Florida homeowners catch a break in courts

By Alison Fitzgerald

The state Supreme Court revisited foreclosure court procedures after a Center report.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… ts. “I’m going to wave my judicial wand and they are all gone.” The Center for Public Integrity reported earlier this year that Florida’s legislature and Supreme Court …"

GOP shelves FEC complaint against Van Hollen

By Dave Levinthal

Republicans had threatened a federal complaint against the Democratic congressman, but don't appear to be following through.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… en, D-Md., of illegally accepting pro bono legal services has fizzled, the Center for Public Integrity has learned. A Republican party official this week identified the Nationa …"

Reporter's toolkit: Investigating sexual assault on your campus

By Kristen Lombardi

How to investigate the ways your school deals with sexual assault allegations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… Fight Back: www.girlsfightback.com …"

"… students who have filed Title IX complaints with OCR. Resources The Center for Public Integrity’s series on Sexual Assault on Campus: www.publicintegrity.org/inves …"

A life-and-death struggle for asylum in America

By Susan Ferriss and Amy Isackson

Teens' tortured road to asylum in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Boston":

"… ing to be sucking us dry,” Cape Cod resident Mary Woodruff said, as Boston’s WBUR radio taped public debate over a proposal to shelter detained kid …"

Sunshine state uses fees to prevent sun from shining on judicial records

By Alison Fitzgerald

In Florida, a court is charging massive fees for some public records.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… en the Center for Public Integrity last summer requested records from Florida’s 17th judicial circuit regarding the procedures and policies surro …"

"… government agencies to avoid releasing information they want kept private. Florida’s laws and the state courts’ rules allow, but don’t require, th …"

"… e courts to charge for such records searches. “The problem we have with Florida is that they all claim they have to review emails for exempt information, …"

"… First Amendment Foundation, a group that advocates for open government in Florida. “If you’re asking for information on policies and procedures in an em …"

Debit cards slam released prisoners with sky-high fees, few protections

By Amirah Al Idrus

Former prisoners say funds earned in prison eaten away by exorbitant debit card fees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michigan":

"… Justin Aldred was released from Macomb Correctional Facility in New Haven, Michigan, in July 2013, he left with the balance of his inmate account, which consi …"

"… y kept charging me every time I used it. Nobody told me that,” he said. Michigan is one of at least 15 states where prisoners are given their inmate accoun …"

"… cases, the fees exceed what consumers would pay for similar services. In Michigan, for example, JPay charges users 50 cents to check the card’s balance at …"

"… re was no check option,” said Timothy Jon “TJ” Spytma, of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Spytma left G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan, …"

Enforcement of gun laws hinges on local sheriffs' interpretation of Second Amendment

Rural sheriffs across the country are by protesting gun control laws

Excerpts from this story referencing "America":

"… , Part VII of Maryland’s and ARTICLE XIII of New York’s. Nearly all of America’s 3,080 sheriffs are elected to their positions, whereas state and city …"

"… fficers Association (CSPOA). “There’s no way around it. Gun control in America is against the law.” He knows his no-compromise stance has cost him and …"

"… a declaration of “orders we will not obey,” including those to disarm Americans, impose martial law on a state and blockade cities. CSPOA grabbed media …"

State lawmakers take aim at federal gun control

By Justine McDaniel, Robby Korth and Jessica Boehm

A growing collection of state legislatures seeks to disqualify federal gun control laws

Stronger self-defense laws spread, despite limited measure of impacts

By Jon LaFlamme

Stand your ground laws expand American's right to self defense, but their impact varies from state to state

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… l these laws came well before the highly publicized 2012 shooting death in Florida of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. News21 found 28 attempt …"

"… comes, News21 found, based on a review of 200 cases in Michigan, Kentucky, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Arizona — six of 31 states to recently expand thei …"

New scrutiny on campus sexual violence highlights Center findings

By Gordon Witkin

New efforts are aimed at both assisting schools and putting pressure on them to assist victims of sexual violence.

Class-action suit: Wrong to put kids into immigration court with no lawyers to help

By Susan Ferriss

Kids whose dad was killed by gangsters are among the plaintiffs in a suit arguing that children should have lawyers in immigration court.

Excerpts from this story referencing "legal counsel":

"… . Neither adults nor children have an established right to appointment of legal counsel in immigration proceedings. But lawyers on behalf of these children argue …"

Will migrant kids lose access to child-welfare and legal specialists in rush to deport?

By Susan Ferriss

Child advocates are worried possible legal changes could cut off migrant kids' access to social workers, asylum lawyers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… Protection Act, has one Republican co-sponsor, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida. This week, Roybal-Allard released a statement supporting Obama’s reque …"

Supreme court justices earn quarter-million in cash on the side

By Reity O'Brien

Nearly all Supreme Court justices reported earning thousands for teaching and book royalties beyond their federal salaries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Antonin Scalia":

"… al minds in the classroom or through the written word. Top earner Justice Antonin Scalia raked in more than $100,000 in book royalties for his 2012 tome "Reading L …"

Fourth case reopened after Center uncovers judicial conflict of interest

By Chris Young

U.S. appeals court reopened foreclosure case after Center uncovered that a judge owned stock in Wells Fargo, court reaches same decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "judge":

"… a Center for Public Integrity investigation revealed that one of the three judges who participated in the decision owned stock in the banking giant. But M …"

"… Maryland, home, didn’t get the decision they wanted when a new panel of judges reopened the case. On June 10, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals once …"

"… ;investigation, which found 26 examples since 2010 where federal appellate judges ruled on cases in which they had a financial conflict. By law, judges can …"

"… late judges ruled on cases in which they had a financial conflict. By law, judges cannot own even a single share of stock in companies that come before the …"

Race-car driver's payday lending business 'deceived borrowers'

By David Heath

AMG Services, a Kansas firm started by race-car driver Scott Tucker, may be ordered to repay tens of millions of dollars to borrowers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Trade Commission":

"… ral law by deceiving borrowers about how much they’d have to repay. The Federal Trade Commission, which brought the lawsuit, will now ask U.S. District Court Judge Gloria …"

Republicans to target Van Hollen in FEC complaint

By Dave Levinthal

Party official: Republicans to file an FEC complaint about the Democratic congressman's pro bono legal aid.

Excerpts from this story referencing "campaign finance disclosures":

"… re than $1.8 million cash on hand through March 31, according to campaign finance disclosures.     …"

Court reopens third case after Center uncovered judicial conflicts of interest

By Chris Young

Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reopens 2007 case after Center alerts judge that his wife owned ExxonMobil stock when he ruled on case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "judge":

"… ed for comment.    …"

"… enter for Public Integrity investigation found that the wife of one of the judges owned up to $100,000 worth of stock in the oil company at the time of the …"

"… new panel hear his case because Reavley was “not impartial.” By law, judges cannot own even a single share of stock in companies that come before the …"

"… hem. Nor can their spouses or dependent children. Tilli learned about the judge’s conflict of interest after it was brought to the 5th Circuit’s atten …"

State Senate leader reacts to Center report, urging counsel for truants

By Susan Ferriss

A majority state Senate leader in Tennessee says he is troubled by a Center report on accused truants prosecuted, jailed with no lawyers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "legal counsel":

"… jailed and given permanent court records without the benefit of appointed legal counsel. “They should be provided proper notice and counsel at the front end, …"

Judge who stopped Wisconsin campaign finance probe tied to Koch-funded junkets

By Chris Young

Federal judge who attended Koch-funded conferences halts campaign finance investigation into Wisconsin group with Koch ties.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rudolph Randa":

"… nst campaign finance reform. In a 26-page decision issued on May 6, Judge Rudolph Randa of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin ordered p …"

Labor Department unveils rule to protect coal miners following Center investigation

By Chris Hamby

Move is a direct response to disclosures that lawyers kept key evidence from sick miners, which caused some to lose benefits cases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jackson Kelly PLLC":

"… lawyers at the industry’s go-to law firm for black lung benefits cases, Jackson Kelly PLLC, for decades have withheld evidence indicating that miners whose …"

Tennessee Supreme Court declines to review case featured in Center report

By Susan Ferriss

Tennessee teen truant was jailed, allegedly without being informed of right to counsel.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lawyer":

"… put into detention immediately after she pled guilty to truancy without a lawyer.  She and another youth interviewed by the Center said they didn’t …"

"… if a court does not agree to expunge them.    Rivkin and other lawyers in Knox County question how many truants also have delinquency records an …"

Feds investigating allegations that Humana Inc. overcharged Medicare Advantage program

By Fred Schulte

Whistleblower suit at center of Medicare Advantage overbilling allegations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… xt few months.” The U.S. Attorney’s branch office in West Palm Beach, Florida has opened a criminal case involving overbilling allegations that the gove …"

"… ion people through the Medicare Advantage plans, is also the target of two Florida whistleblower civil lawsuits that allege similar overcharges. Federal off …"

"… whistleblower suits. That suit alleges that a doctor at a clinic in South Florida inflated billings for two dozen or more Humana patients. The case, filed i …"

"… federal contractor. Last year, Humana’s Medicare Advantage contracts in Florida alone covered about 415,200 seniors at a cost of $6 billion, according to …"

Oil giant Citgo gets off easy in criminal case

By Priscila Mosqueda

Residents of Corpus Christi, Texas, who say they were sickened by emissions from the Citgo refinery decry a judge's denial of restitution.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citgo":

"… tal crimes in the United States. The case revolves around Venezuelan-owned Citgo Petroleum’s decade-long violation of the federal Clean Air Act at its re …"

"… the federal Clean Air Act at its refinery in Corpus Christi. In 2007, the Citgo refinery became the first to be criminally convicted of violating the Clea …"

"… se finally sentenced the company. U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey fined Citgo a little more than $2 million — a penalty prosecutors said would not det …"

"… little more than $2 million — a penalty prosecutors said would not deter Citgo from committing future crimes since, they argued, the company made $1 bill …"

Case reopened after Center reveals judge's conflict of interest

By Kytja Weir

Center investigation identifies conflicted judge leading to new hearing for discrimination case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… ve heard the case.” The 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, covers Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The appellate courts are second only to the U.S. Supreme Cour …"

Juvenile injustice: truants face courts, jailing without legal counsel to aid them

By Susan Ferriss

Court procedures leave minor offenders with few rights.

Excerpts from this story referencing "law student":

"… judge, then you are probably about as tongue-tied as I was as a third-year law student in front of a judge.” Unnecessary drug rehab, diagnoses ignored Irwin, …"

Abuse in court? Deputy strikes boy in court, boy charged with assault

By Susan Ferriss

A court and sheriff's department with a checkered past are accused in a suit of tolerating abuse of a boy in court.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lawyer":

"… A. for action. Rebecca Ketchie and Robert Arrington, the Kingsport, Tenn. lawyers representing Williford and her son, said that Williford has decided not t …"

"… el imposed for his handling of a lawsuit and recruiting a friend who was a lawyer to try to persuade the plaintiff in that case to drop his complaint agains …"

ICIJ guide to voter restrictions around the world

By Sasha Chavkin and Hamish Boland-Rudder

In light of the recent voter ID ruling in Wisconsin, ICIJ set out to learn more about voting restrictions outside of the U.S.

Donors, friends of governors often get state supreme court nod

By Rachel Baye

Judicial elections are often criticized for corrupting influence, but appointment process has problems too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lawyer":

"… f them had a good opportunity to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses as a lawyer, and they both knew that I planned to run for Justice Lyons’ seat when h …"

"… ssion to fill a vacancy on the state’s highest court. Smith was a trial lawyer from Manhattan. He had argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, but he had no …"

"… xample, Pawlenty appointed Christopher Dietzen, who served as Pawlenty’s lawyer during his 2002 campaign for governor and defended him against a campaign …"

Get involved: Help judges' disclosures investigation go further with donations and news tips

Join us in finding cases where ruling judges may have had a conflict.

Excerpts from this story referencing "John Dunbar":

"… Center reporters Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young, and edited by John Dunbar.  Get involved While we looked at hundreds of cases, we did not lo …"

Federal judges plead guilty

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Judges acknowledge conflicts of interest Center found in 26 cases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Judge":

"… n the giant multinational company. Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James Hill owned as much as $100,000 in Johnson & Johnson stock when h …"

"… e is also in place in the code of conduct established by the court system. Judges have been warned before about participating in such cases. Following …"

"… sue of accountability — or lack thereof — in the federal court system. Judges face no formal punishment for breaking these rules. Appellate Judges can …"

"… dismissing Bah’s claims. At the time, 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Barbara Keenan owned stock in the bank.  “I couldn’t believe it, …"