District Courts

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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Investiture ceremony set for Magistrate Judge Matthew Brookman

April 18, 2016
IL Staff
The investiture ceremony for the newest magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will take place this week in Evansville.
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Women allege gender, race discrimination at Salesforce

April 8, 2016
Jared Council, IBJ Staff
Two women employed in the Indianapolis offices of Salesforce.com Inc. have filed federal discrimination lawsuits against the cloud-software giant, claiming the company passed them over for promotions on multiple occasions because of their race and gender.
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Planned Parenthood files suit challenging new Indiana abortion law

April 7, 2016
Scott Roberts
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky challenging the recently enacted legislation that does not allow women to get abortions if the fetus may have a disability or potential diagnosis of a disability.
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Bagel company sues gas station over trademark infringement

March 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Great American Bagel Enterprises Inc. has filed suit in federal court against The Great American Eagle after Great American Eagle recycled an old sign of the bagel company and used it on the front of its store.
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Southern District launches initiative to help pro se litigants

March 23, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In response to a series of cases remanded from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Southern District of Indiana is attempting to recruit more volunteer attorneys and, in what one observer called a “very progressive” approach, enlist medical professionals to offer expert testimony.
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Conour resentenced to 10 years, minus supervised release

March 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge rejected ex-attorney and convicted fraudster William Conour’s bid to reduce his prison sentence Wednesday but lifted the condition of supervised release after he serves his time.
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Northern District case filings plummet, federal courts report shows

March 15, 2016
Dave Stafford
Case filings in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana fell 43.9 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to statistics released Tuesday in the 2015 Judicial Business of the United States Courts report.
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Judge blocks Indiana's Syrian refugee order

March 1, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal judge in Indianapolis on Monday blocked Republican Gov. Mike Pence's order that barred state agencies from helping Syrian refugees resettle in Indiana, saying the governor's directive "clearly discriminates" against refugees from the war-torn country.
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Floyd County faces class action over ‘stripping’ jail inmates

February 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
Floyd County jail inmates who claim they and more than 160 inmates were sometimes forcibly stripped of their clothes and placed in padded cells with little apparent cause may pursue a class-action civil-rights lawsuit against the county, sheriff and jail staff.
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US joins Syrian refugee case against Pence

February 12, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge had tough questions Friday for the lawyer representing Gov. Mike Pence as he tried to make a case for state sovereignty in attempting to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana. Oral arguments came on the heels of the U.S. Justice Department entering the case, claiming Pence’s actions discriminated on the basis of national origin.
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New Southern District magistrate sworn in

February 3, 2016
IL Staff
Matthew P. Brookman was sworn in Monday as the newest magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. He is filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann, whose last day was Friday.
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District Court in New Albany closes early

January 22, 2016
IL Staff
Snow has shut down the New Albany division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Anthem workers target high 401(k) fees

January 7, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Anthem Inc.’s retirement plan is accused in a lawsuit of forcing about 60,000 workers and retirees to pay excessive fees by having to invest in Vanguard Group funds billed as low-cost options.
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Donnelly hopeful Indiana’s federal court vacancies will be filled soon

December 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
With U.S. District Judge Robert Miller Jr. preparing to take senior status in January, Indiana will have three judicial vacancies to fill on the federal bench.
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7th Circuit rejects Conour’s bid to remove judge

December 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
Convicted fraudster and former Indianapolis attorney William Conour won’t get to represent himself for now, nor will he succeed in getting the federal judge he claims is biased thrown off his case.
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Judge puts brakes on California Uber drivers’ suit outcome

December 23, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Uber Technologies Inc. won a ruling that may put off the outcome of a bid by California drivers to be treated as employees in a lawsuit that has grown dramatically both in size and potential liability.
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Caterpillar loses $74.6M verdict over trade secret theft

December 22, 2015
Caterpillar Inc. was ordered by a jury to pay $74.6 million for theft of trade secrets from a British maker of earth-moving equipment.
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Banned live Nativity goes on with mannequins

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
School officials say a federal judge's injunction only applied to a live scene and that they complied with the order.
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35-year sentence sought for former head of Jared Foundation

December 4, 2015
 Associated Press
Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence the former director of a foundation created by longtime Subway spokesman Jared Fogle to 35 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for providing homemade child pornography to his former boss.
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Comment sought on reappointment of magistrate

December 3, 2015
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana wants to know whether a magistrate judge should be reappointed to a new eight-year term.
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Judge grants preliminary injunction banning Nativity scene

December 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction banning a northern Indiana school district from including a live Nativity scene as part of its annual Christmas show.
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Fogle sentenced to 15 years for pornography, sex crimes

November 19, 2015
 Associated Press,  Bloomberg News
A judge on Thursday sentenced former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle to 15 years and eight months in federal prison — even more than requested by prosecutors — for trading in child pornography and having sex with underage prostitutes.
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Federal court issues decorum order for Fogle sentencing

November 17, 2015
IL Staff
The federal courtroom where former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle will be sentenced Thursday morning will be a cellphone-free zone, according to a decorum order issued in the case late Monday.
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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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