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Snow closes some federal, county courts

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The foot or more of snow dumped on the southern two-thirds of Indiana hasn't stopped some attorneys from making it to their offices today, but it has closed some courts around the state.

Most of the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Indiana are closed, but attorneys are still able to make filings in the Indianapolis courthouse that remains open today, according to Clerk Laura Briggs. The divisional clerk's offices and the courts in Evansville, New Albany, and Terre Haute are closed and the buildings aren't open, she said. However, the Indianapolis courthouse remains open with a limited staff. The chief judge makes the call as far as closing the clerk's office, Briggs said, and each judge makes the call as to his or her individual chambers - deciding for instance if a case should proceed or jurors should be notified not to come in.

If someone misses a deadline in Indianapolis because of a paper filing, it will have to be handled on a case-by-case basis, since the clerk's office is technically accessible, Briggs said.

The federal courts in the Northern District of Indiana were open today.

Various county courts across the state are closed today due to the weather. Marion County courts didn't open and Delaware County courts closed at noon. The clerk's offices in Johnson, Hendricks, and Morgan counties reported most courts were open, but Johnson Superior 2 and Hendricks Superior 5 remained closed. The Morgan Circuit Court wasn't open this morning, but was supposed to open at noon, according to the Morgan County Clerk's office. A call to the Circuit Court wasn't returned by IL deadline.

At the state level, court business continued as usual, said Kathryn Dolan, public information officer for the Indiana Supreme Court. She said when it comes to declaring a snow day for the courts, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard follows the guidance of the governor and unless he declares an emergency, the judicial branch is open for business as usual. Some people arrived late today or took personal days, Dolan said, estimating about half the staff made it in.

Northern Indiana was spared the heavy snow and courts were open as usual. In northwest Indiana, Lake Superior Judge John Pera said the two inches the area received overnight wasn't enough to close the courts. So far this year, the county system has had two partial closings and a two-hour delay because of the weather, he said. Since taking the bench in 2000, Judge Pera said he only remembers one full weather-related closing of the courthouse.

Larger Indianapolis law firms noted mostly that attorneys were able to make it to the office by late morning despite the weather, but are allowing anyone who needs it the option to work remotely. Bingham McHale managing partner Toby McClamroch said attorneys were given a two-hour delay, but most showed up on time anyway.

Barnes & Thornburg spokesperson Ty Gerig said most of the staff made it in today, although it is a little less than they'd see on a regular business day. Taft Stettinius & Hollister reported strong attendance today, but allows anyone to work from home when needed, said Kelly Sharpe, business development and marketing manager.

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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