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. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  2. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  3. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  4. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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