Indiana Trial Courts

Gotsch will not seek third term as St. Joe Circuit judge

January 6, 2016
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael G. Gotsch announced Tuesday that he will not seek election for a third term in 2016.
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Allen County seeking magistrate for misdemeanor and traffic division

January 6, 2016
IL Staff
Allen Superior Court’s Criminal Division is now accepting applications for an upcoming magistrate vacancy to be created after the retirement of Magistrate Judge Robert Ross.
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DTCI: Where have all the jury trials gone?

December 30, 2015
Conceptually, attorneys (and especially perhaps members of organizations like DTCI and ITLA) embrace as inviolate the right to trial by jury. We cite the concept both as a goal and as the bedrock of our existence – and sometimes in responses opposing summary judgment motions. But the Indiana Supreme Court “2014 Indiana Judicial Service Report, Vol I: Judicial Year in Review” caused me to look more closely at how that right is being exercised as a practical matter.
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Man accused in death of pastor's wife charged in 2nd slaying

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
An 18-year-old man accused of killing an Indianapolis pastor's pregnant wife during a home invasion faces another murder charge in a second fatal robbery that a prosecutor said Tuesday happened amid an "unprecedented" eight-day violent crime spree.
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6 counties next in line for trial court e-filing

December 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Six Indiana counties — Clark, Harrison, Henry, St. Joseph, Shelby and Wells — will be joining Hamilton County in implementing e-filing in the trial courts during the first half of 2016, with more to come later.
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Marion County residents mount court challenge to stop project

December 22, 2015
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
Three Ransom Place residents in Indianapolis are challenging the city’s approval of a large residential project planned for the neighborhood and are asking a Marion County judge to stop the $10 million development.
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Judge: Indianapolis house blast defendant to keep lawyers

December 16, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge has rejected a request by a defendant in an Indianapolis house explosion that killed two people to dismiss his attorneys and represent himself one month before his trial is scheduled to begin.
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Indiana man's murder trial in wife's death ends in hung jury

November 20, 2015
 Associated Press
A murder trial for a northwestern Indiana man accused of killing his wife has ended with a hung jury.
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Suspected killer cancels request to represent himself

November 19, 2015
 Associated Press
A northwest Indiana man charged with strangling two women has decided not to represent himself during his upcoming trial.
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Jurists honored for longevity of service

October 30, 2015
IL Staff
Eight Indiana jurists were honored by Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush for 24 years of service on the bench at an annual judicial conference, the court announced Thursday.
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Evansville man gets 200 years for fire deaths of 3 people

October 27, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge on Monday sentenced an Evansville man to 200 years in prison after a jury found him guilty but mentally ill on three counts of murder for starting a fire that killed his ex-girlfriend, her grandfather and her daughter.
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Judge: Private Facebook messages fair game at arson trial

October 27, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge has declined to prevent private Facebook messages from being considered as evidence at the trial of two people charged in an Evansville marina fire.
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Trial courts saw 1.3M new cases in 2014

October 21, 2015
IL Staff
More than 1.3 million new cases were filed in Indiana trial courts last year, according to the Indiana Judicial Service report released Wednesday. The report details court operations at the county and appellate level for calendar year 2014.
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Judge Frances Gull receives national award for innovations in Allen County

October 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
For more than 10 years, Judge Frances Gull has spearheaded efforts in Allen County to make the jury process easier and more convenient. She made jury duty less burdensome by incorporating technological advances that help potential jurors feel more comfortable.
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Mediator appointed to Marion Superior Court

October 15, 2015
IL Staff
An Indianapolis mediator has been selected by Gov. Mike Pence to fill the vacancy in Marion Superior Court created when Judge Robert Altice Jr. was appointed to the Indiana Court of Appeals in July.
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Allen County judge recognized for jury operations improvements

October 7, 2015
IL Staff
Allen Superior Judge Frances C. Gull, who has spent the past 10 years to electronically upgrading the court’s jury management system, will receive the 2015 G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation from the National Center for State Courts for her efforts.
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Lawsuit takes on Indiana's right-to-farm laws

October 7, 2015
Jeff Newman, IBJ Staff
The Hoosier Environmental Council has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a pair of Hendricks County families who say they face “intolerable living conditions” created by odors coming from a nearby 8,000-hog farm that opened two years ago.
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Judges to join students in Constitution Day celebration

September 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana appellate and trial court judges along with Indiana Supreme Court attorneys will be celebrating Constitution Day by visiting with more than 2,500 students across the state.
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$5M bond set for man accused of plot to kill lawyer

July 14, 2015
 Associated Press
A $5 million bond has been set for a man accused of plotting with his mother to kill a Hamilton County divorce attorney seeking money from the mother's boyfriend.
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Firefighter allegedly targeted with noose sues ex-official

July 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A black Marion firefighter whose wife belongs to the family of a lynching victim has filed a federal lawsuit against an assistant fire chief who allegedly tied a rope into a noose.
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E-filing pilot begins in Indiana

July 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
Lawyers will have to file electronically in all Indiana state courts by the end of 2018, according to a plan overseen by Supreme Court Justice Steven David and Court of Appeals Judge Paul Mathias. Hamilton County will get the ball rolling in a few weeks.
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Boy injured by pig at YMCA camp loses appeal

June 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court correctly granted summary judgment in favor of a YMCA camp and other defendants in a case seeking damages after an 11-year-old boy was bitten by a pig.
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Inconsistency by trial court leads to partial reversal

June 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a trial court hearing a child support matter at first declined to impute the income of the stepfather to the child's mother, but later treated their income as the same when it came to the cost of her child's health insurance, the Indiana Court of Appeals partially reversed a Hamilton Superior Court's 2014 ruling.
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Supreme Court pulls plug on audio-video transcript pilot project

June 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
Transcripts generated by video cameras have had their day in court in Indiana. The verdict is in favor of keeping paper records.
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Legislative Council assigns topics to summer committees

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a study to determine the appropriate number of courts in Pulaski County was not assigned to a summer interim committee, the Indiana Legislature may not be finished with making reductions in some state courts.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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