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

Judge Hamilton nominated for 7th Circuit

March 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis federal judge could be the next to take a spot on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Military-leave suit targets law firm

March 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The U.S. Department of Justice says an Indianapolis law firm wrongfully refused to re-employ a staff attorney who'd returned from serving in Iraq as a member of the Indiana Army National Guard.
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High-profile federal trials slated for early 2009

February 16, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The first half of the year is shaping up to be a time of high-profile trials for Indiana's federal courts.
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Judge allows class action in hail damage suit

February 9, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
A U.S. District judge is allowing certain State Farm insurance policy holders to proceed in a class action suit against the company as a result of how the insurer handled roof claims following a 2006 hail storm in central Indiana.
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Courts celebrate Black History Month

February 9, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
The chair of the Department of Africana Studies and associate professor of history at Notre Dame University will speak to children and the general public in a lecture titled "Forging the Children of the Sun: The Human Spirit and Jim Crow," a Black History Month program Feb. 20 at the Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Letter not covered by attorney-client privilege

February 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A Southern District magistrate judge has decided a letter between the city of Madison's mayor and city attorney isn't protected by attorney-client privilege in a civil action seeking damages over strip searches of three women.
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Snow closes some federal, county courts

January 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The foot or more of snow dumped on the southern two-thirds of Indiana hasn't stopped some attorneys from making it to their offices today, but it has closed some courts around the state.
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Lilly must produce files from noose incident

January 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Eli Lilly & Co. must produce documents related to the handling of a noose being found in an area its employees frequent for discovery in a separate suit alleging discrimination in the company.
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Judge: No attorney discipline needed

January 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Indianapolis has decided disciplinary actions aren't needed against a handful of attorneys relating to their conduct in a clean air trial last year, though he hasn't changed his mind about setting aside the jury verdict and holding a new trial as a result of the behavior of in-house counsel.
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Comment sought on magistrate reappointment

January 13, 2009
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is seeking comments from bar members and the public as to whether Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker should be reappointed to a new eight-year term.
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Magistrate denies any pre-bench wrongdoing

January 9, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A newly appointed federal magistrate in Indianapolis denies any misconduct or knowledge of wrongdoing that a judge says happened during a clean air trial last spring prior to her taking the bench.
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Court certifies exotic dancer suit as class action

January 8, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Anyone who danced in the past three years at one Indianapolis strip club embroiled in a lawsuit over minimum wage may be able to collect on unpaid wages, ruled a District Court judge Wednesday.
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Woman sues BMV over vanity plate denial

November 19, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is again involved in a lawsuit involving the use of "God" on a license plate.
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Court offers free CLE on judicial restraint

October 30, 2008
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will conduct a free CLE event next week in New Albany regarding judicial restraint.
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Event to discuss court history

October 24, 2008
IL Staff
A new annual event has been created by the Historical Society of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to focus on past and present legal issues, part of the group's shift from project-focused events to membership focused efforts.
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Judge declines to interfere with voter ID law

October 22, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Indianapolis won't interfere with the state law requiring voters to show photo identification at the election polls.
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Bird settles French Lick lawsuit

October 8, 2008
IBJ Staff
Larry Bird has settled a lawsuit against a bed-and-breakfast that operates from his boyhood home in the southern Indiana town of French Lick.
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Agency sues DOC over mentally ill prisoners

October 2, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A state agency created in response to a federal mandate is suing the Indiana Department of Correction for what it claims is poor treatment of mentally ill prisoners.
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Federal death penalty trial still possible

September 25, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The first-ever federal death penalty trial in the Southern District of Indiana may still happen, even though the defendant has signed a plea agreement in connection with a violent killing spree almost three years ago.
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ACLU wins day-old political-sign suit

September 17, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Within a day of filing a federal lawsuit regarding Plainfield's ordinance restricting political campaign signs, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana can claim another win on an issue that's becoming more prominent statewide.
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Plainfield political sign ordinance challenged

September 16, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a Plainfield ordinance restricting political lawn signs.
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District judge's robing ceremony Friday

September 11, 2008
IL Staff
Hon. William T. Lawrence, the newest judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, will be formally sworn in tomorrow at the federal courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Federal court names new chief probation officer

September 4, 2008
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has appointed - effective immediately - a new chief probation officer, who also is the first African-American to serve in that capacity in the district.
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Wanted: new federal magistrate

May 29, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys who want to be a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana can now apply.
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ACLU files federal suit against corrections center

April 27, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a federal lawsuit this week against the Marion County Community Corrections Center in Indianapolis, alleging the facility's conditions violate the Constitution and threaten health and safety of inmates.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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