7th Circuit Court of Appeals

7th Circuit declines to overturn mine’s fine for safety violation

August 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the petition for judicial review filed by a company that runs a southern Indiana mine, finding sufficient evidence supports fining the company for violating federal regulation requiring a protective mound along an elevated roadway.
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Indiana asks court to overturn gay marriage ruling

August 12, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys who want a federal appeals court to overrule a judge who threw out Indiana's gay marriage ban say there's no constitutional right to marry a person of the same sex.
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No evidence car crash caused by other driver, 7th Circuit rules

August 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The estate of a northern Indiana man who died in an auto accident was unable to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals his death was caused by the negligence of the other driver.
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Target files brief in Indiana case in support of gay marriage

August 6, 2014
 Associated Press
Target Corp. is adding its name to a legal defense of gay marriage, joining other large companies that are taking a stand, just four years after the retailer came under criticism for supporting a strident opponent of same-sex unions. The company has filed a court brief backing marriage equality  in the case pending before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals invovling Indiana and Wisconsin same-sex marriages.
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7th Circuit affirms man not entitled to habeas relief

August 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although a federal judge erroneously held that a savings clause did not apply to a habeas petition filed by an inmate in Terre Haute, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal based on the merits of the petition.
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7th Circuit overrules decades-old precedent, orders more proceedings on benefits case

August 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal by a federal judge of a woman’s petition for judicial review of the decision to deny rehearing her request for Social Security disability benefits. In doing so, the judges overruled a 1980 7th Circuit decision with similar facts.

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First responders support gay marriage in Indiana

August 5, 2014
 Associated Press
Dozens of Indiana firefighters, police officers and emergency medical workers say a federal appeals court should uphold same-sex marriage in Indiana and Wisconsin for the sake of the families of gay first responders, a spokeswoman said Monday.
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Death row inmate denied relief by 7th Circuit

August 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Arkansas man on death row in Indiana for killing a woman in Texas nearly 20 years ago was unable to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he should not be put to death. Bruce Carneil Webster argues he is mentally retarded and has new evidence that would affect his sentence.
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Testimony properly authenticates video

August 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A video showing two brothers outside a home where a drug deal occurred was properly authenticated for trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit remands denial of request for crack cocaine sentence reduction

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for his role as a Gary gang member who sold large quantities of crack cocaine will have a new shot at a sentence modification, as will the judge who wrote that the defendant may have been linked to several gang-related murders.
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Hamilton County clerk voluntary dismissed from same-sex marriage appeal

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
One Indiana county clerk has withdrawn from the state’s fight to maintain its ban on same-sex marriage.
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Same-sex couples tell 7th Circuit Indiana’s marriage ban is discriminatory

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Plaintiffs challenging Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage filed their appellate brief with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals July 29, making their argument that the state’s marriage law violates their constitutional rights.
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Same-sex couples ask Social Security Administration to recognize their Indiana marriage

July 28, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A pair of Indiana same-sex couples who were married in June have asked the U.S. Social Security Administration to recognize their marriages.
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Prisoner wins right to recruit counsel in federal civil suit

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A prisoner was improperly denied counsel to help with discovery in his federal lawsuit that claimed a medical provider was deliberately indifferent to glaucoma that ultimately required removal of part of his eye.
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7th Circuit rejects prisoner’s ineffective assistance appeal

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of attempted murder failed to convince a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he suffered sufficient prejudice to warrant relief from a 90-year sentence imposed after a brutal crime.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of Indianapolis wrongful arrest suit

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A plaintiff who judges say took a “kitchen sink” approach to litigation over an alleged wrongful arrest failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that a federal judge in Indianapolis improperly dismissed most of her complaint.
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7th Circuit denies en banc motion in same-sex marriage challenge

July 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the state’s motion and will seat the standard three-judge panel when it hears oral arguments next month on Indiana’s same-sex marriage lawsuits.
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Plaintiffs say they joined same-sex marriage lawsuit because ‘We wanted to be married’

July 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although oral arguments in the Indiana same-sex marriage lawsuits will not be heard until late August, plaintiffs in one of the cases are hoping the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals acts quickly so their challenge can be heard by the Supreme Court of the United States.
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Judge orders federal defender to turn over Conour funds

July 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A judge has ordered Indiana Federal Community Defenders Inc. to turn over money it is holding in a trust account belonging to convicted fraudster and former attorney William Conour.
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Gay couples' lawyers object to full-court hearing

July 23, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys on either side of a lawsuit over Wisconsin and Indiana's overthrown gay marriage bans are wrangling over how many federal judges should hear the states' appeal, a technical issue that could make a big difference.
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Government failed to prove man intended to sell unstamped cigarettes in Indiana

July 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday reversed the denial of a man’s motions for judgment of acquittal on a charge that he brought cigarettes from Kentucky to sell in Indiana without paying an Indiana tax on them. The government couldn’t show that Haitham Mohamed intended to sell the 1,170 packs of cigarettes in Indiana.
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Fired DOC counselor’s sex-discrimination claim revived by 7th Circuit

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a former Department of Correction substance abuse counselor’s lawsuit alleging sex-discrimination and hostile work environment, finding she was treated differently as compared to the employee she had an affair with while working at a maximum-security prison.
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Woman waived challenge to amount of loss attributable to her conduct

July 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the 57-month sentence for a woman involved in a real estate fraud scheme, finding she waived the issue regarding the amount of loss attributable to her conduct.
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Plea agreement bars defendant from appealing sentence

July 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant who agreed to waive his right to appeal his sentence after pleading guilty to a drug offense was unable to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he should be allowed to pursue his ineffective assistance of counsel claim.
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Admittance of hearsay evidence harmless error, rules 7th Circuit

July 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The out-of-court testimony of a woman who said she purchased crack cocaine from a man who was on supervised release should not have been admitted during the man’s hearing regarding revoking his release, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday. But this was a harmless error because the circumstantial evidence supports that the man dealt crack cocaine to the woman.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. 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

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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