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

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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Federal jury rules against DCS, awards family $31.3 million

October 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
The family of a 14-year-old Pulaski County girl who died as a result of prescription error has been awarded $31.3 million in a judgment against state agents who wrongly removed the couple’s children from their home and prosecuted the parents for their daughter’s death.
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Ex-Lake Station mayor wants delay in 2nd criminal trial

September 29, 2015
 Associated Press
The former mayor of Lake Station and his wife have asked for a delay in their second criminal trial and for a federal judge to recuse himself.
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Gary airport tenant sues airport authority, private operator

September 28, 2015
 Associated Press
A tenant at the Gary/Chicago International Airport is suing the airport authority and its private operator, alleging that they "unilaterally" quadrupled its rent.
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Firefighter allegedly targeted with noose sues ex-official

July 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A black Marion firefighter whose wife belongs to the family of a lynching victim has filed a federal lawsuit against an assistant fire chief who allegedly tied a rope into a noose.
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Indiana federal wiretaps plunge in 2014

July 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
Wiretaps authorized by federal judges in Indiana fell by 70 percent in 2014, according to court statistics released Wednesday.
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Judge slams city with default sanction in wrongful arrest case

June 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal judge threw the gavel at the city of Gary for ignoring court orders to respond to discovery in a social worker’s wrongful arrest suit against the city, Gary Community School Corp, and two Gary police officers who worked for the schools.
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Certified question regarding Patient’s Compensation Fund dismissed

May 21, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has dismissed as moot a certified question sent to it from the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana regarding a claim the Patient’s Compensation Fund sought to pursue against an insurer.
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Indiana senator calls for judicial nominating commission

May 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Sen. Dan Coats is calling for the appointment of a commission to assist in finding and nominating candidates for the vacancies on the federal bench.  
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Court seeks comment on reappointment of federal magistrate

May 8, 2015
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana wants to hear from the bar and public as to whether a current magistrate judge should be recommended for reappointment.
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Ex-Valpo attorney pleads guilty to wire fraud, money laundering

April 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
Former Valparaiso lawyer Clark Holesinger will plead guilty to federal wire fraud and money-laundering charges accusing him of stealing $2 million, according to an information announced Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Judge OKs $725K settlement against Whitley County sheriff

March 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
Defendants jailed in Whitley County more than 48 hours without a probable cause hearing in violation of U.S. Supreme Court caselaw will share a $725,000 settlement, a federal judge ruled.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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