St. Joseph County

Judge dismisses 54 potential jurors in house explosion trial

June 5, 2015
 Associated Press
Jury selection in the trial of an Indianapolis man charged in a deadly 2012 house explosion got off to a rocky start Thursday when a judge dismissed the first 54 potential jurors following a defense attorney's revelation that the suspect is also accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill a witness.
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Judge to allow recordings from Indy blast at trial

June 4, 2015
 Associated Press
The judge hearing the trial of a man charged in an Indianapolis house explosion says he'll allow prosecutors to present an audio recording of the screams of a man who initially survived the blast before dying.
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Woman’s lien takes priority in property sold at tax sale

May 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined Tuesday that a woman who obtained a judgment lien in 2006 against a co-owner of a property later sold in a tax sale has priority over other claims for the tax sale surplus and that she made a timely claim for the surplus.
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Judge may sequester house blast jury during deliberations

April 29, 2015
 Associated Press
The judge who'll preside over one defendant's murder trial in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion says he may sequester jurors during deliberations.
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Judge: Notre Dame police aren't subject to open records law

April 20, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge in South Bend has ruled the University of Notre Dame’s police department isn't subject to Indiana’s open records laws, saying that is how the law has been understood for years and it would not be appropriate for the court to rewrite the statute.
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Advocate says Indiana woman's sentence for feticide alarming

April 2, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana woman received a 20-year sentence in the death of her premature infant, a punishment the head of a national advocacy group called cruel and a misuse of the state's feticide law.
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Indiana man convicted in 2 killings to get life in prison

March 31, 2015
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana man is set to spend the rest of his life in prison without parole for the killings of his brother and sister-in-law.
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Northern Indiana county council rejects abortion ordinance

March 11, 2015
 Associated Press
A county council in northern Indiana voted down an ordinance that would have added new local requirements for doctors who perform abortions.
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Judge denies defense motions for Indy house blast suspect

February 12, 2015
 Associated Press
The defense of a suspect in a 2012 Indianapolis house explosion that killed two people and damaged dozens of homes has been dealt a setback after a judge denied two of its motions.
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Appeals panel reinstates med-mal case

February 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in granting summary judgment to a hospital and a doctor who performed a hysterectomy during which an arm board became unattached. After the patient’s arm dangled for much of the surgery, she was diagnosed with nerve damage in her arm.
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ESPN sues Notre Dame over police records involving athletes

January 22, 2015
 Associated Press
ESPN has filed a lawsuit against University of Notre Dame, alleging the school is violating Indiana's public record laws by withholding police incident reports about possible campus crimes involving certain student-athletes.
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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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St. Joseph County’s proposed abortion doctor law stalls

November 26, 2014
 Associated Press
A push in South Bend to require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital has stalled.
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Adoption case presents issues of first impression

November 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
Adoption laws are evolving, as evidenced by a case before the Indiana Supreme Court and a separate push for a pre-birth abandonment bill aimed at biological fathers who don’t support their baby’s mother during pregnancy.
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Indiana woman seeks dismissal of feticide charge

November 11, 2014
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana woman's lawyer is seeking the dismissal of a feticide charge she faces in the death of her baby whose body was found in a restaurant trash bin.
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St. Joseph County gets $399,000 grant to fight elder abuse

October 21, 2014
IL Staff
St. Joseph County will receive a $399,000 Department of Justice grant for training and services designed to combat violence against elderly and vulnerable populations.
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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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Annual Red Masses bless lawyers, judges and government officials

October 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
With the start of October comes the celebration of the ancient rite of the Red Mass. Two masses, meant to convey God’s blessing on those who serve the law, will be held in Indiana.
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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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Judges affirm convictions in fatal home invasion

September 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The state presented sufficient evidence to support a man’s conviction of robbery, which was based on a theory of accomplice liability, the Court of Appeals ruled. The charge stems from a home invasion in St. Joseph County during a family gathering.
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Judges reverse 8 forgery convictions based on fake ballot signatures

August 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A St. Joseph County man charged with multiple counts of forgery after falsifying signatures on an election ballot petition for Barack Obama in 2008 was not prejudiced when the state was allowed to amend the charging information at the end of his trial. But, the Indiana Court of Appeals held the evidence only supports convicting him of one count of forgery, not nine.
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St. Joseph Family Justice Center marks 10th year with national event

July 15, 2014
IL Staff
The Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County, a one-stop help center for victims of domestic violence and their children, is marking the 10th anniversary of its founding with public events and training sessions as it hosts the National Family Justice Center Initiative Wednesday through Friday.
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Loss of power disrupts courts in Northern Indiana

May 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A major power outage in Northern Indiana has shut down the federal courthouse in downtown South Bend.
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COA heads to northern Indiana for ‘Appeals on Wheels’

April 28, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will travel to northern Indiana Wednesday to hear arguments in Lake and St. Joseph counties involving two criminal cases.
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St. Joseph County plans events to mark passage of crime victims’ legislation

April 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The 2014 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, a law that provides support services and compensation for crime victims.
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  1. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  2. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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