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Public access to death records gets Supreme Court review

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A newspaper denied a request to obtain information in death records from a local health department will have an opportunity to make its case before the Indiana Supreme Court.

Justices agreed to hear Evansville Courier & Press and Rita Ward v. Vanderburgh County Health Department, 82-S04-1401-PL-49, in which the newspaper and Ward were denied a request for access to death certificates. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding the governing statutes permit exceptions to disclosure.

The case was one of three justices agreed to hear during the week ending Jan. 24. The court also agreed to hear Phillip Griffin v. State of Indiana, 49-S02-1401-CR-50. The case resulted in three opinions from the three appellate judges. The court reversed a misdemeanor resisting law enforcement conviction but affirmed a battery conviction for a man who some judges said would have been better assessed under a mental-health intervention.

The court also reinstated an appeal in a termination of parental rights case, In Re the Termination of the Parent Child Relationship of M.C., Jr., M.C., Sr. v. Indiana Department of Child Services, 84S01-1401-JT-44. According to the online docket, justices remanded the case to the Court of Appeals after the appellant claimed the appeal had been erroneously dismissed.

Justices declined to grant transfer in 15 cases for the week ending Jan. 24. Weekly transfer disposition reports may be viewed here.
 

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