District Courts

Federal court fees, PACER charge going up

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The policy-making body of the federal judiciary wants U.S. judges to limit how often they seal entire civil cases. In addition, the public access fee for all records is rising and other court fees are going up.
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New magistrate takes the oath

September 14, 2011
U.S. Magistrate Denise K. LaRue was sworn in Sept. 8 as the Southern District of Indiana's newest magistrate.
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Judge dismisses challenge to NCAA bylaws

September 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Two former NCAA athletes whose scholarships were revoked following injuries have lost their suit that argued without certain NCAA Division I bylaws, they would have received multi-year athletic scholarships that would have covered the cost of their bachelor’s degrees.
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Magistrate judge’s investiture ceremony Thursday

September 7, 2011
IL Staff
The formal swearing-in ceremony for Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, is at 2 p.m. Sept. 8 in Courtroom 202 of the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Indianapolis. The event is open to the public.
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Retired U.S. magistrate judge dies

September 6, 2011
IL Staff
A Marion County attorney who later served as judge of the Circuit Court and as a United States Magistrate Judge died Sept. 1.
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Circuit Court upholds settlement; $43 million in attorney fees

September 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a $180 million settlement and grant of $43.5 million in attorney fees in a dispute between retirement plan participants and their former employer. Some class members objected to the amount of attorney fees, but the 7th Circuit saw no reason to disturb the lower court’s decision.
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Toxic dust exposure leads to litigation

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indianapolis attorney Gabe Hawkins has already attended the funerals of three former clients, and he hopes that he won’t have to see a fourth before finally being able to say that the courtroom battle they’ve been waging for years has paid off.
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7th Circuit affirms judgment for officers in diabetic man’s case

August 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the City of East Chicago and police officers on an estate’s excessive force and other claims, finding the officers had reasonable suspicion that a diabetic man who was having a hypoglycemic episode was possibly intoxicated.
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Judge OKs settlement in voter-registration class action suit

August 26, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Indianapolis on Thursday approved a settlement in a class action lawsuit brought against Indiana relating to state offices not adequately providing public assistance for voter registration.
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Judge hears arguments on bar exam application suit

August 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
How far the Indiana Board of Law Examiners can go in asking potential lawyers about their mental-health history was the subject of a federal court hearing Wednesday, where attorneys explored the scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act and what might be reasonable in determining someone’s potential fitness to practice law.
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Clerk of Court for Northern District retiring

August 18, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The longtime clerk for the Northern District of Indiana is retiring at the end of the year, and those interested in filling that vacancy have nearly a month to apply for the federal court position.
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Federal appeals court examines disputed telephone charges

August 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Writing for a unanimous 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel, U.S. Judge David Hamilton authored an opinion Tuesday full of what he calls “telephonese.” The opinion delves into a small business’s disputed phone bill charges and how those matters are governed by state and common law.
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Appeals court: Federal judge should decide on state law claims

August 15, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has sent a case back to an Indianapolis judge, saying she didn’t properly weigh whether the case should be prolonged on remand to Hamilton Superior Court instead of her deciding on the issues that have already been fleshed out in federal court during the past year and a half.
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Judge: Students’ off-campus Internet photos protected by First Amendment

August 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge has ruled that a northern Indiana school district shouldn’t have disciplined two high school girls who posted racy online photos of themselves posing with phallic lollipops and simulating sexual acts because the pictures were outside of school and are protected by the First Amendment.
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Volunteers needed for pilot program

August 11, 2011
IL Staff
The United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana is looking for law offices and firms to volunteer for an electronic civil case opening pilot program. Electronic civil case opening lets attorneys file new civil and miscellaneous cases via the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system instead of in paper form at the clerk’s office.
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South Bend attorney to investigate allegations of misconduct in Northern District

August 11, 2011
IL Staff
South Bend attorney Joseph D. Bradley has been appointed by Chief Judge Philip P. Simon to serve as special counsel to investigate allegations of attorney misconduct that are pending before the Attorney Grievance Committee for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Bankruptcy court amends local rules

August 9, 2011
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana has adopted revisions to its local rules, which took effect Aug. 3.
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Lawyer can argue for cost-of-living adjustment for increased fees

August 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that an attorney that successfully represented a client in a Social Security disability benefits suit should be allowed to make a request for a cost-of-living adjustment that would exceed the maximum $125 per hour that can be awarded under the Equal Access to Justice Act.
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Bankruptcy filings drop

August 5, 2011
IL Staff
The number of people filing for bankruptcy around the United States has decreased as compared to the same time last year, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
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South Bend attorney pleads guilty to fraud charges

August 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A northern Indiana attorney accused of aiding and abetting mail and wire fraud has pleaded guilty to all 13 counts listed in an information filed Monday.
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7th Circuit judge grants prisoner’s request for certificate of appealability

August 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana prisoner’s request for a certificate of appealability has been granted by a 7th Circuit judge who found the man’s application set forth a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.
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Judge approves proposed settlement agreement

July 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has approved a proposed settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit against the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration alleging that an agency policy that doesn’t allow certain Medicaid waiver enrollees to apply for services other than what’s been approved by their case manager is in violation of federal Medicaid law.
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7th Circuit finds remand to be unreviewable

July 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals looked at the issues of removal and remand in the context of bankruptcy in a case July 21 and found the bankruptcy court’s decision to remand a case to state court is unreviewable.
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Indiana man takes lawyer-admission case to 7th Circuit

July 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Fort Wayne man who claims he’s being prevented from becoming an Indiana attorney because of his religious beliefs is asking the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to decide whether a lower federal court properly dismissed his case.
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SCOTUS asked to hear stun-belt case

July 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When the Supreme Court of the United States returns for its new term beginning in October, Indiana will likely learn whether the high court will hear a case relating to a stun-belt restraint used here during a convicted murder’s trial.
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  1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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