District Courts

US District Court seeks comments on magistrate judge’s reappointment

September 21, 2016
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is seeking comments from members of the bar and the public concerning the reappointment of U.S. Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker, whose current term of office is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2017.
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Federal Bar Update: Show up and pay attention to court matters

September 21, 2016
John Maley
In the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, from time to time the federal bench has found it necessary to comment on deficient practitioner performance. A recent example also serves as a reminder of some basic principles in this age of phone conferences.
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Indiana sees Syrian refugee stream since Pence order blocked

September 6, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
About 150 Syrian refugees have arrived in Indiana in the months since a federal judge scuttled Republican Gov. Mike Pence's order blocking state agencies from helping their resettlement. Refugee assistance groups expect more this year, even as lawyers for the state go before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Sept. 14 to try to have the judge's decision overturned.
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South Bend family questions $18 award for police abuse

September 6, 2016
 Associated Press
The family of a black teenager who was punched and handcuffed by three South Bend police officers then subdued with a stun gun in a case of mistaken identity is questioning why jurors awarded them just $18 in a lawsuit accusing the officers of violating his constitutional rights.
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Feds: Charleston church shooting suspect 'self-radicalized'

August 23, 2016
 Associated Press
A white man charged with the shooting deaths of nine black churchgoers in Charleston "self-radicalized" in the months before the attack and grew more entrenched in his beliefs in white supremacy, according to court papers prosecutors filed this week in federal court.
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Indianapolis woman sues over police dog attack

August 5, 2016
 Associated Press
A woman is suing Indianapolis police after a department police dog injured her while the animal was chasing a suspect last year.
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Documentary marking federal court bicentennial in Indiana focuses on 3 cases

July 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is preserving stories about three notable cases for an hour-long documentary on the federal courts in Indiana. The film’s release will coincide with the institution’s bicentennial next year.
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Court rules detention of youth who reported drug justified

July 26, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A probation officer who arrested and detained a middle school student for violating court policy has quasi-judicial immunity against charges of negligence and constitutional violations.
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GM avoids some claims in suits over faulty ignition switches

July 18, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A federal judge dismissed a swathe of customer claims in the nationwide litigation over General Motors Co.’s deadly ignition switch defect that triggered the recall of millions of vehicles two years ago.
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Official to plead guilty to tax assessment shakedown

July 12, 2016
 Associated Press
A northwest Indiana assessor's office employee will plead guilty to allegedly shaking down businesses in exchange for reducing their tax assessments.
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State appeals ruling for deaf litigant denied mediation interpreter

June 7, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office has appealed a federal court ruling that found a Marion County court discriminated against a deaf man in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act when it rejected his request for an American Sign Language interpreter at a court-ordered mediation session during his child custody case.
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Republicans Zoeller, Walorski slam Trump on judge comments

June 7, 2016
 Associated Press
Two top Indiana Republicans have condemned GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's comments about the impartiality of a Latino federal judge presiding over lawsuits involving Trump University.
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Federal judges decide themselves on conflicts of interest

June 6, 2016
 Associated Press
Donald Trump contends the federal judge presiding over a class lawsuit against Trump University has a conflict of interest and must step aside because of his "Mexican heritage." Yet nothing in federal law or codes of judicial conduct requires a judge to withdraw from a case because of his race, ethnicity, gender or other identifying criteria.
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IU challenges part of new abortion restrictions law

May 26, 2016
 Associated Press
The Indiana University board of trustees and three of the school's research officials filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking to block part of the state's new abortion law that bars them from acquiring fetal tissue for scientific purposes.
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IndyCar sues organizers of canceled Boston race

May 25, 2016
 Associated Press, IBJ Staff
IndyCar has filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the organizers of the canceled Grand Prix of Boston, which had been planned for Labor Day weekend this year and again each year through 2020.
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Handcuff injury claim against Alexandria officers proceeds

May 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who claims he was injured after he asked Alexandria police not to handcuff him during a compliant arrest because he'd had recent rotator cuff surgery that limited his shoulder mobility may proceed with a federal lawsuit against the officers, a judge ruled Wednesday.
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Surgery centers sue No.1 insurer UnitedHealthcare

May 18, 2016
Dave Stafford
Several Indiana surgery centers are suing the nation's largest health insurance company, claiming it violated state and federal law by failing to pay for services the centers' doctors provided to patients. In a similar lawsuit against the insurer, a key dispute is what the word "pay" means.
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Insurer who paid wrong party doesn’t have to pay correct one

May 17, 2016
Scott Roberts

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for an insurance company that acknowledged paying a death benefit to the wrong party but successfully argued that the proper recipient waived its right to the proceeds by allowing the wrong party to claim the money.

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Donnelly, Coats pleased nomination hearing set for Ong

May 16, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Senators Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats are applauding the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's decision to consider the nomination of Hoosier Winfield D. Ong for the federal bench.
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Illinois turf company disputes Westfield's lawsuit

May 13, 2016
Lindsey Erdody, IBJ Staff
The out-of-state turf company that Westfield is suing for unsatisfactory work at Grand Park Sports Campus is disputing the lawsuit, arguing the city wrongfully terminated its contract.
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Southern District proposes mandatory pro bono

May 13, 2016
Dave Stafford
A proposed rule change would for the first time obligate lawyers to provide mandatory pro bono service to litigants in civil cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the court announced Friday.
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Judge awards ex-Lilly manager $500,000 after lawsuit

May 9, 2016
John Russell, IBJ Staff
A federal judge has awarded more than $500,000 to a former manager at Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. who quit for health reasons and was later dropped from the company’s extended disability plan.
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Judge blocks Bartholomew court policy barring political activity

May 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Friday blocked a Bartholomew County policy that broadly barred court services employees from political activity.
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Settlement conference set in bungled Evansville SWAT raid

May 6, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal court has scheduled a settlement conference later this month in the case of an Evansville woman who sued the city after her home was violently raided by an armored phalanx of SWAT officers who found no evidence of a crime.
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St. Joe Circuit judge named as new federal magistrate

April 27, 2016
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael G. Gotsch is moving from one court to another this year. The judge, who decided not to run for re-election, has been selected to serve as a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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