Judge Tanya Walton Pratt

Judge to hear bid to block Indiana abortion ultrasound law

November 9, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A federal judge is set to hear arguments in Planned Parenthood’s bid to block a new Indiana mandate that women undergo an ultrasound at least 18 hours before having an abortion.
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Indiana sees Syrian refugee stream since Pence order blocked

September 6, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
About 150 Syrian refugees have arrived in Indiana in the months since a federal judge scuttled Republican Gov. Mike Pence's order blocking state agencies from helping their resettlement. Refugee assistance groups expect more this year, even as lawyers for the state go before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Sept. 14 to try to have the judge's decision overturned.
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7th Circuit: Defendants didn’t prove dismissal for forum non conveniens

August 12, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered an Indianapolis federal court to take another look at a case involving a Canadian resident who sued moving companies for destroying his property he attempted to move from India to St. John’s, Canada.
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Judge: Indiana abortion law may infringe on women's rights

June 14, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A federal judge weighing whether to block a new Indiana law banning abortions sought because of a fetus' genetic abnormalities sounded skeptical of the measure during a Tuesday hearing, saying it may infringe on some women's right to an abortion.
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US backs Syrian refugees against Pence at 7th Circuit

May 18, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Department of Justice is urging the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to affirm an Indianapolis district court judge’s ruling that blocked Gov. Mike Pence’s directive to suspend federal aid to Syrian refugees resettled in Indiana.
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Same-sex couples argue Indiana birth certificate law biased

April 8, 2016
 Associated Press
An attorney for eight married same-sex couples argued that the state of Indiana is discriminating against them by not allowing both women to be listed on their children’s birth certificates.
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Ex-Subway pitchman Jared Fogle appealing child porn sentence

December 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle is appealing the more than 15-year prison sentence he received for possessing child pornography and having sex with underage prostitutes, which was longer than the maximum term prosecutors agreed to pursue as part of his plea deal.
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Recusal question occupies 7th Circuit in District Court’s dismissal of habeas petition

August 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a prisoner filed his habeas petition late, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the District Court should not have dismissed it on procedural grounds.
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Ruling: DOC 'indifferent' to mentally ill inmates

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
The opinion from the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana fits the national trend against isolation policy for these inmates.
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Judge: DOC treatment of mentally ill unconstitutional

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
A lack of basic treatment for mentally ill Indiana Department of Correction inmates held in isolation violates the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, a federal judge ruled Monday.
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Judge approves $90M for Anthem plaintiffs

October 29, 2012
Kathleen McLaughlin
A federal judge has approved the largest class-action settlement to come out of an Indianapolis court, paying $90 million to former Anthem Inc. policyholders.
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Judge upholds sex offender ban from Facebook

June 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana’s law banning certain registered sex offenders from using social networking sites that allow minors is not unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled Friday.
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District judge and state senator to receive honorary BSU degrees

December 12, 2011
IL Staff
U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt and Indiana Sen. Luke Kenley will receive honorary doctor of laws degrees from Ball State University at its winter commencement Dec. 17.
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Judge OKs settlement in voter-registration class action suit

August 26, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Indianapolis on Thursday approved a settlement in a class action lawsuit brought against Indiana relating to state offices not adequately providing public assistance for voter registration.
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Appeals court: Federal judge should decide on state law claims

August 15, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has sent a case back to an Indianapolis judge, saying she didn’t properly weigh whether the case should be prolonged on remand to Hamilton Superior Court instead of her deciding on the issues that have already been fleshed out in federal court during the past year and a half.
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Judge blocks Medicaid fee cut to pharmacies

July 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Indianapolis has temporarily blocked the state from cutting the fees it pays to pharmacists for dispensing Medicaid prescriptions.
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Pharmacy group sues over state's Medicaid fee cut

July 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A non-profit group for local pharmacies statewide is suing the state’s Medicaid office in federal court, attempting to block cuts to the fees given to local pharmacies participating in the Medicaid program.
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Attorney general appealing Planned Parenthood decision

June 29, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed a notice of appeal regarding the recent decision by U.S. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt to halt enforcement of a new law which withholds funding from abortion providers.
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Judges halt enforcement of challenged laws

June 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Two federal judges issued preliminary injunctions June 24 preventing parts of two new controversial laws regarding immigration and funding of Planned Parenthood of Indiana from being enforced.
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7th Circuit dismisses law suit over bar exam

June 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed an Indiana man’s suit in which he claims he should be able to sit for the bar exam even if he didn’t go to law school. The federal appellate court dismissed it for failure to timely pay the required docketing fee.
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State trooper sues after incident with city officer

June 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana State Police detective involved in a physical confrontation with an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police deputy chief in August 2010 in the deputy chief’s office has filed a lawsuit claiming false arrest and assault and battery.
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Planned Parenthood's request for restraining order denied

May 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Judge Tanya Walton-Pratt has denied Planned Parenthood of Indiana's request for a temporary restraining order barring the enforcement of a law signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels on Tuesday.
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Man still fighting dismissal of bar exam suit

March 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The man who sued the Indiana Supreme Court and state Board of Law Examiners because he wants to take the bar exam without going to law school wants a federal judge to reopen his case, arguing that he has no other legal recourse available and the court’s refusal to allow relief is contrary to established precedent.
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SCOTUS denies one Indiana case, sidesteps others for now

February 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States denied one prisoner lawsuit from Indiana today, while not saying whether it will address another case from this state on judicial speech. No decision was made on a third Hoosier case it heard arguments on more than a month ago addressing vehicular flight.
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Federal judge rules against state on immigrant paternity case

January 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Sitting at the crossroads between immigration law, paternity establishment, and the controversy on how the United States handles illegal immigrants, a federal judge in Indianapolis has ordered state health officials to stop denying unmarried immigrant parents without a Social Security number the ability to file an affidavit establishing paternity.
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  4. 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.

  5. 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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