District Courts

Court seeks comment on changes to civil local rules

December 1, 2011
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, is seeking comment on proposed amendments to dozens of its local rules. If adopted, the amendments will become effective Jan. 1, 2012.
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Changes to federal courts effective Thursday

November 30, 2011
IL Staff
Several changes are coming to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana and the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana Thursday.
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Application process open for federal defense panel

November 30, 2011
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is accepting applications from attorneys interested in serving on the court’s Criminal Justice Act panel for the Indianapolis and Terre Haute divisions.
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Judge grants limited class certification in stage collapse lawsuit

November 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
While she said she doubts the plaintiffs can win their case, U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker is allowing limited class certification in a lawsuit challenging the state’s $5 million damage liability cap. Plaintiffs incurred injuries in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse Aug. 13.
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Holiday court closures, bankruptcy court changes

November 23, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana’s courts will be closed Thursday in honor of Thanksgiving. However, some court offices will be available to handle emergencies on Friday.
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Judge rejects dental coverage cap

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Ruling puts Medicaid dental program in jeopardy.
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South Bend attorney sentenced for fraud

November 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Thomas F. “Chip” Lewis III will spend more than three years in prison following his guilty plea to aiding and abetting wire fraud stemming from an advance fee scam.
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Federal Bar Update: Comments sought for changes to local rules

November 9, 2011
John Maley
John Maley writes about changes coming to local rules in each District Court.
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Indiana bankruptcy filings decrease in 2011

November 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indiana saw fewer bankruptcies for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2011, than it did the year before, with the state improving its national ranking based on case filings.
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4th annual symposium to look at civil rights

November 8, 2011
IL Staff
Civil rights in the Southern District will be the topic of the fourth annual Court History Symposium presented by the Historical Society for the Southern District of Indiana Nov. 18.
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Northern District seeks comment on revising, restyling rules

November 3, 2011
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana is now taking comments on proposed changes to its local rules.
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Bankruptcy courts amend local rules

November 2, 2011
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana has adopted revisions to Local Rule B-1009-1. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana has amended its Local Rule B-3007-1.
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Brief filed in NCAA scholarship appeal

October 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Two former college athletes who lost their scholarships because of injuries are now arguing to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that they would have received multi-year athletic scholarships covering the costs of their bachelor’s degrees if it wasn’t for the “anti-competitive” National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I bylaws.
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Southern District bankruptcy court issues order on installment fees

October 26, 2011
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Indiana issued an order Oct. 25 outlining the payment schedule for installment fees.
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Courts limiting workers' online conduct

October 26, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Workplace Internet policies go up against free speech concerns.
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Federal court addresses resentencing issue

October 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal appellate court’s general remand for resentencing doesn’t necessarily mean a defendant will receive a lesser penalty or be able to introduce new arguments, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Northern District increases bankruptcy fees

October 24, 2011
IL Staff
On Nov. 1, several fees will increase in the United States Bankruptcy Court’s Northern District of Indiana.
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EnerDel parent facing shareholder legal battle

October 19, 2011
Indianapolis Business Journal
A federal judge in New York as early as this week could chose a lead plaintiff from among at least three lawsuits accusing the parent of Indianapolis-based advanced-battery maker EnerDel of misleading investors about its financial condition.
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Bankruptcy fees increase Nov. 1

October 19, 2011
IL Staff
On Nov. 1, several fees will increase in the United States Bankruptcy Court’s Southern District of Indiana, including the Title 11 administrative fee, AP filing fee and notice of appeal fee.
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Man pleads guilty to espionage, theft

October 18, 2011
IL Staff
A Chinese national and former employee of Dow AgroSciences LLC pleaded guilty Tuesday to economic espionage and theft of trade secrets in federal court. Kexue Huang’s case is the first prosecution in Indiana for foreign economic espionage.
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Justices take certified questions

October 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted three certified questions stemming from a case in the Southern District of Indiana.
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Bankruptcy judges relocating

September 30, 2011
IL Staff
Beginning in October, three of the bankruptcy judges in the Southern District of Indiana will be relocating their courtrooms because of construction at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse.
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Circuit Court rules in favor of utility

September 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment in favor of a Louisville utility in a dispute as to whether landowners could eject the utility from their property after violating portions of the lease. The appellate judges also declined to certify a question to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Federal judge finds U.S. law preempts state 'robo-call' statute

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The state is not able to prevent out-of-state entities from placing political calls to residents within Indiana because of an existing federal law, according to a federal judge’s ruling on Indiana’s auto-dialer statute.
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Judge: query goes too far

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Ruling strikes down one Indiana bar exam application question.
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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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