District Courts

Indiana federal court vacancies could remain for years

May 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The impact of the filibuster rule change on the role politics plays in the confirmation process remains to be seen.
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Federal Bar Update: Free CLE, hyperlinks and award nominations

May 7, 2014
John Maley
As noted previously, a new pilot program was underway in the Southern District of Indiana for including hyperlinks in briefs.
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Excessive force, discrimination suit over alleged beating advances

May 6, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who claims he suffered a bone-breaking beating at the hands of school employees providing security at his son’s high school football game may proceed with a federal lawsuit against the school district.
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Court hears arguments in same-sex marriage case

May 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A same-sex couple fighting to have Indiana recognize their marriage returned to court Friday to convince a judge the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
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Suspended lawyer warned against ‘frivolous’ pleadings

April 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has warned a suspended attorney to stop filing frivolous motions in an unsuccessful suit alleging police misconduct against the city of Gary and other defendants.
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Bankruptcy filings drop in Indiana

April 25, 2014
IL Staff
Bankruptcy filings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, fell for the 12-month period ending March 31 as compared to the same time in 2013, according to the United States Courts.
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Ruling may hint at future of Indiana's marriage law

April 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the plaintiffs’ attorneys and the Indiana attorney general both emphasize a federal judge’s temporary order that the state recognize the marriage of one same-sex couple is short-term and limited, the ruling has given gay marriage proponents hope that Indiana’s marriage statute will ultimately be ruled unconstitutional.
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Assertion of state’s rights may not support same-sex marriage ban

April 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana is contenting that states have the authority to define marriage, but the federal court and the ACLU of Indiana have given little merit to the state’s arguments for maintaining a ban on same-sex marriage.
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Hogsett: Machine gun case most ‘egregious,’ ‘dangerous’ he’s seen

April 22, 2014
IL Staff
Joe Hogsett on Tuesday announced the maximum penalty was warranted in a felony firearm case he called the most “egregious and dangerous” he’s seen during his time as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Employee defection sparks battle between brokerages

April 17, 2014
Chris O'Malley, IBJ Staff
Hylant Group says a former worker in its Carmel offices broke a non-compete agreement and poached clients for his new insurance-brokerage gig in Indianapolis.

 
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Attorneys now can hyperlink in e-filing in Southern District

April 15, 2014
IL Staff
Reference materials in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana are now just a click away. Attorneys may now use active hyperlinks within e-filed documents.
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Senators seek candidate to fill Judge Barker’s vacancy

April 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Sens. Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats have begun the process for selecting a candidate to fill the vacancy coming to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Body shops sue insurers, allege push to drive down prices

April 14, 2014
Chris O'Malley, IBJ Staff
In a federal lawsuit, 14 Indiana shops accuse State Farm Insurance and competitors of extracting “unreasonable and onerous” concessions on vehicle repair costs.
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Northern District seeks magistrate for Fort Wayne division

April 11, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana is now accepting applications for a full-time magistrate judge in the Fort Wayne division. The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized the appointment.
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Bankruptcy court addresses e-filing, weather issues

April 11, 2014
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Indiana has posted notice on its website as to how it will handle situations when the electronic case filing system is unavailable or weather creates access issues for customers.
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Judge grants temporary restraining order in same-sex marriage suit

April 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A same-sex couple’s plea that Indiana recognize their marriage was granted Thursday by a federal judge in Evansville, a significant ruling in one of the five separate lawsuits that are challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
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Indy club must pay BMI for DJ’s tunes

April 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
A downtown Indianapolis nightclub must pay a tab approaching $20,000 because the club and DJs failed to obtain public-performance licenses after repeated warnings.
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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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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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