District Courts

Religious bent of Indiana’s marriage statute is not unconstitutional, federal court rules

December 3, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Center For Inquiry, a non-profit that promotes a secular society based on science and reason, plans to appeal a federal court’s ruling that Indiana’s Solemnization Statute is constitutional.
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Successful Durham appeal unlikely, outside lawyers say

December 3, 2012
Scott Olson
The co-owners of Fair Finance Co. who were sentenced Friday on federal fraud charges plan to appeal their convictions, lawyers for the two men say.
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Immigration cases dominate federal system, report says

December 3, 2012
IL Staff
Immigration prosecutions have surpassed those for drug crimes in federal courts, according to data released by the U.S. Sentencing Commission in its Overview of Federal Criminal Cases for Fiscal Year 2011.
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Durham gets 50 years for fraud scheme

November 30, 2012
Cory Schouten
Tim Durham will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars after a federal judge on Friday sentenced the disgraced playboy and businessman to a 50-year prison term for defrauding Ohio investors of $250 million.
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Latin Kings gang member, 2 others sentenced

November 29, 2012
IL Staff
A member of the Latin Kings street gang and two associates have been sentenced to prison for racketeering conspiracy and other crimes in support of the gang, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Indiana announced Thursday.
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Durham asks court for 5-year sentence

November 27, 2012
Scott Olson
Convicted Ponzi schemer Tim Durham is requesting a much shorter prison stay than the life sentence federal prosecutors want him to serve.
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Chapter 11 filing fee increases

November 26, 2012
IL Staff
The filing fee for a Chapter 11 case in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Indiana is now $1,213. The fee change went into effect Nov. 21.
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NCAA's point man

November 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
The NCAA faces an array of litigation from current and former players, much of which posits antitrust allegations.
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Five indicted on Medicaid fraud charges

November 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
Federal prosecutors this week indicted five people and three affiliated companies on charges of defrauding Medicaid of millions of dollars, according to the office of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana David Capp.
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Bankruptcy filings down across US, Indiana

November 8, 2012
IL Staff
Bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30 were down 14 percent as compared to fiscal year 2011, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts announced Wednesday. Filings are down more than 11 percent in the Northern and Southern District courts of Indiana.
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Taking the oath

November 7, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The admission ceremony for new Indiana lawyers weaves together feelings of joy and responsibility.
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Federal Bar Update: Northern, Southern District courts cleaning up local rules

November 7, 2012
John Maley
Local Rule amendments are in the works in the Northern District and Southern District of Indiana, with amendments to take effect Jan. 1.
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Indianapolis attorney appointed to bankruptcy court

October 31, 2012
IL Staff
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP partner James M. Carr has been appointed to a 14-year term as U.S. Bankruptcy Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Carr joins the bench Jan. 1.
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Judge approves $90M for Anthem plaintiffs

October 29, 2012
Kathleen McLaughlin
A federal judge has approved the largest class-action settlement to come out of an Indianapolis court, paying $90 million to former Anthem Inc. policyholders.
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Northern District taking comments on proposed rule changes

October 26, 2012
IL Staff
Revised rules for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, including a new section on local patent rules, are available for review and comment on the court’s website.
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Marion Superior judge moves to bankruptcy court

October 24, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Marion Superior Judge Robyn L. Moberly has been appointed to a 14-year term as United States Bankruptcy Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals announced the appointment Wednesday.
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Southern District judiciary comes together at ‘historic’ event to thank Lugar, Bayh

October 24, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Judges and judicial officers from the U.S. District Court for Southern District of Indiana came together recently to honor Sen. Richard Lugar and former Sen. Evan Bayh for their service to the federal judiciary.
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Lawyers say Conour skipped workers' comp lien payments

October 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
As damages claimed against the former attorney rise, William Conour is still without counsel as his federal trial is delayed.
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5th annual Southern District Court history symposium Nov. 16

October 18, 2012
IL Staff
7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judges John Tinder and David Hamilton – both former judges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, are two of the featured speakers at the fifth annual Court History and Continuing Legal Education Symposium in the Southern District.
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Bankruptcy local rules to change Dec. 3

October 18, 2012
IL Staff
Five local rules of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana will be amended effective Dec. 3.
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Bankruptcy court seeks comment on local rules

October 15, 2012
IL Staff
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana is seeking public comment on proposed changes to Local Rule B-7056-1, Motions for Summary Judgment.
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Weinberger sentenced to 84 months in prison

October 12, 2012
Dave Stafford
A judge on Friday rejected former Merrillville "nose doctor" Mark Weinberger’s request to be released from federal prison for time served and instead ordered him to spend almost another four years behind bars for fraud.
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Martin selected as U.S. magistrate judge in Hammond

October 12, 2012
IL Staff
John E. Martin will succeed Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Rodovich in the Northern District of Indiana’s Hammond Division, the court announced. Rodovich is retiring from the bench.
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Court orders BMV to hold hearing on whether felon can get ID

October 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has found a convicted felon’s due process clause claim “has teeth” and that the Bureau of Motor Vehicles must determine whether to issue the man an identification card even though his last name on his birth certificate and Social Security card do not match.
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Lady Justice gets 'green' makeover

October 10, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The greening – literally – of the rooftop of the Indianapolis federal courthouse is part of a $66.8 million upgrade of the building with funds coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Work on the roof along with additional upgrades to increase the energy efficiency of the facility as well as to improve the public safety system began in December 2009 and was substantially complete on Aug. 27, 2012, according to the U.S. General Services Administration.
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  2. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  3. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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