprimanded Allen Circuit Judge Thomas Felts, who last summer was arrested for and later pleaded guilty to drunk driving.
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Court names temporary judges

March 10, 2009
IL Staff
Two temporary judges have been selected by the Indiana Supreme Court to fill vacancies in Wayne and Madison counties.
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Judge: punitive-damage cap unconstitutional

March 3, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A Marion County judge has refused to reduce damages in a priest sex-abuse case, saying the punitive damage caps put in place more than a decade ago are unconstitutional.
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Longtime Madison County judge dies

February 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A longtime Madison County judge died suddenly Wednesday. Judge David W. Hopper, 60, had served as a jurist for a total of 28 years.
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Justices order mandate writ against court

February 25, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted a relator's verified petition for writ of mandamus and prohibition against a Grant Superior judge and the clerk.
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County, court don't have to give back pay

February 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A former chief probation officer for the Clark Superior Court isn't entitled to back pay after she stepped down as chief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Judge holds public hearings on foreclosure rule

February 17, 2009
IL Staff
Marion Superior Judge Cynthia Ayers is holding public hearings today and Thursday regarding the proposed local rule, 49-TR85-231, which would require mandatory mediation for mortgage foreclosure cases in Marion County.
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House passes St. Joseph judicial election bill

February 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In a historically notable vote, the Indiana House of Representatives passed a bill that would elect St. Joseph Superior judges rather than stick with a merit-selection and retention system in place for 35 years.
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Lake County fee bill moves forward

February 10, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The House Judiciary Committee met this morning to consider five bills that included assessing a $10 fee for Lake County court filings, which would be used to fund a consolidated judicial center.
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Judge named chairman of alcohol commission

February 10, 2009
IL Staff
A longtime Wayne County judge has been appointed the new chairman of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.
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St. Joseph judicial election bill out of committee

February 5, 2009
IL Staff
The bill requiring the non-partisan election of Superior Court judges in St. Joseph County has made it out of committee.
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Snow closes Porter, LaPorte courts

February 4, 2009
IL Staff
The Porter and LaPorte county courts were closed today after the area received more than a foot of lake-effect snow. Starke, Pulaski, and St. Joseph counties reported no closings or delays today because of the weather.
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Attorney's kidnapper nets 60-year sentence

February 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The man who abducted his attorney in July 2008 has been sentenced to 60 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.
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Order restricts guns, alcohol in judge's home

January 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Special Judge Walter Chapala issued an order this week requiring all firearms be removed from the home of a LaPorte Superior judge who was shot last month in her home.
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Snow closes some federal, county courts

January 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The foot or more of snow dumped on the southern two-thirds of Indiana hasn't stopped some attorneys from making it to their offices today, but it has closed some courts around the state.
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Some Lake civil cases go to random filing

January 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys opening new civil cases in Lake County should note that a new random filing system is being put in place, a plan described as the most extensive use of this in the county's history.
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Counties seeking comment on rule changes

January 27, 2009
IL Staff
Two central Indiana counties are seeking public comment on proposed local rule changes.
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Marion County presiding judge named

January 23, 2009
IL Staff
The state's largest county court system has new leadership for the next two years. Marion Superior Judge Robert Altice, a Republican, became presiding judge of the court system for a two-year term.
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Judge's suspension begins Feb. 11

January 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Allen County judge sanctioned as a result of his conduct in a fellow jurist's courtroom will serve a three-day suspension without pay beginning Feb. 11, the Indiana Supreme Court announced today.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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