District Courts

Southern District launches initiative to help pro se litigants

March 23, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In response to a series of cases remanded from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Southern District of Indiana is attempting to recruit more volunteer attorneys and, in what one observer called a “very progressive” approach, enlist medical professionals to offer expert testimony.
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Conour resentenced to 10 years, minus supervised release

March 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge rejected ex-attorney and convicted fraudster William Conour’s bid to reduce his prison sentence Wednesday but lifted the condition of supervised release after he serves his time.
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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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Judge blocks Indiana's Syrian refugee order

March 1, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal judge in Indianapolis on Monday blocked Republican Gov. Mike Pence's order that barred state agencies from helping Syrian refugees resettle in Indiana, saying the governor's directive "clearly discriminates" against refugees from the war-torn country.
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Floyd County faces class action over ‘stripping’ jail inmates

February 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
Floyd County jail inmates who claim they and more than 160 inmates were sometimes forcibly stripped of their clothes and placed in padded cells with little apparent cause may pursue a class-action civil-rights lawsuit against the county, sheriff and jail staff.
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US joins Syrian refugee case against Pence

February 12, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge had tough questions Friday for the lawyer representing Gov. Mike Pence as he tried to make a case for state sovereignty in attempting to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana. Oral arguments came on the heels of the U.S. Justice Department entering the case, claiming Pence’s actions discriminated on the basis of national origin.
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New Southern District magistrate sworn in

February 3, 2016
IL Staff
Matthew P. Brookman was sworn in Monday as the newest magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. He is filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann, whose last day was Friday.
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District Court in New Albany closes early

January 22, 2016
IL Staff
Snow has shut down the New Albany division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Anthem workers target high 401(k) fees

January 7, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Anthem Inc.’s retirement plan is accused in a lawsuit of forcing about 60,000 workers and retirees to pay excessive fees by having to invest in Vanguard Group funds billed as low-cost options.
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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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7th Circuit rejects Conour’s bid to remove judge

December 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
Convicted fraudster and former Indianapolis attorney William Conour won’t get to represent himself for now, nor will he succeed in getting the federal judge he claims is biased thrown off his case.
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Judge puts brakes on California Uber drivers’ suit outcome

December 23, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Uber Technologies Inc. won a ruling that may put off the outcome of a bid by California drivers to be treated as employees in a lawsuit that has grown dramatically both in size and potential liability.
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Caterpillar loses $74.6M verdict over trade secret theft

December 22, 2015
Caterpillar Inc. was ordered by a jury to pay $74.6 million for theft of trade secrets from a British maker of earth-moving equipment.
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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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35-year sentence sought for former head of Jared Foundation

December 4, 2015
 Associated Press
Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence the former director of a foundation created by longtime Subway spokesman Jared Fogle to 35 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for providing homemade child pornography to his former boss.
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Comment sought on reappointment of magistrate

December 3, 2015
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana wants to know whether a magistrate judge should be reappointed to a new eight-year term.
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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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Fogle sentenced to 15 years for pornography, sex crimes

November 19, 2015
 Associated Press,  Bloomberg News
A judge on Thursday sentenced former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle to 15 years and eight months in federal prison — even more than requested by prosecutors — for trading in child pornography and having sex with underage prostitutes.
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Federal court issues decorum order for Fogle sentencing

November 17, 2015
IL Staff
The federal courtroom where former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle will be sentenced Thursday morning will be a cellphone-free zone, according to a decorum order issued in the case late Monday.
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Hotels must pay EEOC legal fees for contempt of consent decree

November 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
Companies that own an east side Indianapolis hotel have been ordered to pay the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission $57,248 in attorney fees and costs after violating a consent decree settling a race discrimination lawsuit.
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Judge denies ex-officer's bid for review of convictions

November 12, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge has denied a former Evansville police officer's bid for a federal review of his murder and arson convictions.
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Prosecutors indict 36 in alleged insurance fraud scheme

November 11, 2015
 Associated Press
Federal prosecutors have indicted 36 people in an insurance fraud scheme alleging that they staged car crashes and filed false insurance claims.
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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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Court rules for IPS in ex-employee’s 'Moorish Christmas' suit

October 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
An ex-Indianapolis Public Schools employee and minister fired after repeated complaints of physical altercations with students lost his federal discrimination lawsuit that claimed in part he was fired for religious reasons, including his request to be allowed off work to observe “Moorish Christmas.”
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Judge bars Indiana from enforcing ballot 'selfies' law

October 20, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge Monday barred Indiana from enforcing a new law that prohibits voters from taking photos of their election ballots and sharing the images on social media.
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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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

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