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

BLE members dismissed from suit challenging notice, bar exam constitutionality

January 16, 2017
Olivia Covington
A federal judge has declined to hear a recent law school graduate’s case against the members of the Indiana Board of Law Examiners, citing precedent that requires federal courts to abstain to from hearing certain ongoing state proceedings. But the judge did require the state to respond to the plaintiff’s claims that portions of the bar exam are unconstitutional.
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Judge denies injunction to block VA's Crown Hill project

January 16, 2017
IBJ Staff
A federal judge on Friday shot down a legal effort by environmentalists to block development of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs cemetery on 15 wooded acres north of Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.
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Southern Indiana courts see rise in heroin, meth sentences

January 16, 2017
 Associated Press
Recently released court statistics show a growing percentage of prisoners sentenced for federal drug crimes in southern Indiana are heroin offenders.
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Indianapolis, billboard company reach court agreement over digital signs

January 11, 2017
IBJ Staff
Billboard company GEFT Outdoor LLC and the city of Indianapolis have agreed to a court settlement that will allow the company to operate two local digital billboards while sparing the city any financial liability for a former sign ordinance that was found to be unconstitutional.
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IU fraternity chapter suspended after hazing problems

January 10, 2017
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The governing body of Delta Tau Delta has suspended the charter for the fraternity's chapter at Indiana University Bloomington following problems with hazing. The fraternity also faces a lawsuit alleging sexual assault.
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Magistrate recommends dismissal of woman’s dog-mauling suit

January 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
Despite “horrendous injuries” incurred as a result of “a grievous lack of discretion” by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers, a district court magistrate recommends an Indianapolis woman’s federal claim against IMPD and the city of Indianapolis be dismissed because she did not state a legitimate constitutional claim.
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Judge blocks Indiana’s attempt to limit birth certificate ruling

January 5, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s motion to alter the judgment allowing both females in a same-sex marriage to be listed on their child’s birth certificate was met with a sharp caution from the bench about re-litigating or attempting to limit the court’s order.
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Indiana’s judicial nominees headed toward disappointment

December 28, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
While Indiana’s two nominees to the federal judiciary have a chance to get a confirmation vote before Inauguration Day, the possibility is extremely slim. The pair likely will find a place in the history books rather than on the bench.
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Southern District issues new court security order

December 19, 2016
IL Staff
Individuals going to any federal courthouse in the Southern District of Indiana will be required to comply with updated security procedures.
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Magnus-Stinson takes helm as chief of Indiana’s Southern District

December 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
When Jane Magnus-Stinson isn’t presiding over cases in one of the busiest federal district courts in the nation, she seems to be just as busy. And her workload just increased. On Nov. 23, Magnus-Stinson began her seven-year appointment as chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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ACLU challenges Clarksville yard-inspection ordinance

December 13, 2016
Olivia Covington
A Clarksville resident is suing the southern Indiana town for entering her yard without her permission or warrant, an action she says violates her Fourth Amendment rights.
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Forest Alliance sues to stop Crown Hill cemetery project

December 8, 2016
IBJ Staff
The controversy over the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ plans to develop a military cemetery with a series of above-ground columbariums on 15 wooded acres north of Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis has ended up in court.
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Judge: Disabled housing discrimination suit may proceed

December 2, 2016
IL Staff
An Indianapolis subsidized senior-citizens housing facility must face a lawsuit from disabled tenants who claim the three-story apartment building failed to repair its only elevator for weeks, leaving them unable to get to apartments on the top two stories and leaving some disabled tenants stranded upstairs.
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Hartford City sex offender ordinance unconstitutionally vague

December 2, 2016
IL Staff
A 2008 Hartford City ordinance that restricted registered sex offenders from entering or loitering within 300 feet of broadly defined “child safety zones” is unconstitutionally vague, a federal judge has ruled.
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Mother’s suit alleging DCS caseworker abuses proceeds

December 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Department of Child Services case manager who allegedly pursued meritless child-abuse allegations against an Indianapolis mother must face a federal civil lawsuit, though her DCS supervisors will not, a judge has ruled.
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Judge denies summary judgment on claim of sex discrimination by state police

November 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
A federal judge has denied summary judgment in favor of Indiana State Police in a sex discrimination case, finding that a former officer’s evidence in the case creates a factual dispute about her claim that the department decline to hire her for a civilian position after her retirement because she is a woman.
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Magnus-Stinson becomes chief judge for Southern District

November 28, 2016
IL Staff
Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson has been named chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. She assumed the leadership position Nov. 23, when Judge Richard Young’s term as chief judge expired.
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Judge: Sysco must face Teamsters suit over retirement benefits

November 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
A local division of foodservice-supply giant Sysco Systems must face a lawsuit from its Teamsters workers who say the company reneged on retirement benefits negotiated through collective bargaining.
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Southern District adopts amended rules

November 21, 2016
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana announced Monday that it will adopt a set of amended local rules beginning Dec. 1.
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Judge jails ex-Vigo County sheriff’s deputy, citing risk to public safety

November 15, 2016
IL Staff
A federal judge ordered a former Vigo County sheriff deputy’s pretrial detention because the officer posed a danger to public safety for threatening to kill potential witnesses, and because the evidence against him in a kickbacks case indicates “that he believes he can operate outside of the law.”
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Ex-deputy’s suit against Marion County deputy prosecutor proceeds

November 15, 2016
Dave Stafford
A former Marion County deputy sheriff’s malicious prosecution lawsuit will proceed against a deputy prosecutor he claims pressed for a misconduct investigation against him at the request of a show-business connection.
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Indianapolis federal courthouse gets national award

November 15, 2016
IL Staff
The Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse has received national recognition for a refurbishment project that ushered the infrastructure of the 100-year-old building into the 21st century while preserving the structure’s distinguished spirit.
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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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Auditor says Eskenazi Health fired her for identifying improper billing

November 11, 2016
John Russell, IBJ Staff
A compliance auditor at Eskenazi Health claims she was fired after alerting her supervisor that the hospital was improperly billing the federal government and Indiana for potentially hundreds of patients whose bills were already being paid by research grants.
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Judge initially dismisses ticket broker suit against Colts

November 10, 2016
Olivia Covington
A district court has dismissed a lawsuit against the Indianapolis Colts after deciding the team had the legal right not to renew an out-of-state ticket broker’s season tickets, but the court left the case open for further action by inviting the broker to file an amended claim on stronger legal ground.
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  1. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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