7th Circuit Court of Appeals

7th Circuit: Marion County judge elections unconstitutional

September 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
The way Marion County judges are elected is unconstitutional, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday, throwing out a system that assured an even split of Democratic and Republican judges and facilitated a pay-to-play party slating system.
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Defendant fails to convince 7th Circuit he did not know his returns were false

September 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Describing the tax returns as “patently false and utterly groundless,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals kicked aside a defendant’s argument that he believed the government owed him $900,000.
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7th Circuit: Marion County judicial elections unconstitutional

September 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
The way Marion County judges are elected is unconstitutional, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday, throwing out a 40-year-old system that ensured an even split of Democratic and Republican judges and facilitated a pay-to-play party slating system.
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Contraception mandate, again, found not to burden religious beliefs

September 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A split 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld its own precedent, finding a contraception provision does not violate religious freedom. But the ruling drew a sharp, 35-page dissent from one judge.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal due to attempted fraud on court

September 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal judge in Indianapolis rightly dismissed with prejudice a man’s age and sex discrimination complaints against his former employer because he attempted to perpetrate a fraud on the court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Professor’s sex discrimination claim properly tossed

August 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana University Medical School professor’s sex discrimination claim filed after her firing was insufficient to survive summary judgment, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Friday.
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Expungement bid for 1975 crime fails at 7th Circuit

August 28, 2015
Dave Stafford

A career criminal lost his appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that sought to throw out a 1975 conviction.

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7th Circuit stops collection of hospital assessment fee

August 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
St. Catherine Hospital was successful in getting a reprieve from a dispute with the state of Indiana over the hospital assessment fee.  
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7th Circuit affirms ruling but rejects rationale

August 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although it agreed with the decision to toss the testimony of three experts, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals cautioned the District Court about blanket assertions.
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Former deputy had too little evidence to support retaliation claim

August 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A former Marion County Sheriff’s Department deputy, who previously had good job evaluations, was unable to present evidence to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the investigation which led to his firing was actually a pretext for retaliating against him.
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Consumers don’t have to wait for fraudulent charges

August 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A recent ruling from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals – the first to find that consumers do suffer harm when their credit card information is stolen – may be headed back to appellate court after the defendant retailer accused the judges of “loose thinking.”
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TV’s ‘Shift’ suspect got shaft, but rights weren’t violated

August 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who was wrongly arrested and charged with murder by Indianapolis police, whose investigation was being documented for the reality TV series “The Shift,” lost his appeal in a civil rights lawsuit against police.
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Prisoner’s Zantac lawsuit gives federal judges heartburn

August 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana inmate’s lawsuit claiming prison staff showed deliberate indifference in denying him Zantac to treat a known esophageal reflux condition erupted in a war of words between two 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judges.
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Ex-Columbus teacher’s FMLA violation claims reinstated

August 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Columbus teacher who claimed his contract wasn’t renewed after he missed 23 days of school should have his day in court on his claims that the school system interfered with his rights under the Family Medical Leave Act and retaliated against him.
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7th Circuit affirms judgment for school in bullying case

August 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal lawsuit brought against northwestern Indiana school corporations over a child’s alleged bullying was properly decided in favor of the schools on summary judgment, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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District Court too heavy-handed in judgment, 7th Circuit rules

August 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A $2.7 million judgment in a messy dispute between a supplier and a now defunct furniture manufacturer has been overturned by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which called the award “too heavy a sanction.”
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Prisoner’s Zantac lawsuit gives federal judges heartburn

August 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana inmate’s lawsuit claiming prison staff showed deliberate indifference in denying him Zantac to treat a known esophageal reflux condition erupted in a war of words between two 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judges.
More

Unpaid student loan splits 7th Circuit

August 19, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel has split with each judge writing a separate opinion about a lawsuit brought by a student who defaulted on her school loans and then sued when the lending agency tacked on collection costs.
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Denial of disability benefits premature, 7th Circuit rules

August 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana man who sustained long-lasting brain injuries after he was struck in the head with a barstool was improperly denied total Social Security disability benefits, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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TV’s ‘Shift’ suspect got shaft, but rights weren’t violated

August 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who was wrongly arrested and charged with murder by Indianapolis police whose investigation was being documented for the reality TV series “The Shift” lost his appeal in a civil rights lawsuit against police.
More

7th Circuit not convinced by inmate’s double jeopardy argument

August 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A convicted sex offender who did not have the requisite certificate of appealability was still able to present his constitutional claims, but the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found no grounds to overturn his conviction and sentence. 
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Reversal: Ex-DOC worker wins appeal in bid to marry inmate

August 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A former contract worker who quit her job at an Indiana prison after her sexual relationship with an inmate was discovered was wrongly denied permission to marry him, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit won’t reinstate Lauren Spierer family’s lawsuit

August 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
A civil lawsuit filed by the parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer was properly decided in favor of defendants who were among the last people to see her, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Police deadly force justified against suicidal man

August 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
Police who shot and killed a suicidal man in his Cloverdale home were justified in using deadly force under the circumstances, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit divided over appeal from death row inmate

August 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A split 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an inmate on Indiana’s death row a chance for a new trial, finding the exclusion of a witness’s videotaped interview which could have possibly exonerated him was inadmissible as hearsay.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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