First Amendment

Councilor: ACLU settlement won't deter panhandling proposal

April 9, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
The city of Indianapolis reached a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union over enforcement of its panhandling ordinance, but that won't deter a City-County Council effort to pass a more restrictive law, a councilor said Wednesday morning.
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Settlement of federal case requires Indianapolis police to revise procedure

February 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
As part of a settlement to a federal civil rights case, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will be instituting a new policy prohibiting police officers from interfering with civilians who are recording their actions.
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Judges order injunction against enforcement of permit policy

February 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man who wanted to protest a proposed United Nations arms treaty on Indianapolis’ Monument Circle in 2012 but was kicked off the property because of a lack of permit was victorious in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday.
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Notre Dame refiles suit against Obamacare ‘contraception mandate’

December 3, 2013
IL Staff
The University of Notre Dame has refiled a federal lawsuit seeking to block enforcement of the so-called contraception mandate included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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7th Circuit: Federal law does not preempt Indiana’s ‘robo-call’ statute

November 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday reversed the decision by a federal judge that Indiana’s Automated Dialing Machine Statute is preempted by the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The injunction entered against enforcing the law had been stayed by the appellate court pending appeal.
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7th Circuit blocks Obamacare ‘contraception mandate’

November 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
Roman Catholic employers – including the owners of an Indiana company – won a Circuit Court ruling Friday blocking the “contraception mandate” contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.
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Supreme Court vacates transfer in Star commenter case

October 9, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis Star has signaled an intent to comply with a court order to identify an anonymous online commenter whose remarks about a former Junior Achievement leader are part of a defamation lawsuit, according to an attorney representing the former executive.
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Brewington case focuses First Amendment attention on Indiana

September 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
Daniel Brewington is either a poster child for the wrongful prosecution of free speech or a man whose online rants about a judge constituted criminal threats. It all depends on your point of view.
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Volokh: Case will have ramifications beyond Indiana

September 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
First Amendment scholar and UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh knows a thing or two about blogging and free speech, as namesake of the popular legal blog, The Volokh Conspiracy.
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ACLU alleges IMPD officers infringed panhandlers’ free-speech rights

August 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
The ACLU of Indiana has filed a federal lawsuit claiming the city and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers violated the free speech rights of indigent panhandlers ordered to move from near Circle Center Mall last week.
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Prisoner adequately stated First Amendment claim against DOC employees

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals quickly affirmed the dismissal of most of a prisoner’s claims regarding violations under Indiana statute or the state and federal constitutions, but found her First Amendment retaliation claims against several Department of Correction employees should not have been dismissed by the trial court.
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Attorney says Washington nonprofit’s complaints are part of ‘smear’ campaign

July 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Terre Haute conservative attorney James Bopp Jr. says that an IRS whistleblower suit and other complaints alleging Bopp has diverted funds from the nonprofit James Madison Center for Free Speech to his law firm are part of a “smear machine” by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
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Man loses challenge to Internet access restrictions

July 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A convicted sex offender’s probation condition restricting his access to certain websites and programs that are frequented by children does not violate the man’s First Amendment rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Police officer’s suit alleging retaliation for political comment survives

July 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed summary judgment in favor of two Portage police officers and the city on a detective’s claim that he was transferred in retaliation for comments he made to a local newspaper following the mayoral primary election in 2007.
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SCOTUS issues 3 decisions; opinions on Ball State case, same-sex marriage to come

June 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Those who hoped to learn how the Supreme Court of the United States will rule on same-sex marriage likely will need to wait until next week. The U.S. justices issued three opinions Thursday, although none were from the highly anticipated cases before them.
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Justices look to set arguments in Rockport, blogger’s intimidation cases

June 10, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court may hold arguments in September on the case involving the controversial Rockport coal gasification plant as well as on the case of a Dearborn County man who was convicted of intimidation of a judge based on online rants.
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Criticism of judge results in discipline case

May 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis attorney and blogger Paul Ogden speaks his mind, sometimes to his disadvantage, he concedes. Now he could lose his law license because of things he wrote.
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Appeals court tackles sex offender use of social media

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Two months after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state’s law prohibiting sex offenders from using certain social media sites, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Indiana Code 35-42-4-12 violates an Elkhart County man’s First Amendment rights.
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ACLU of Indiana claims ordinances on door-to-door canvassing violate First Amendment

March 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The ACLU of Indiana announced Thursday it has filed lawsuits against the town of Yorktown and the city of Jeffersonville because their ordinances regulating the activities of door-to-door canvassers violate the right to free expression under the U.S. Constitution.
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Is COA opinion on threat to judge a threat to rights?

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Advocates say imprisoned blogger's ruling out of the Indiana Court of Appeals imperils the First Amendment.
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Settlement in works for teens expelled for online death threats

February 28, 2013
IL Staff
Griffith Public Schools and the three teens expelled from eighth grade because of a Facebook conversation are in the process of finalizing a settlement agreement, according to a joint status report filed Wednesday in federal court.
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7th Circuit grants injunction in company’s suit against providing employees contraceptives

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a case out of Madison, Ind., to be nearly identical to one out of Southern Illinois challenging the federal mandate that employers must provide contraceptives to employees despite religious objections, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction Wednesday.
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Supreme Court denies Star appeal in online commenter case

December 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday denied transfer in The Indianapolis Star’s appeal of an order that it identify a person who posted an anonymous online comment that has been included in a defamation suit.
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Star seeks rehearing on order to identify online commenter

December 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis Star is asking the Court of Appeals to reconsider its order issued Dec.7 that required the newspaper to release the name of an online commenter Friday to a plaintiff who claims the remarks defamed him.
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COA rules it doesn’t have jurisdiction over online comment appeal

December 10, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued a 20-page order Dec. 7 outlining why Judges Edward Najam and Elaine Brown dismissed The Indianapolis Star’s latest appeal against having to release the name of an online commenter to the plaintiff in a lawsuit.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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