District Courts

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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Hotels must pay EEOC legal fees for contempt of consent decree

November 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
Companies that own an east side Indianapolis hotel have been ordered to pay the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission $57,248 in attorney fees and costs after violating a consent decree settling a race discrimination lawsuit.
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Judge denies ex-officer's bid for review of convictions

November 12, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge has denied a former Evansville police officer's bid for a federal review of his murder and arson convictions.
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Prosecutors indict 36 in alleged insurance fraud scheme

November 11, 2015
 Associated Press
Federal prosecutors have indicted 36 people in an insurance fraud scheme alleging that they staged car crashes and filed false insurance claims.
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Teacher, diocese file motions to dismiss discrimination suit

November 11, 2015
 Associated Press
Both the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and a former teacher who was fired after undergoing in vitro fertilization treatments have filed motions to dismiss a lawsuit.
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Court rules for IPS in ex-employee’s 'Moorish Christmas' suit

October 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
An ex-Indianapolis Public Schools employee and minister fired after repeated complaints of physical altercations with students lost his federal discrimination lawsuit that claimed in part he was fired for religious reasons, including his request to be allowed off work to observe “Moorish Christmas.”
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Judge bars Indiana from enforcing ballot 'selfies' law

October 20, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge Monday barred Indiana from enforcing a new law that prohibits voters from taking photos of their election ballots and sharing the images on social media.
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Experts say free speech at stake in 'American Sniper' appeal

October 19, 2015
 Associated Press
Legal experts say important free speech issues will be at stake when an appeals court considers whether former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is entitled to the $1.8 million judgment he won against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle.
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Man charged after shooting outside federal courthouse

October 12, 2015
IL Staff
A man who is accused of firing a handgun in front of the Birch Bayh Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis has been charged with firearm and drug offenses.  
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Federal jury rules against DCS, awards family $31.3 million

October 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
The family of a 14-year-old Pulaski County girl who died as a result of prescription error has been awarded $31.3 million in a judgment against state agents who wrongly removed the couple’s children from their home and prosecuted the parents for their daughter’s death.
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Man sentenced for buying guns in Indiana, selling in Chicago

October 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A Chicago man convicted of helping to buy more than 40 guns in Indiana and then transporting them for sale on the streets of Chicago has been sentenced to just over three years in prison.
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Ex-Lake Station mayor wants delay in 2nd criminal trial

September 29, 2015
 Associated Press
The former mayor of Lake Station and his wife have asked for a delay in their second criminal trial and for a federal judge to recuse himself.
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Lawsuit: College prep company is insolvent, owes millions

September 29, 2015
 Associated Press
A credit union that holds loans on thousands of prospective college students is suing an Indianapolis-based college test preparation company, alleging that it owes it more than $12 million.
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Ex-US House speaker's lawyers talking possible plea deal

September 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's attorneys are talking with prosecutors about a possible plea deal in the Republican's hush-money case, both sides told a federal judge Monday.
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Federal judge awards ex-jail inmate $225K in chokehold suit

September 25, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge has awarded $225,000 to a former western Indiana jail inmate who alleged a jail officer put him in a chokehold and threw him to the ground.
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DCS workers' suit on unpaid overtime dismissed

August 27, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by two Indiana Department of Child Services investigators over having to work extensive overtime without receiving extra pay.
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Firm that took Conour cases ordered to pay creditor $774K

August 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
A law firm that took over personal-injury cases as attorney William Conour’s practice was unraveling before his fraud conviction must pay a Conour creditor almost $775,000, a federal judge ruled.
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Kentucky taxpayers owe $2.3 million in fees in same-sex marriage case

August 25, 2015
 Associated Press
Attorneys who successfully challenged Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage have submitted a bill for more than $2 million in legal fees, court costs and related expenses. The state of Kentucky, as the losing party in the case, gets stuck with the tab under federal civil-rights law.
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Fogle attorney: Jared taking responsibility for 'deplorable behavior'

August 19, 2015
 Associated Press, Indianapolis Business Journal
The attorney for Jared Fogle said the former Subway pitchman was accepting responsibility for “his deplorable behavior” as he agreed Wednesday in federal court to plead guilty to paying for sex acts with minors and receiving child pornography.
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Indiana man wins $3 million wrongful conviction settlement

August 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who spent more than three years in prison after he was wrongly convicted of breaking into Frankton High School and setting it on fire will receive one of the largest wrongful conviction settlements ever in Indiana, his attorneys announced Tuesday.
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Feds: Action taken to fix mistakenly awarded work permits

August 3, 2015
 Associated Press
Problems have been fixed that led to about 2,100 work permits being mistakenly awarded under President Barack Obama's executive immigration action after a federal judge in Texas had put the plan on hold, the Justice Department said in newly filed court documents.
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NCAA granted stay in O'Bannon case; payments delayed

August 3, 2015
 Associated Press
The NCAA was given a respite Friday when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court delayed the implementation of possible payments to athletes for the use of their names, images and likenesses.
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Insurer off hook in Indy strip club shooting

July 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
A company that insured a westside Indianapolis strip club has no coverage duty for a patron who was shot in the face after an altercation outside the club three years ago, a federal judge has ruled.
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  2. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  3. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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