State agencies

General Assembly returns for 2011 session

January 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Senate and House of Representatives reconvened this afternoon to begin the 2011 long session. The legislators still have time to file bills, but there are already several bills introduced that may affect Indiana courts and the legal community.
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Bankruptcy delays collection effort

January 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Former East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick has filed for bankruptcy, putting on hold the state’s attempt to seize his property to help pay off the $108 million he owes from a civil racketeering default judgment against him.
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Unsuccessful Medicaid applicants aren't entitled to in-person hearing

December 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
People whose applications have been denied for Medicaid disability benefits do not have a constitutional right to an in-person administrative hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Judges split on approving high-cost retraining tuition

December 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals couldn’t agree on whether a laid-off man’s request for training at an expensive college should be approved.
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Governor appoints former prosecutor candidate to ATC

December 10, 2010
IL Staff
Mark Massa, the Republican candidate for Marion County prosecutor, is the new chairman of the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission. Gov. Mitch Daniels announced the appointment Thursday.
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Judge: not all farm expenses are tax deductible

December 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A probate court incorrectly allowed an estate to deduct three farm-related expenses from its inheritance tax return, but affirmed the deduction of the remaining nine in question, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Tuesday.
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Settlement reached on foster care rates

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Department of Child Services has agreed not to cut subsidies for foster and adoptive parents and other caregivers as part of a class-action settlement in federal court.
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Social-services recipients entitled to injunctive relief

December 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Family and Social Services Administration’s adverse action notices pertaining to public benefits programs that don’t name specific missing eligibility documents don’t comport with the requirement of procedural due process, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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AG's involvement questioned in prosecutor forfeiture suit

November 24, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office plans to “zealously defend” 78 prosecutors being sued over civil forfeiture collection practices, meaning the state courts will likely have to analyze not only the merits of that issue but also whether two separate state statutes restrict how Indiana’s top attorney can intervene in this taxpayer-filed qui tam lawsuit.
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Court programs, economy among focuses of foreclosure conference

November 24, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When it comes to the problem of mortgage foreclosures in Indiana, there appears to be no end in sight, at least not yet.
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Programs target older foster youth

November 24, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
For foster youth who are about to age out of the system or have already done so, there often is no support system. That decreases one’s chance of getting a good education and increases the likelihood that the former foster youth will end up homeless or become involved in illegal activity and be arrested after aging out.
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AG holds first criminal justice summit on death penalty costs

November 24, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In what was the first of its kind in Indiana, the state Attorney General’s Office held a criminal justice summit at the University of Notre Dame this month to examine the critical issues the legal system faces from capital cases where the death penalty is utilized.
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ATC chairman stepping down

November 10, 2010
IL Staff
P. Thomas Snow, a former judge in Wayne County, is resigning as chairman of the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission.
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Ukrainian lawyers in Indiana

October 27, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
On their recent visit to Indiana, six delegates from the Ukraine in various legal roles learned how similar and different their legal system is compared to the justice system in the U.S. by visiting and observing it firsthand.
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COA: Candidate remains on ballot

October 20, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Republican winner of the primary election for Indiana House of Representatives District 74 will remain on the ballot for the general election, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Ukrainian delegates visit Indianapolis, observe legal system

October 19, 2010
IL Staff
Six delegates from the Ukraine’s legal community will be in Indianapolis through Saturday to learn about the American legal system by observing court hearings and meeting with members of the legal community, as well as participating in cultural activities.
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States' lawsuit challenging federal health-care law can proceed

October 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The lawsuit filed by 20 states, including Indiana, challenging the constitutionality of the new federal health-care law can go forward on two counts, a Florida federal judge ruled Thursday.
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ISBA panel still studying ALJ issues

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Gov. Mitch Daniels fired the state’s top utility regulator recently, citing ethical concerns about how a now-former administrative law judge presided over cases involving a regulated energy company leading up to his taking a job there.
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7th Circuit finds for energy plant

October 12, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed a decision out of Indiana regarding a claim by the Environmental Protection Agency that Cinergy Corp. was wrong to modify its coal-burning plants without first obtaining a permit from the EPA.
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Court cuts $42.4 million state back pay award

October 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals today significantly slashed a $42.4 million damages award against the state, cutting the period from which employees can recover back pay from 20 years to about two months.
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Governor: 1-year cooling off period applies to ALJs

October 5, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The governor today fired the state's top utility regulator, citing ethical concerns about how a former Administrative Law Judge presided over cases involving a regulated energy company leading up to his taking a job there.
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Judicial candidacy appeal moving quickly

September 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has refused to sidestep the state’s intermediate appellate court on a judicial election issue from Lake County, which involves a prospect for the bench being able to stay on the ballot.
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Lugar, Zoeller to discuss Mexico's criminal justice system

September 23, 2010
IL Staff
Sen. Richard Lugar and Attorney General Greg Zoeller will be in Indianapolis Sunday to discuss Mexico’s conversion to a new criminal justice system as it struggles with organized crime cartels.
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Justices remind parties about decision certification

September 16, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted a rehearing on the appeal involving East Chicago casino money, using the chance to warn parties to not jump the gun in how it responds once an appellate ruling is initially issued.
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Court appoints new CLE commission members

September 13, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has appointed three new members to the Commission for Continuing Legal Education to replace those whose terms expire at the end of the year.
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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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