District Courts

Racial retaliation claim against mover proceeds to trial

April 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A moving company that allegedly permitted an environment of open racial hostility toward two African-American employees must face a jury on a complaint alleging discriminatory retaliation, a federal judge has ruled.
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Former Indiana nose doctor to serve probation in Florida

April 8, 2015
 Associated Press
A former northwestern Indiana nose surgeon who pleaded guilty three years ago to 22 counts of health care fraud after disappearing while vacationing in Greece will be allowed to serve the remainder of his probation in Florida.
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Federal court rejects Dearborn judges' immunity defense

March 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A deaf man’s discrimination lawsuit against three judges in Dearborn County can proceed according to a March 30 ruling in federal court.
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Judge OKs $725K settlement against Whitley County sheriff

March 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
Defendants jailed in Whitley County more than 48 hours without a probable cause hearing in violation of U.S. Supreme Court caselaw will share a $725,000 settlement, a federal judge ruled.
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Panther Racing suit against IndyCar, Rahal Letterman tossed

March 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal breach-of-contract lawsuit alleging damages of more than $17 million resulting from an IndyCar sponsorship dispute has been dismissed.
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Steak n Shake parent wins court victory amid proxy challenge

March 20, 2015
IBJ Staff
Biglari Holdings Inc. has won a major legal victory as a separate fight with a dissident shareholder turns personal. A lawsuit brought by shareholders of the Steak n Shake parent accusing CEO Sardar Biglari and directors of breaching their fiduciary duties has been dismissed by a federal judge in Indiana.
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Northern District rules recognized for clear writing

March 19, 2015
IL Staff
A group that supports plain writing in government and business has given an award of distinction to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana for a rewrite of its rules.
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Jury returns guilty verdicts in Indy Land Bank case

March 19, 2015
Cory Schouten, IBJ Staff
A federal jury on Wednesday evening returned guilty verdicts on eight felony counts including wire fraud and bribery against Reggie Walton, a former Indianapolis city employee who managed the Indy Land Bank.
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Judge rejects diocese's bid to set aside in vitro verdict

March 10, 2015
 Associated Press
A jury was correct in finding that a Roman Catholic diocese discriminated against a former teacher by firing her for undergoing fertilization treatment, a federal judge has ruled.
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Federal judge fines abusive filer $1,200, bars future suits

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who’s filed nearly four dozen lawsuits against defendants from “Bobby” to President Barack Obama lost his federal court privileges this week.
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Courts closed in southern Indiana due to weather

March 5, 2015
IL Staff
Severe weather and emergency travel restrictions have closed several federal courts in southern Indiana. The Evansville and New Albany offices of the U.S. District and Bankruptcy courts for the Southern District of Indiana are closed Thursday. The Clark County Government Building, which houses the Circuit courts, is also closed.
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Patients sue Lilly, claim Cymbalta withdrawal hazards

March 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two federal lawsuits filed in Indianapolis allege Eli Lilly’s top-selling antidepressant Cymbalta caused almost immediate dangerous withdrawal symptoms when patients attempted to stop using the medication.
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Indy Land Bank trial could turn on government wiretaps

March 4, 2015
Cory Schouten
Reginald T. Walton is guilty of "very poor judgment" and "ethics violations," and also "did a pretty good job concealing" his involvement in private real estate partnerships during his tenure leading the Indy Land Bank, but he's not guilty of any crime, his attorney argued in federal court Wednesday.
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Chronic litigator’s suit seeking $3 trillion tossed with warning

March 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has had about enough from a litigant who has brought so many frivolous lawsuits that he may be barred from filing future complaints.
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Amended complaint: Marion County inmates held days after release ordered

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Released inmates in Indianapolis are subjected to a “standard operating procedure” of re-arrest and being held behind bars – sometimes for days – after being acquitted, freed by a judge or posting bond, alleges an amended federal complaint filed against the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.
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Professor says verdict highlights need for Congress to revisit terrorism law

February 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A historic $218.5 million verdict handed down Feb. 23 against Palestinian organizations for a series of terrorist attacks that killed or injured several U.S. citizens could bring unintended consequences and should cause Congress to reexamine federal terrorism statutes, according to a prominent Indiana legal scholar.
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Federal judge stalls Obama's executive action on immigration

February 17, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge in South Texas has temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, giving a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit that aims to permanently stop the orders.
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Indiana same-sex couple files suit to get both names listed on birth certificate

February 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A married lesbian couple filed a complaint in federal court charging Indiana is violating their constitutional rights by not listing both their names on their child’s birth certificate.
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Southern District applauds work of attorney volunteers

February 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The 61 Indiana attorneys who provided pro bono hours in the Southern District of Indiana last year were recognized Thursday for their efforts during the second annual Pro Bono Appreciation Breakfast.
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Indianapolis lawyer wins $79M telecom verdict

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis lawyer won a $79 million federal jury verdict for Missouri landowners who had not been compensated for fiber optic Internet cables a telecommunications company carried on power lines that crossed their property.
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Ex-Martin County judge pleads guilty to failing to pay income tax

February 6, 2015
IL Staff
One-time Martin Circuit judge and county prosecutor Robert J. Howell pleaded guilty Friday to charges that he failed to pay more than $66,000 in taxes on receipts from his law firm in Loogootee.
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Nominee for Southern District bench could be named by summer

February 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana could be filled by the end of the year, according to Indiana’s Democratic U.S. senator.
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Ex-Evansville official gets 4 years for money laundering

January 30, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge has sentenced a former Evansville Redevelopment Commission member to four years in prison for money laundering.
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Judge admonishes losing counsel in long-running litigation

January 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal judge admonished a lawyer Wednesday whose clients were found to have abused the process in prosecuting a trademark infringement suit against a similar wine-and-art business.
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New Albany attorney named part-time magistrate judge

January 21, 2015
IL Staff
A senior partner with Kightlinger & Gray LLP has been selected as a part-time magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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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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