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Judges disagree over enhanced sentence for child molesting conviction

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Thursday over whether a Johnson County man convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old girl deserved to have his sentence enhanced above the 30-year advisory sentence.
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Judge rules for revenue department on man’s claim for sanctions

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man who argued that the Indiana Department of State Revenue should be sanctioned for allegedly producing his ex-wife’s transmittal envelope for her tax return and passing it off as his own lost his case before the Indiana Tax Court Thursday.
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Lawsuit filed against Wal-Mart after PCB found at Indy facility

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A proposed class-action lawsuit alleges Wal-Mart and its corporate entities were negligent after PCB was found at a returns facility located in Indianapolis.
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COA: Attorney’s calendar mistake doesn’t support relief from judgment

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with a woman’s argument that because she was twice granted extension of time to respond to a summary judgment motion involving her credit card debt, the trial court’s discretion to consider a belated response was preserved.
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Justices reverse grant of post-conviction relief

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a defendant’s claim that his attorneys were ineffective for not arguing that, based on a Supreme Court case, his conviction for Class B felony criminal confinement should be reversed or reduced. But the man inappropriately relies on the case, and what he claims his attorneys should have argued is not the law.
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Indiana may slash funds for domestic violence victims

September 18, 2014
 Associated Press
Advocates for domestic violence victims and the administration of Gov. Mike Pence clashed Wednesday over whether it's seeking to slash funding for services when demand is surging after a video showed suspended NFL player Ray Rice hitting his future wife.
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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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Dyer firm replaces stolen Boy Scout money

September 17, 2014
IL Staff
A northwest Indiana personal injury law firm has replaced the cash stolen from a Boy Scout troop at the Popcorn Festival in Valparaiso earlier this month.
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Repairs underway at LaGrange County courthouse

September 17, 2014
 Associated Press
The LaGrange County courthouse is getting a face-lift. Crews from an Iowa firm that specializes in repairing aging masonry work arrived in LaGrange early Tuesday morning and started an extensive job to restore the exterior brick and stone walls of the 136-year-old county building.
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Death penalty sought in shooting death of Gary cop

September 17, 2014
 Associated Press
A northwest Indiana prosecutor has notified the court he plans to seek the death penalty for a man charged with murder in the shooting death of a Gary police officer.
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Prosecutor involved in reduced bond resigns

September 17, 2014
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana deputy prosecutor who agreed to a reduced bond for a man who later was accused of killing his girlfriend and mutilating and eating parts of her body has resigned.
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County sheriffs tell dire stories of mentally ill held in local jails

September 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
From different communities in different parts of Indiana, two county sheriffs told lawmakers very similar stories about the mentally ill individuals who end up in their jails.
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COA denies State Farm’s request for new trial on $14.5M defamation verdict

September 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The $14.5 million defamation verdict awarded against State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. in favor of a contractor who accused the insurer of defaming him remains in place after the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the company’s claim that fraud requires a new trial.
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State’s inaction does not allow man to appeal sentence

September 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that he should be given an opportunity to appeal his sentence, an option he waived by entering into a plea agreement, even though the trial court erroneously indicated he had a right to appeal and the state did not object to that advisement.
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Court must give man time to object to ex-wife’s motion

September 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior Court erred when it granted a woman’s motion to vacate a hearing on contempt charges against her without giving her ex-husband 15 days to file a response, as permitted under local rules, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Court announces 378 successful applicants on July bar exam

September 16, 2014
IL Staff
The list of applicants who were successful on the July Indiana bar examination is posted on the court’s website. Those who meet the other requirements of being admitted will participate in an admission ceremony Oct. 6.
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Judge OKs tweeting for Purdue shooter sentencing

September 16, 2014
 Associated Press
An Indiana judge will allow reporters to post on social media during the sentencing of a former Purdue University student who pleaded guilty to murder in the fatal shooting and stabbing of a fellow student in January.
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7th Circuit stays same-sex marriage decisions

September 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the motion for a stay of mandate filed by the defendants in Indiana’s same-sex marriage lawsuits.
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Judiciary notes Constitution Day with school program, naturalization ceremony

September 15, 2014
IL Staff
In honor of Constitution Day, Indiana judges will commemorate, educate and celebrate with schoolchildren and new United States citizens at events throughout the week.
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Justices decline Kokomo mayor’s request for stay of contempt order

September 15, 2014
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will not stay a contempt order entered against the mayor of Kokomo over construction at the Howard County courthouse.
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Mediation conference speaker to focus on brain science

September 15, 2014
IL Staff
A California mediator and trainer will present “Brains Matter: The Science and Art of Using the Brain in Mediation” during the 4th annual Midwest Mediators Conference in Indianapolis Sept. 26-27.
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Family sues over teen's death in police car

September 15, 2014
 Associated Press
The family of a teenager who died of an apparent suicide in the back of a police car two years ago is suing the city of Anderson for wrongful death and negligence.
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Study committee to look at mental health issues at first meeting

September 15, 2014
IL Staff
The Interim Study Committee on Corrections and Criminal Code's first meeting will focus much of its attention on the mental health of offenders.
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DCS struggles to keep accurate caseload tally

September 15, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana has hired more case workers to keep track of its most vulnerable residents, but complaints about overwork continue to surface as the state battles turnover and questions the accuracy of data on caseloads.
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BMV seeks to block release of video depositions

September 15, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has asked a court to block the release of video depositions in a lawsuit that claims the agency overcharged motorists.
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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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