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Order restricts guns, alcohol in judge's home

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Special Judge Walter Chapala issued an order this week requiring all firearms be removed from the home of a LaPorte Superior judge who was shot last month in her home. On Jan. 27, Judge Chapala ordered Judge Jennifer Evans and her husband, Stephan Koethe, to remove any firearms from their home as well as to abstain from drinking alcohol immediately prior to or during any times that Koethe's children from a previous marriage may be in their care. The order also applies to Koethe's ex-wife, Megan Koethe.

Megan had filed a petition for appointment of Guardian Ad Litem and suspension of parenting time or enforcement of Indiana parenting time guidelines. Judge Chapala didn't modify the custody and parenting time rights of the parties, but did require them to participate in a parenting time evaluation to be submitted to the court for possible modification.

Judge Evans suffered a gunshot wound to the head in her home in late December 2008 and was hospitalized following the incident. Stephan Koethe told a LaPorte television station that the judge shot herself accidentally while handling a gun she thought was empty. The bullet grazed her head; the judge recovered and took the bench earlier this year. The investigation into the incident is still ongoing, said St. Joseph County Prosecutor spokeswoman Catherine Wilson. The St. Joseph County Prosecutor is involved in the investigation to avoid any conflict of interest since Judge Evans had worked in the LaPorte County Prosecutor's office.

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  1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.

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