Indiana Department of Correction

Defender’s trial strategy trumps inmate’s pro se early-trial request

April 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
A prison inmate who asked for a public defender then said at an initial hearing he wanted to “file for fast and speedy trial too” lost his appeal that argued the court erred by not ruling on his request and his trial counsel was ineffective.
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Statute requires state to pay attorney fees on inmate’s appeal

April 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Code 33-37-2-4 requires the state to pay appellate attorney fees and expenses when an inmate commits a crime in a state correctional facility, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Supreme Court: Father’s consent not needed in adoption

March 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A father who had been incarcerated and failed to keep up with support payments wasn’t denied due process when the children’s mother remarried and her new husband adopted the children.
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Justices: Inmate will serve longer term for punching prison worker

March 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Department of Correction inmate serving a 17-year sentence was improperly given credit time that reduced his sentence for punching a prison worker in the face.
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Correctional officer fails to support claims of discrimination against employer

February 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A former officer in the Indiana Department of Correction had her claims of employment discrimination and retaliation rejected by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on the grounds she failed to provide supporting evidence.
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Child support arrearage dispute sent back to trial court

February 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals instructed a trial court to do the work necessary before entering an order garnishing a parent’s money for child support. 
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Judges reduce restitution award stemming from correctional officer attack

February 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A partial permanent impairment settlement cannot be considered by a trial court when imposing restitution, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Support strong for treatment instead of incarceration in the DOC

December 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
David Powell, executive director of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, strongly believes that addressing drug dependency and mental health issues can reduce the state’s recidivism rate and, in turn, lower the crime rate.
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Independent analysis finds DOC’s population will grow under new criminal code

December 11, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A report released Dec. 10 predicts that Indiana’s new criminal code will increase the number of individuals incarcerated in state prisons to the point where a new facility may have to be built.
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Inmate’s negligence suit may continue, court rules

December 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered more proceedings on a negligence lawsuit filed by an Indiana Department of Correction inmate after he fell and injured himself. In the decision, the judges also decided that prison operators are subject to liability in much the same manner as other private actors.
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Sentenced as adult at 12, new plea may free Gingerich at 18

December 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A boy who at age 12 was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and improperly sentenced as an adult to serve 25 years in prison may be freed when he turns 18, according to a pending plea agreement.
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Trial court must properly exercise discretion on sentencing

November 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a trial court had the ability to deny a man credit for time served, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the lower court did not follow proper procedure when it granted actual days credit.
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Youth alternative detention program expanding

November 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The state’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative is expanding into more counties, the Indiana Supreme Court announced Thursday, thanks to more than $5 million in funding appropriated by the Legislature.
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Criminal code committee still trying to answer funding and sentencing questions

November 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana General Assembly passed an overhaul of the state’s criminal code during 2013 but left two major issues for the upcoming session – funding and sentencing.
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Post-conviction claim allowed in DOC placement change

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Offenders may seek post-conviction relief from Department of Correction placement changes, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday after the state revised its view that a claim should be dismissed.
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Men sentenced for aiding inmate-run meth ring

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Two men found guilty of participating in a drug-trafficking ring directed by Indiana prison inmates were sentenced in federal court on Tuesday.
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Prisoner adequately stated First Amendment claim against DOC employees

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals quickly affirmed the dismissal of most of a prisoner’s claims regarding violations under Indiana statute or the state and federal constitutions, but found her First Amendment retaliation claims against several Department of Correction employees should not have been dismissed by the trial court.
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Department of Correction to request funding for upgrades at 3 facilities

July 9, 2013
IL Staff
Proposed upgrades to three of the state’s correctional facilities will be among the items considered during Wednesday’s meeting of the Indiana State Budget Committee.
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Rehab, not jail, shows promise in lowering recidivism

April 10, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Advocates for alternative programs are asking the Indiana Legislature for funding.
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Criminal Code bill gets Senate hearing

March 26, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Concerns over sentencing provisions and pleas for adequate funding dominated the Senate hearing on legislation overhauling the state’s criminal code.
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Evidence shows stabbing by inmate wasn’t in self defense

March 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Bartholomew County jail inmate had his conviction and sentence for Class B felony aggravated battery upheld Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The judges ruled the evidence disputes his claim that a fight he got into with a fellow inmate was in self defense.
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Judges deny prisoner’s request to appeal without paying fees

March 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that he and other prisoners do not need to pay appellate filing and docketing fees, and so a District Court’s certification of appeal is irrelevant.
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Long expects Criminal Code revision will get Senate approval

February 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s first major rewrite of the state’s Criminal Code in more than 30 years is now in the hands of the Senate where the Senate leader believes it will ultimately be approved.
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Proposed changes would make convicted felons serve at least 75 percent of sentence

February 20, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The worst-of-the-worst criminal offenders will be facing more time while low-level offenders will be given intensive probation under the new sentencing provisions included in the rewrite of the Indiana Criminal Code.
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District judge incorrectly dismissed prisoner’s suit for length and unintelligibility

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered U.S. Judge William T. Lawrence to take another look at a federal prisoner’s Bivens lawsuit against prison staff and other unnamed defendants, finding that the lawsuit is actually written clearly and not as long as the judge believed when dismissing it.
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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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