District Courts

Senior status not likely to slow Judge Barker

April 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys and judges alike say whenever Judge Sarah Evans Barker is on the bench, there is no question who is in charge in that courtroom. This is a judge they universally describe as well-prepared, well-organized and authoritative, but not averse to occasionally introducing a little humor in the proceedings.
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Hearing on motion for TRO on marriage statute Thursday

April 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The multiple challenges to Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage are picking up steam with the federal court scheduling arguments regarding a temporary restraining order and the state filing a motion to dismiss one of the lawsuits.
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Same-sex couple’s bid for recognition expedited due to grave illness

April 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The chief federal judge in Indianapolis quickly summoned lawyers to address a same-sex couple’s emergency request that Indiana recognize their Massachusetts marriage because one of the women is gravely ill.
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Court upholds Plymouth pay policy challenged by reservist

April 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The city of Plymouth’s policy on longevity pay withstood a challenge by a police officer who unsuccessfully claimed he was entitled to the full benefit rather than a prorated share for time he spent deployed as a U.S. Air Force Reservist.
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Judge Sarah Evans Barker to take senior status

March 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
After 30 years on the federal bench, Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has announced her intention to take senior status effective June 30, 2014.
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District Court properly handles expert testimony by non-expert witnesses

March 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although neither witness called to testify in a criminal trial was an expert, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the District Court did not err by barring the testimony of the defense witness while allowing the statements of the government witness.
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Rose-Hulman to honor Muncie native serving on federal bench

March 31, 2014
IL Staff

Federal Judge Robert L. Wilkins will receive an honorary doctorate of engineering degree during the 136th commencement ceremonies on May 31 at Rose-Hulman.

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Court won’t seal evidence in Spierer civil suit

March 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Evidence in the federal civil suit against the last people believed to have seen missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer may not be covered by a broad order shielding exhibits and testimony from public view.
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Challenges to Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban piling up in federal court

March 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana Friday filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, becoming the third such complaint lodged against Indiana in a week.
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Federal Bar Update: ND requires e-filing; SD launches hyperlink pilot

March 12, 2014
John Maley
Effective Feb. 24, all new complaints and removals in the Northern District of Indiana must be e-filed.
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Federal suit filed against Indiana marriage statute

March 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
While Indiana’s same-sex marriage amendment is on hold in the Legislature, a challenge to the state’s law banning same-sex marriage was filed March 7 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of motion to suppress search of car

February 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the denial of an automobile passenger’s motion to suppress evidence found in the car during a traffic stop, which led to his eventual pleading guilty to a heroin offense. The judges found no error by the District judge in crediting the testimony of the police officer who pulled the vehicle over because he believed the speed it was traveling and distance to the car in front of it violated Indiana law.
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Mom and pop store can’t proceed pro se in Coach trademark lawsuit

February 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
The owners of a southern Indiana general store accused in a federal lawsuit of selling knockoff high-end Coach-brand products may not represent pro se their incorporated general store named in the suit.
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No relief in sight for busy Southern District judges

February 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
Judges of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Indiana are among the nation’s busiest. They have been for years, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
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Cold beer sales hearing begins Thursday

February 19, 2014
A federal judge in Indianapolis Thursday will consider a group of convenience and grocery stores’ challenges to the state law prohibiting those businesses from selling cold beer.
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Southern District testing inclusion of links in documents

February 14, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana announced this week that it is beginning a pilot program that will let the court and attorneys include active hyperlinks within e-filed and court-issued documents.
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Biomet settles hip-replacement litigation

February 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
The most serious cases from among more than 950 patients around the nation who claim they were harmed by a Warsaw company’s implanted hip-replacement devices will share in a settlement expected to exceed $100 million, according to an attorney involved in the case.
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James Dean estate sues Twitter over ‘@JamesDean’

February 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
The estate of legendary Indiana film star James Dean has sued Twitter, claiming the Internet giant permitted the unauthorized personal Twitter account @JamesDean.
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21st Amendment again shut out of federal cold-beer suit

February 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Thursday affirmed a ruling that the Indianapolis-based 21st Amendment package liquor store chain is not entitled to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging Indiana’s law prohibiting convenience and grocery stores from selling cold beer.
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Performance of desegregation, busing case to celebrate Black History Month

February 7, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will host a dramatic interpretation performance of the Indianapolis Public Schools’ historic desegregation and busing case as part of February’s Black History Month Celebration.
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Court finds interview is not a violation of professional conduct rules

February 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal magistrate in Hammond has ruled there were no violations of the Indiana Professional Rules of Conduct when defense counsel interviewed a potential witness in preparation for trial after discovery had closed.
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Southern District courts delay opening Wednesday

February 4, 2014
All locations of the United States District Court, Bankruptcy Court and Probation Office for the Southern District of Indiana will delay opening until noon local time. The delayed schedule is due to the winter storm approaching Indiana Tuesday evening.
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Civil case filing now all electronic in Northern District

February 3, 2014
IL Staff
Beginning Monday, all new civil cases filed by counsel will be filed electronically in CM/ECF, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana has announced. Electronic filing will become mandatory as of Feb. 24. 
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Bankruptcy Court seeks comment on local rule changes

January 13, 2014
IL Staff
The public has until Jan. 31 to comment on proposed amendments to local rules in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Indiana. Local Rules that have been amended include B-1007-2, Noticing, Balloting and Claims Agents and B-9010-1, Appearances.
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Evansville federal, bankruptcy courts remain closed

January 9, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District and Bankruptcy courts in Evansville remain closed Thursday after a water main break this week. The closure is a result of ongoing repair to the water main.
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  1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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