District Courts

Senior status not likely to slow Judge Barker

April 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys and judges alike say whenever Judge Sarah Evans Barker is on the bench, there is no question who is in charge in that courtroom. This is a judge they universally describe as well-prepared, well-organized and authoritative, but not averse to occasionally introducing a little humor in the proceedings.
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Hearing on motion for TRO on marriage statute Thursday

April 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The multiple challenges to Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage are picking up steam with the federal court scheduling arguments regarding a temporary restraining order and the state filing a motion to dismiss one of the lawsuits.
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Same-sex couple’s bid for recognition expedited due to grave illness

April 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The chief federal judge in Indianapolis quickly summoned lawyers to address a same-sex couple’s emergency request that Indiana recognize their Massachusetts marriage because one of the women is gravely ill.
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Court upholds Plymouth pay policy challenged by reservist

April 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The city of Plymouth’s policy on longevity pay withstood a challenge by a police officer who unsuccessfully claimed he was entitled to the full benefit rather than a prorated share for time he spent deployed as a U.S. Air Force Reservist.
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Judge Sarah Evans Barker to take senior status

March 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
After 30 years on the federal bench, Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has announced her intention to take senior status effective June 30, 2014.
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District Court properly handles expert testimony by non-expert witnesses

March 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although neither witness called to testify in a criminal trial was an expert, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the District Court did not err by barring the testimony of the defense witness while allowing the statements of the government witness.
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Rose-Hulman to honor Muncie native serving on federal bench

March 31, 2014
IL Staff

Federal Judge Robert L. Wilkins will receive an honorary doctorate of engineering degree during the 136th commencement ceremonies on May 31 at Rose-Hulman.

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Court won’t seal evidence in Spierer civil suit

March 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Evidence in the federal civil suit against the last people believed to have seen missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer may not be covered by a broad order shielding exhibits and testimony from public view.
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Challenges to Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban piling up in federal court

March 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana Friday filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, becoming the third such complaint lodged against Indiana in a week.
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Federal Bar Update: ND requires e-filing; SD launches hyperlink pilot

March 12, 2014
John Maley
Effective Feb. 24, all new complaints and removals in the Northern District of Indiana must be e-filed.
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Federal suit filed against Indiana marriage statute

March 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
While Indiana’s same-sex marriage amendment is on hold in the Legislature, a challenge to the state’s law banning same-sex marriage was filed March 7 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of motion to suppress search of car

February 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the denial of an automobile passenger’s motion to suppress evidence found in the car during a traffic stop, which led to his eventual pleading guilty to a heroin offense. The judges found no error by the District judge in crediting the testimony of the police officer who pulled the vehicle over because he believed the speed it was traveling and distance to the car in front of it violated Indiana law.
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Mom and pop store can’t proceed pro se in Coach trademark lawsuit

February 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
The owners of a southern Indiana general store accused in a federal lawsuit of selling knockoff high-end Coach-brand products may not represent pro se their incorporated general store named in the suit.
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No relief in sight for busy Southern District judges

February 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
Judges of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Indiana are among the nation’s busiest. They have been for years, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
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Cold beer sales hearing begins Thursday

February 19, 2014
A federal judge in Indianapolis Thursday will consider a group of convenience and grocery stores’ challenges to the state law prohibiting those businesses from selling cold beer.
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Southern District testing inclusion of links in documents

February 14, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana announced this week that it is beginning a pilot program that will let the court and attorneys include active hyperlinks within e-filed and court-issued documents.
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Biomet settles hip-replacement litigation

February 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
The most serious cases from among more than 950 patients around the nation who claim they were harmed by a Warsaw company’s implanted hip-replacement devices will share in a settlement expected to exceed $100 million, according to an attorney involved in the case.
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James Dean estate sues Twitter over ‘@JamesDean’

February 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
The estate of legendary Indiana film star James Dean has sued Twitter, claiming the Internet giant permitted the unauthorized personal Twitter account @JamesDean.
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21st Amendment again shut out of federal cold-beer suit

February 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Thursday affirmed a ruling that the Indianapolis-based 21st Amendment package liquor store chain is not entitled to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging Indiana’s law prohibiting convenience and grocery stores from selling cold beer.
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Performance of desegregation, busing case to celebrate Black History Month

February 7, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will host a dramatic interpretation performance of the Indianapolis Public Schools’ historic desegregation and busing case as part of February’s Black History Month Celebration.
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Court finds interview is not a violation of professional conduct rules

February 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal magistrate in Hammond has ruled there were no violations of the Indiana Professional Rules of Conduct when defense counsel interviewed a potential witness in preparation for trial after discovery had closed.
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Southern District courts delay opening Wednesday

February 4, 2014
All locations of the United States District Court, Bankruptcy Court and Probation Office for the Southern District of Indiana will delay opening until noon local time. The delayed schedule is due to the winter storm approaching Indiana Tuesday evening.
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Civil case filing now all electronic in Northern District

February 3, 2014
IL Staff
Beginning Monday, all new civil cases filed by counsel will be filed electronically in CM/ECF, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana has announced. Electronic filing will become mandatory as of Feb. 24. 
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Bankruptcy Court seeks comment on local rule changes

January 13, 2014
IL Staff
The public has until Jan. 31 to comment on proposed amendments to local rules in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Indiana. Local Rules that have been amended include B-1007-2, Noticing, Balloting and Claims Agents and B-9010-1, Appearances.
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Evansville federal, bankruptcy courts remain closed

January 9, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District and Bankruptcy courts in Evansville remain closed Thursday after a water main break this week. The closure is a result of ongoing repair to the water main.
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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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