Wakarusa man found guilty of practicing law without license

By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email

A Wakarusa man was found guilty Monday of practicing law without a license.

Prosecutors say Joshua Rebel Hays repeatedly appeared with his wife at hearings in small claims court, speaking on her behalf and making arguments in her case.

Hays was told by Judge Charles Wicks that he was prohibited by Indiana law from representing his wife, and that it was a crime to do so. Prosecutors say Hays argued the law, and called his wife his "defendant" and "client", before being removed from the courtroom.

Hays filed a federal civil rights complaint against Judge Wicks and again returned to court to represent his wife. Judge Wicks found Hays in contempt and sent him to the Elkhart County Jail.

While investigating, a Facebook page soliciting donations to Hays and his wife to support their “non-profit organization” that provided legal advice to self-represented individuals was found. Hays also told a Department of Natural Resources officer that he was, in fact, a lawyer. He was charged in August 2012.

Monday, despite Hays’ best efforts at being his own trial attorney, the jury found him guilty.

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