District Courts

Kentucky gay marriage ban nixed, but no weddings yet

July 3, 2014
 Associated Press
Gay marriage advocates nationwide heralded the ruling striking down deeply conservative Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage as a significant milestone, though matrimonies won't begin in earnest there anytime soon.
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Judge says no to Love but yes to marriage

July 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Two days after a judge overturns Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the state’s request to stay the ruling pending an appeal.
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Indiana attorney general appeals marriage ruling

June 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is fighting Wednesday’s decision that overturned the state’s marriage law.
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Indiana attorney general appeals marriage ruling

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is fighting Wednesday’s decision that overturned the state’s marriage law.
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Marriage ruling brings Indiana same-sex couples to the courthouse

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl, Dave Stafford
Together more than eight years, Craig Bowen and Jake Miller finally got to say “I do.” The men made history June 25 when they became the first legally wed same-sex couple in Marion County. The pair went to the Marion County Clerk of the Court’s office shortly after a federal judge ruling the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
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Indiana same-sex marriage ban overturned

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Federal Judge Richard Young has overturned Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, finding the law violates the 14th Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses.
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7th Circuit, Bankruptcy Court seek comment on rule changes

June 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana want to hear from attorneys about proposed rule changes.
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2 convicted for roles in death of fellow inmate

June 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Two inmates at the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Institution have been convicted for their roles in the death of a fellow inmate, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana announced Wednesday. William J. Bell and Lenard Dixon were recently ordered to wear modified leg restraints during their trial.
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Cold beer lawsuit fails in federal court

June 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A challenge to state law prohibiting convenience, grocery and drug stores from selling cold beer failed Monday when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana denied the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and granted the state’s motion for summary judgment.
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Judge asks public defender about Conour money

June 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has ordered the Office of the Federal Defender for the Southern District of Indiana to disclose whether it is holding any property belonging to William Conour, the former attorney who was represented by a public court-appointed lawyer from the agency.
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Justices take certified question regarding dependents

June 12, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will determine what exactly the phrase “dependent upon such person” modifies. The high court accepted a certified question on the matter from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Bankruptcy Court seeks volunteers for pro bono panel

June 10, 2014
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana is accepting new volunteers who would like to work on the court’s Bankruptcy Pro Bono Panel.
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7th Circuit reverses ‘troubling’ ruling in discrimination case

June 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a District Court judge made several errors in analyzing the evidence brought by an African-American electrician in his lawsuit alleging he wasn’t hired because of his race, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed judgment in favor of the company.
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Court orders defendants to wear leg restraints at trial

June 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in Terre Haute has granted the government’s request that two defendants wear modified leg irons at an upcoming jury trial due to their violent criminal histories – both outside of prison and while incarcerated. The men face charges stemming from the murder of a fellow inmate.
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Federal court seeks comment on local sentencing procedure rule

June 6, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has determined there is a need to amend Local Criminal Rule 13.1 on sentencing procedure and is accepting comment on the proposed changes.
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Electronic devices must be turned off in Southern District courtrooms

June 5, 2014
IL Staff
If you plan on bringing your mobile phone, tablet or any other electronic device into court in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana, make sure you turn it off. That’s an order from Chief Judge Richard Young.
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Depositions delayed in Spierer civil case

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Attorneys for the parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer must delay more than a dozen planned depositions. The depositions were scheduled this month in four cities in the federal civil trial naming two of the people believed to have last seen Spierer.
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Spierer civil suit discovery halted; claims called ‘precarious’

May 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
The federal civil lawsuit naming two former Indiana University students who were among the last to see missing IU freshman Lauren Spierer will proceed, but a judge Monday narrowed the inquiry regarding one defendant and halted discovery in the meantime.
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Court rules Indiana must recognize couple’s same-sex marriage

May 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana must recognize the same-sex marriage of two women wed in Massachusetts, one of whom is gravely ill, a federal judge ruled Thursday. The state said it will appeal the narrow but historic ruling.
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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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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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