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

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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St. Joe Circuit judge named as new federal magistrate

April 27, 2016
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael G. Gotsch is moving from one court to another this year. The judge, who decided not to run for re-election, has been selected to serve as a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Ruling: Simon must face anti-trust suit from competitor

March 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group must face an anti-trust lawsuit from a competitor that developed a northern Indiana shopping center near a Simon mall, a federal judge has ruled.
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Northern District case filings plummet, federal courts report shows

March 15, 2016
Dave Stafford
Case filings in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana fell 43.9 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to statistics released Tuesday in the 2015 Judicial Business of the United States Courts report.
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2 more join federal suit challenging live Nativity scene

February 9, 2016
 Associated Press
Two more parents have joined a federal lawsuit challenging a northern Indiana school district using a live Nativity scene as part of its annual Christmas show.
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Donnelly hopeful Indiana’s federal court vacancies will be filled soon

December 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
With U.S. District Judge Robert Miller Jr. preparing to take senior status in January, Indiana will have three judicial vacancies to fill on the federal bench.
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Retiring federal Judge Robert Miller Jr. praised for legal analysis and temperament

December 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
With the exception of the year Judge Robert Miller Jr. spent clerking for the late U.S. District Judge Robert Grant, he has spent his entire working life wielding a gavel. He served for 11 years in St. Joseph Superior Court before his appointment to the federal bench.
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2 recent cases in federal court showcase trademark treachery

December 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A steel giant’s trade name was used to misrepresent business deals with the intent to procure millions of dollars worth of machinery and financing, and an Amish-country spice maker alleges a local rival is ripping off its registered trademark. These two recent cases in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana illustrate the difficulties in policing registered marks on intellectual property, but the cases also show the means of recovery at rights holders’ disposal when their IP marks are violated.
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Attorney questions if schools complied with Nativity ruling

December 15, 2015
 Associated Press
An attorney who filed a lawsuit that led to a federal judge banning a northern Indiana school district from including a live Nativity scene in its annual Christmas show says he believes the district's use of mannequins instead of student actors had many of the same constitutional flaws.
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Banned live Nativity goes on with mannequins

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
School officials say a federal judge's injunction only applied to a live scene and that they complied with the order.
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City workers lose challenge to law, must quit to take office

December 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
Five Lake County civil servants lost their lawsuit challenging a state law that forbids them from serving in elected office in the same city that employs them.
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District will comply with court order on Christmas show

December 4, 2015
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana school district banned by a federal judge from including a live Nativity scene as part of its annual Christmas show says the show will go on without it.
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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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Judge: Nativity lawsuit plaintiffs can remain anonymous

December 1, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge has ruled that a high school student and a parent can remain anonymous as they sue over a live Nativity scene that’s part of a northern Indiana school district’s annual Christmas show.
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Judge issues $50M judgment against Elkhart environmental nuisance

November 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Residents who live near a waste dump and wood-waste processing facility in Elkhart won a default judgment of more than $50 million against the former owners. The sum appears largely a symbolic figure, however.
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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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New judge assigned to 2nd trial of former Lake Station mayor

October 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge accused of falling asleep during the trial of the former Lake Station mayor and his wife has recused himself from a second trial involving them.
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Northern Indiana school district sued over Nativity scene

October 8, 2015
 Associated Press
A high school student and a parent are challenging the constitutionality of a live Nativity scene that's been included in a northern Indiana school district's annual Christmas show for decades.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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