Court Order

Judge: Disabled housing discrimination suit may proceed

December 2, 2016
IL Staff
An Indianapolis subsidized senior-citizens housing facility must face a lawsuit from disabled tenants who claim the three-story apartment building failed to repair its only elevator for weeks, leaving them unable to get to apartments on the top two stories and leaving some disabled tenants stranded upstairs.
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Hartford City sex offender ordinance unconstitutionally vague

December 2, 2016
IL Staff
A 2008 Hartford City ordinance that restricted registered sex offenders from entering or loitering within 300 feet of broadly defined “child safety zones” is unconstitutionally vague, a federal judge has ruled.
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Southern District adopts amended rules

November 21, 2016
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana announced Monday that it will adopt a set of amended local rules beginning Dec. 1.
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Lawsuit challenging cities' human rights ordinances stays in court

November 17, 2016
Olivia Covington
A Hamilton County judge has ruled that a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of human rights ordinances in four Indiana cities can continue, despite the cities’ arguments that there was no legal standing to bring the suit.
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Temporary judge appointed in Noble Superior Court

November 16, 2016
IL Staff
Due to Noble Superior Judge Michael J. Kramer’s election to circuit court in the county, the Indiana Supreme Court has appointed a judge pro tem in superior court.
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3 judges appointed to replace late Noblesville city judge

November 1, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has appointed three judges to temporarily replace a Noblesville city judge who died last month.
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Indy jail wrongful-detention suit order appealed to 7th Circuit

October 17, 2016
Dave Stafford
A judge’s ruling denying class-action certification for a group of people held in the Marion County Jail, sometimes for days after posting bond, has been challenged at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Federal judge dismisses class-action lawsuit against Carmel

October 7, 2016
Lindsey Erdody, IBJ Staff
A U.S. district court judge has dismissed a federal class-action lawsuit filed against the city of Carmel for its enforcement of a local traffic ordinance.
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Judge: East Chicago Housing Authority must stop warrantless home searches

October 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
The city of East Chicago and its housing authority have been ordered to stop what the ACLU of Indiana is calling “warrantless, nonconsensual entry” into residents’ homes after a district court ruled that doing so violated Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.
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Justices suspend City Court judge accused of battering police chief

September 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
Dunkirk City Court Judge Tommy Dale “Chip” Phillips II has been suspended with pay after he was charged with assaulting the city’s police chief, who is also Phillips’ nephew.
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Judge denies state bid to reduce $31 million award against DCS

September 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Friday rejected the state of Indiana’s motion to reduce a jury’s $31 million award last year against Department of Child Services workers and a state police officer for the wrongful removal of a couple’s children and prosecution of their parents.
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Lake Circuit Judge Paras resigning early

September 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
Lake Circuit Court Judge George Paras will leave the bench early after being unseated in May’s Democratic primary by Highland lawyer Marissa McDermott.
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Domestic relations, tax sale case designations to change

September 26, 2016
IL Staff
Domestic relations case-type designations will change in 2017, from “DR” for all case types to “DC” for cases in which children are involved and “DN” for those without children. The change was announced in an Indiana Supreme Court order issued Friday.
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Judge awards Conour victims $358K, denies suing creditor

September 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A family financially victimized by convicted fraudster and former personal-injury and wrongful-death attorney William Conour has received an award of $358,069 in a suit filed by a former Conour creditor.
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Court denies application for temporary restraining order against BMV

September 16, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Marion Superior Court has denied an application for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles that would have forced the BMV to set aside funds in the pool of money it is using to refund millions of customers to pay attorney fees for the plaintiffs in a class-action suit against the BMV.
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Court awards $10,000 to deaf litigant denied interpreter

September 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
A deaf Indianapolis man who was denied a sign language interpreter at his court-ordered mediation of a child-custody dispute will receive $10,380 in damages, a federal judge ruled.
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Supreme Court creates senior judge committee

August 19, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has established a senior judge committee tasked with finding new ways veteran jurists can assist state courts.
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Federal court: Disbarred lawyer can’t seek judgeship

August 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
A disbarred Goshen lawyer who wanted to run for judge of Elkhart Circuit Court got nowhere trying to convince a federal judge he was wrongly denied the opportunity.
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7th Circuit denies rehearing in Conour creditor suit

August 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
The long road for some victims to recover any of the settlement money former attorney William Conour stole from them may be closer to an end. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied requests to reconsider the court’s decision putting Conour’s victims before a creditor who sued over a defaulted line of credit.
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Judge keeps sex offender’s voting suit alive

July 28, 2016
Dave Stafford
A registered sex offender’s lawsuit against the Indiana Secretary of State and other parties will proceed, a federal judge ruled Thursday, denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss.
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Southern District mandatory pro bono service to start in October

July 18, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys could be tapped to handle cases under the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s new mandatory pro bono rule before the end of this year.
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Indiana high court rejects rehearing in lawmaker emails case

July 13, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has declined to rehear a case that sought to force lawmakers to release their email correspondence with lobbying groups and businesses.
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Justices remove Dreyer from State v. IBM case

July 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday removed the judge who has presided for six years over the litigation between the state and IBM over the failed $1.3 billion welfare-modernization contract.
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Judge grants e-liquid maker temporary restraining order in vaping case

July 1, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
One scorned e-liquid manufacturer will get a short reprieve from Indiana’s new vaping laws, which effectively shut many players out of the market when the laws took effect Friday.
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Judge frees man held 3 years after molesting acquittals

July 1, 2016
 Associated Press
A Portage man held without bond for three years has been acquitted of four counts of child molesting and ordered immediately released from jail.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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