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Indianapolis mayor to unveil new jail, criminal justice changes

December 12, 2016
 Associated Press
Indianapolis’ mayor is proposing construction of a new jail and changes to the local criminal justice system to place a greater emphasis on assessing inmates for mental illness and substance abuse problems.
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COA: Felon’s right to bear arms was not reinstated

December 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
A trial court judge’s statement that he was not going to prevent a convicted felon from possessing a firearm at his post-conviction hearing is not the equivalent of the reinstatement of the man’s right to bear arms, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Friday.
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COA reinstates personal injury suit against company, driver

December 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
A negligence case against an Indianapolis heating and air conditioning company will be reinstated after the Indiana Court of Appeals found that summary judgment in favor of the company was inappropriate.
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Washington state suing agrochemical giant over PCB pollution

December 9, 2016
 Associated Press
Washington has become the first U.S. state to sue the agrochemical giant Monsanto over pervasive pollution from PCBs, the toxic industrial chemicals that have accumulated in plants, fish and people around the globe for decades. The company said the case "lacks merit."
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4 Evansville officers who were suspended won't face charges

December 9, 2016
 Associated Press
A prosecutor won't charge four Evansville police officers who were suspended following an October arrest.
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Dylann Roof laughed during church slaying confession to FBI

December 9, 2016
Dylann Roof hesitated for about 20 seconds when an FBI agent asked him what he was doing on the night nine black church members were killed during Bible study in a historic congregation in Charleston, South Carolina.
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Indiana man charged with killing father claims self-defense

December 9, 2016
 Associated Press
A northeast Indiana man charged with killing his father alleges he fired the fatal shots because he feared for his life.
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COA affirms mom’s convictions targeting stepmom

December 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a mother’s intimidation convictions Friday, writing that her children’s stepmother had lawful custody of the children, so the mother’s threats against the woman constituted intimidation based on a prior lawful act.
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COA reaffirms decision imposing sanctions on mental health service provider

December 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reaffirmed an earlier decision finding that sanctions against a mental health provider were warranted, making clear Friday that it fully understood why the sanctions were imposed.
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Hearing set for Chicago man denied pardon by Pence

December 9, 2016
 Associated Press
A Chicago man denied a pardon by Gov. Mike Pence for a robbery he said he did not commit will get a hearing in March for his request for a new trial.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of claims against Indiana, Marion County officials

December 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of claims against several Indiana state and county officials, finding that most of the claims failed due to the immunity provided to government employees in the scope of their employment.
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Justices weigh cellphone data privacy rights in 4th Amendment case

December 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
When people turn on their cellphones, they have a general understanding that some data regarding their whereabouts will be collected. But if a person does not know the extent to which that data is collected, then can the court say that such data was voluntarily released by the person, or is there an expected right to privacy?
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4 Indiana cities seek dismissal of LGBT protections suit

December 8, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
Four Indiana cities have asked the Indiana Court of Appeals to overrule a judge’s ruling allowing conservative groups to go ahead with a lawsuit challenging anti-discrimination ordinances.
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Allen becomes latest Indiana county to offer needle exchange

December 8, 2016
 Associated Press
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health said Wednesday the Allen County Syringe Services Program opened in early November and has seen a few visitors. The department says it didn't advertise the opening of the program because it believed a soft opening was the best way to get the word out to those affected.
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2 face life sentences in Newton County slayings

December 8, 2016
 Associated Press
Prosecutors intend to seek sentences of life without parole for two 24-year-old men facing murder, theft and other charges in the slayings of three people in northwestern Indiana.
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COA: Law enforcement may not refuse to hire based solely on expunged criminal histories

December 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that law enforcement agencies are not permitted under state statute to refuse to hire new employees solely because those people have prior criminal histories that have since been expunged.
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Court abused discretion in letting public defender withdraw appearance

December 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
An attorney seeking a motion to withdraw appearance had to prove there was justification for his withdrawal and provide sufficient notice to the party he represented before the motion could be granted, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday.
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Forest Alliance sues to stop Crown Hill cemetery project

December 8, 2016
IBJ Staff
The controversy over the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ plans to develop a military cemetery with a series of above-ground columbariums on 15 wooded acres north of Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis has ended up in court.
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COA holds public trust rights rule along lakeshore

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
When a private property owner’s land deed overlaps with that of the public trust along Lake Michigan, the rights to the shore are controlled by the common law public trust doctrine, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday in a landmark decision that prevents private property owners from exerting complete control over lakeshore land between ordinary high- and low-water marks.
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Barnes & Thornburg’s Elkhart attorneys relocate closer to pulse of RV industry

December 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Barnes & Thornburg LLP attorneys in Elkhart are settling into new digs, having left the downtown office they called home since 1996 and moving closer to the growing industrial corridor of the city’s recreational vehicle base.
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COA holds that volunteer work was incidental to man’s employment

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
A general contractor’s volunteer work was incidental to his professional employment, so the injuries he sustained during the volunteer work must be covered under the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act.
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COA affirms lifetime suspension of driving rights

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
A man who was caught driving with a suspended license cannot challenge the legality of the lifetime suspension of his driving privileges because the law in effect at the time of his arrest required the lifetime suspension, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday.
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COA reverses handgun conviction after state failed to meet burden of proof

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
The state failed to meet its burden of proof to show that an Indianapolis man was carrying a handgun without a license outside of his dwelling, workplace or property, the Court of Appeals found Wednesday, thus vacating the man’s misdemeanor conviction.
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Lawmakers push for DNA collection from felony arrestees

December 7, 2016
IL Staff
A bipartisan group of lawmakers Tuesday announced legislation that would require collection of DNA from people arrested for a felony. The proposed legislation will be introduced in the 2017 session of the Indiana General Assembly.
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‘Strict compliance’ with contempt statute not required if sufficient notice is given

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
A majority of the justices of the Indiana Supreme Court found Tuesday that strict compliance with a state statute regarding contempt orders can be excused if the party in contempt has been sufficiently notified of their contempt, thus affirming a trial court decision requiring an ex-husband to produce income and tax documents for his ex-wife.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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