7th Circuit Court of Appeals

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.
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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.
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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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SWAT busted in 'disturbing' Evansville home raid

August 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
A violent, destructive and ultimately misguided SWAT team search of an Evansville home captured on helmet-cam video was “disturbing” and “cannot have helped race relations in Evansville,” a federal appeals court said July 31.
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Long wait for cold beer decision not unusual

August 12, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit heard oral arguments Jan. 7, 2015, in the lawsuit challenging the state’s prohibition against convenience stores selling beer cold.
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Concerns with supervised release conditions

August 12, 2015
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
The 7th Circuit has issued a series of additional opinions, shedding more light on the goals, scope and limitations of conditional release.
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Appeal raises ire of 7th Circuit

August 10, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A southern Indiana couple who tried to stop the sale of their property to satisfy delinquent state and federal taxes was unsuccessful. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals described the merits of their appeal as “feeble.&rdquo
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7th Circuit rejects Indiana appeal of EPA ruling

August 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana had standing to appeal EPA approval of a change in how Illinois monitors for auto emissions, but the state failed to show the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision was arbitrary and capricious, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Sex offender wins right to view legal adult porn

August 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted for obscene webcam conduct shared with someone posing as a 13-year-old girl nearly a decade ago may view legal pornography, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a three-way opinion Thursday.
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Federal court properly denied bid to withdraw money-laundering plea

August 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana federal District Court judge properly denied a woman’s motion to withdraw her money-laundering plea, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Long wait for cold beer decision not unusual

August 5, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Waiting nearly eight months for a cold beer would likely send thirsty Hoosiers across state lines for refreshment. But waiting this long for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to decide whether Indiana’s alcohol laws are constitutional is no reason to switch to liquor.
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7th Circuit blasts Evansville flash bang search, notes racial factor

August 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
Evansville police “committed too many mistakes to pass the test of reasonableness” in a bungled home search and are not shielded from a federal excessive force lawsuit, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Denial of disability benefits remanded for better explanation

August 3, 2015
 Associated Press
A rejection of a claimant’s application for disability is being remanded after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the “abstruse signals” in the denial did not sufficiently explain the reasons for disregarding new evidence.
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7th Circuit: Statute citation not required to revoke supervised release

July 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A South Bend man whose supervised release on a federal firearms conviction was revoked after he was accused of assaulting a woman wasn’t deprived due process, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Tinder departs 7th Circuit

July 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
Judge John Tinder is retiring, but he expects to seek opportunities to assist parties with litigation consulting, compliance and arbitration.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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