U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

Pot-legalization group wins injunction against Tippecanoe County rally ban

December 20, 2016
Dave Stafford
A group advocating the legalization of marijuana that was denied permission to hold a rally at the courthouse in Lafayette won an injunction against the county in federal court.
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Lake County sheriff's official pleads guilty to wire fraud

December 19, 2016
 Associated Press
The second-in-command at the Lake County Sheriff’s Department pleaded guilty to wire fraud Friday in a bribery case in which the sheriff and a tow truck operator also are charged.
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RV plant-closing lawsuit proceeds

December 14, 2016
IL Staff
Workers at a northern Indiana recreational vehicle plant that closed in June may proceed with a lawsuit alleging company management failed to notify workers about the closing as federal law requires.
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Lake County sheriff, Portage mayor charged in towing-bribe schemes

November 18, 2016
Dave Stafford
Lake County Sheriff and county Democratic Party Chairman John Buncich and Portage Mayor James Snyder have been indicted on public corruption and bribery charges handed down by a grand jury.
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District court fees to increase Dec. 1

November 11, 2016
IL Staff
Several fees included on the U.S. District Court’s Miscellaneous Fee Schedule will soon increase after the Judicial Conference approved fee changes at its September 2016 session.
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Suspended lawyer ‘cannot take no for an answer,’ must pay sanctions

October 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
A suspended Gary lawyer continues to pursue cases that federal judges have ruled frivolous, and a judge in Hammond this week rejected his claim that he couldn’t afford to pay a $500 sanction imposed in one of the cases.
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Judge limits expert testimony in Simon antitrust suit

October 20, 2016
Dave Stafford

Expert witnesses for Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group and a competing shopping center developer will be barred from testifying on certain subjects in an antitrust lawsuit against Simon, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

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City of Elkhart, Martinsville police facing lawsuits after deleting Facebook posts

October 10, 2016
Olivia Covington
After preventing local residents from commenting on their official Facebook pages, the city of Elkhart and the Martinsville Police Department are being sued for alleged violations of citizens’ First Amendment rights.
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Judge: East Chicago Housing Authority must stop warrantless home searches

October 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
The city of East Chicago and its housing authority have been ordered to stop what the ACLU of Indiana is calling “warrantless, nonconsensual entry” into residents’ homes after a district court ruled that doing so violated Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.
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Historic trial re-enactment documentary seeks extras

October 4, 2016
IL Staff
If you’ve ever dreamed of appearing on the silver screen, the Historical Society of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has an opportunity for you.
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Judge denies state bid to reduce $31 million award against DCS

September 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Friday rejected the state of Indiana’s motion to reduce a jury’s $31 million award last year against Department of Child Services workers and a state police officer for the wrongful removal of a couple’s children and prosecution of their parents.
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Former Lake Station mayor, wife sentenced in gambling scheme

September 29, 2016
 Associated Press
The former mayor of Lake Station will serve four years in prison and pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines for using campaign money and city food pantry funds to gamble.
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Residents of contaminated Indiana complex sue city officials

September 16, 2016
 Associated Press
Residents forced to move out of a northwest Indiana public housing complex because of high levels of lead in the soil are suing city officials and the companies they say are responsible.
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Judge: Elkhart school's Christmas program didn't violate law

September 16, 2016
 Associated Press
A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that an Elkhart high school's Christmas program last year didn't violate constitutional prohibitions against the endorsement of religion by public entities.
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Insurance fight prolongs Hartford City junk yard's pollution

September 13, 2016
 Associated Press
Five years of court battles haven't resolved the blame game between a western Indiana junk yard and one of the nation's largest insurance companies over water pollution.
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Fired Elkhart city attorney files federal suit against mayor

September 7, 2016
Dave Stafford
A female Elkhart city attorney who claims the newly elected mayor fired her because he “wanted my own guy” has filed a federal lawsuit alleging her First Amendment rights were violated. She also claims age discrimination and violation of the Equal Pay Act.
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South Bend family questions $18 award for police abuse

September 6, 2016
 Associated Press
The family of a black teenager who was punched and handcuffed by three South Bend police officers then subdued with a stun gun in a case of mistaken identity is questioning why jurors awarded them just $18 in a lawsuit accusing the officers of violating his constitutional rights.
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Disabled passenger’s PI suit against Austrian Airlines stays in Indiana

August 25, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Crown Point woman who claims employees of Austrian Airlines broke her leg after failing to accommodate her disability may proceed with her federal lawsuit in Hammond, a judge has ruled.
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Inmate suit alleging no water for 10 days proceeds

August 11, 2016
Dave Stafford
An inmate who claims corrections officers at Westville Control Unit refused to provide him water for 10 days in December 2015 may proceed with his suit against them alleging cruel and unusual punishment, a federal judge ruled.
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Federal court: Disbarred lawyer can’t seek judgeship

August 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
A disbarred Goshen lawyer who wanted to run for judge of Elkhart Circuit Court got nowhere trying to convince a federal judge he was wrongly denied the opportunity.
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Gary bar loses by default, owes fight promoter $6,000

July 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Gary bar that allowed patrons to watch an Ultimate Fighting Championship broadcast must pay more than $6,000 in damages for failing to pay for a license to air the broadcast, a federal judge ruled.
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What’s in a name? Litigation, if it’s Square Donuts

July 18, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge last week kept alive a lawsuit filed by a northern Indiana maker and seller of Square Donuts against Square Donuts Inc., the Terre Haute-based company that sells its trademarked treats mostly across the four corners of southern Indiana.
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Official to plead guilty to tax assessment shakedown

July 12, 2016
 Associated Press
A northwest Indiana assessor's office employee will plead guilty to allegedly shaking down businesses in exchange for reducing their tax assessments.
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Court: Deputies may face personal liability in false-arrest case

July 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
Two Kosciusko County sheriff’s deputies may face personal liability stemming from a wrongful arrest and false imprisonment case, a federal judge has ruled.
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Insurer who paid wrong party doesn’t have to pay correct one

May 17, 2016
Scott Roberts

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for an insurance company that acknowledged paying a death benefit to the wrong party but successfully argued that the proper recipient waived its right to the proceeds by allowing the wrong party to claim the money.

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  1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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