District Courts

Judge finds Marion County judicial election system unconstitutional

October 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in Indianapolis has ruled that the statute outlining how Marion Superior judges are elected is unconstitutional. Because a stay has been issued, the ruling will not impact next month’s election.
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Humvee maker wins $27.9M judgment against supplier

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
A supplier of armored doors for Humvees made for the military overcharged the manufacturer, a federal judge ruled Monday, awarding South Bend-based AM General LLC a $27.9 million judgment.
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7th Circuit rules against insurer in jurisdiction dispute

October 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal court judgment in favor of an insurer after the insurer’s motion to intervene in a state court lawsuit on the same matter was denied. The federal court incorrectly determined the state court did not have jurisdiction over an injured worker’s lawsuit.
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Federal prosecutors charge 22 in alleged drug ring

October 2, 2014
 Associated Press
Federal authorities said Wednesday they disrupted a major drug trafficking network stretching from Mexico to six U.S. states, and investigators partially credited a Chicago-based task force that focuses on the nexus between Mexican cartels and street gangs.
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U.S. judge blocks Obamacare tax rule for non-exchange states

October 1, 2014
 Bloomberg News
An Oklahoma federal judge dealt a blow to President Barack Obama’s health care law, invalidating IRS rules aimed at making policies affordable for consumers around the country.
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Judge tosses suit over IU student's disappearance

October 1, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge has thrown out the lawsuit filed by the parents of an Indiana University student last seen more than three years ago against two men who were with her the night she vanished.
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Bankruptcy Court to hold ceremony for retiring judge

September 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana is hosting a private retirement ceremony Thursday in honor of Judge James K. Coachys, who is retiring Sept. 30.
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Angie's List to pay $2.8M in membership-fee settlement

September 23, 2014
Mason King
Indianapolis-based Angie's List Inc. will pay $2.8 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that it automatically renewed members at a higher rate than they were led to believe.
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Ex-Conseco board member owes legal fees, may pursue malpractice claim

September 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
A pre-bankruptcy board member of Conseco Inc. was ordered to pay $127,592.21 in outstanding legal fees, but he may pursue legal malpractice claims, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
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Federal judges allows sex discrimination lawsuit against Catholic diocese to continue

September 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A Fort Wayne school teacher’s allegation of sex discrimination against the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend Inc. can proceed after a federal judge found a jury should decide the issue.
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Cabbies, Speedway settle lawsuit over race-day license seizures

September 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
Taxi drivers who had their licenses seized by police officers from the Town of Speedway after the 2013 Indianapolis 500 will be receiving a few hundred dollars for their trouble as a result of a settlement of their federal lawsuit.
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Drug court lawsuit certified as class action

September 5, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal magistrate has approved class-action status for a lawsuit accusing southern Indiana officials of violating the civil rights of dozens of drug court participants.
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Purdue still wants ex-chancellor report secret

September 3, 2014
 Associated Press
Purdue University is continuing efforts to keep secret a report about the ouster of the Fort Wayne campus chancellor, even though federal and state judges have ruled it isn't protected by attorney-client privilege.
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US prosecutors from across nation meeting in Indy

September 3, 2014
 Associated Press
Federal prosecutors from across the country are gathering in Indianapolis to discuss ways to reduce the number of guns in the hands of criminals and other violent crime initiatives.
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Same-sex couples seek to have their Indiana marriages recognized

September 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Three same-sex couples who married in the days after Indiana’s marriage law was declared unconstitutional have filed a complaint in federal court, asserting the validity of their unions is not affected by the stay issued from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Judge rules for defendants in Indy skyline photo copyright suit

August 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
A retired attorney and photographer who has filed numerous infringement lawsuits over the use of his copyrighted photo of the Indianapolis skyline lost a contested case. The ruling judge also said the purported value of the photo is questionable.
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Counsel’s conflict, misconduct bar class certification in tax sale suit

August 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge cited an attorney’s conflict of interest, misconduct and relative inexperience in rejecting his bid to certify a class in a lawsuit over costs of redeeming property after tax sales.
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Northern District bankruptcy judge seeks reappointment

August 21, 2014
IL Staff
The Judicial Council of the 7th Circuit is inviting the public and members of the bar to comment as to whether U.S. Bankruptcy Chief Judge Robert E. Grant of the Northern District of Indiana should be reappointed to a new 14-year term.
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Same-sex marriage memo keeps Pence as defendant in lawsuit

August 20, 2014
 Associated Press, Marilyn Odendahl
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Indiana must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, but says the ruling doesn’t take effect until the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the issue.
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Church accuses JPMorgan of mismanagement, self-dealing

August 14, 2014
Cory Schouten
Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis has filed a federal lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase, alleging the bank's "intentional mismanagement" and "self-dealing" led to $13 million in losses in church trust accounts endowed in the 1970s by Eli Lilly Jr.
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Trial begins in South Bend police wiretapping case

August 13, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge will decide whether the South Bend Police Department violated the Federal Wiretap Act by recording the telephone conversations of some police officers.
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Judge: Indiana can sue IRS over health care rules

August 13, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge has ruled Indiana and nearly 40 state school districts can sue the Internal Revenue Service over rules it imposed to implement the federal health care overhaul.
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Emmert says NCAA will appeal O'Bannon ruling

August 11, 2014
 Associated Press
NCAA President Mark Emmert said Sunday that the NCAA will appeal a ruling that opens the door for college athletes to receive some of the money they help generate in major sports.
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Tough anti-abortion laws examined in federal court

August 8, 2014
 Associated Press
Even with legislatures in summer recess, there's no lull in the battle over state anti-abortion laws as several federal courts decide whether to uphold or strike down some of the most sweeping measures.
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Public asked to comment on magistrate’s reappointment

August 6, 2014
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is accepting comments on whether Magistrate Judge Craig M. McKee should be recommended for reappointment.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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