District Courts

Judges toss ‘illegible’ federal lawsuits

December 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Federal judges in Indianapolis last week wasted no time tossing two lawsuits from an abusive serial filer whose hand-scrawled complaints couldn’t be deciphered.
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Court properly allowed evidence identifying precursors used to make meth

December 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted an ingredient label and the testimony of a detective relating to the identification of three precursors commonly used to make methamphetamine, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Liquor store owners argue state has Constitutional right to regulate cold beer

December 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers Inc., arguing that the state’s interest in regulating alcohol trumps an Equal Protection challenge, has filed an amicus brief in support of Indiana’s law prohibiting convenience stores and gas stations from selling beer cold.
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Feds drop case against former Eli Lilly scientists accused of stealing secrets

December 5, 2014
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
Federal prosecutors in Indianapolis dropped all charges against two scientists accused of stealing trade secrets worth $55 million from Eli Lilly and Co., according to a court motion made Friday in federal court in Indianapolis.
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‘Disputed facts’ prevent federal judge from overturning contested abortion restrictions

December 4, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Conflicting opinions from medical experts has stopped a federal judge from issuing a final summary judgment in a challenge to the Indiana statute that requires non-surgical abortion clinics to have the same equipment and adhere to the same requirements as a surgical facility.
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Conour appeal focuses on defense withdrawal, sentencing terms

December 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
Convicted fraudster and ex-attorney William Conour’s appeal of his conviction and 10-year sentence on a federal wire fraud charge argues the court failed to investigate his defense counsel’s withdrawal. His appeal also claims that the court wrongly imposed “suspicionless” searches and other conditions of supervised release following his imprisonment.
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Federal court rules amendments take effect

December 2, 2014
IL Staff
Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure amendments took effect Monday governing the appellate, civil, bankruptcy and evidence rules.
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Southern District amends filing under seal, pro se notice rules

December 1, 2014
IL Staff
Federal court rules for the Southern District of Indiana pertaining to filing documents under seal and providing notice to pro se litigants will be amended effective Jan. 1, 2015, Clerk Laura Briggs announced.
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Federal judge approves settlement in Marion County campaign literature case

November 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge on Monday approved a settlement between the Marion County Election Board and the unslated candidate from whom it confiscated campaign materials in 2012.
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Same-sex couple gets divorce in Indiana

November 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana residents Linda Bruner and Lori Roberts made history Nov. 10 by becoming the first same-sex couple in the state to legally divorce.
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Judge rejects bid for injunction in Indianapolis judicial elections

November 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge last week denied a request from Democratic candidates who sued to be placed on Tuesday’s general election ballot for Marion Superior judge.
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Southern District opens comment period on proposed rule changes

November 3, 2014
IL Staff
The federal court for the Southern District of Indiana will accept comments through the end of November on proposed rule changes pertaining to filing under seal and non-electronic filing.
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Southern District accepting applications for new part-time magistrate

October 30, 2014
IL Staff
A part-time magistrate position has become available in the New Albany location of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, thanks to authorization from the Judicial Conference of the United States.
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Bankruptcy cases filed at lowest number since 2007

October 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The total number of bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts for the fiscal year 2014 dropped 13 percent as compared with FY 2013, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts announced Wednesday. This is the lowest number of bankruptcy filings for any 12-month period since 2007.
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Acquitted ex-Ind. trooper sues police, prosecutors

October 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A former Indiana State Police trooper acquitted in the slayings of his wife and two children has sued prosecutors, investigators and others for false imprisonment and other counts.
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Judge questions $75M NCAA concussion settlement

October 23, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge overseeing a first-of-its-kind head injury settlement with the NCAA expressed concerns Thursday about some terms and the scope of the $75 million deal that encompasses all athletes going back decades.
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Democrats push to be on Marion County judge ballot

October 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County Superior judge elections ruled unconstitutional this month should not proceed Nov. 4 as the current ballot is drawn, according to court pleadings from candidates who were left out of the general election.
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Judge must face federal lawsuit over drug court detentions

October 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Clark Circuit Judge Jerome Jacobi must face a federal lawsuit from drug court participants who allege they were improperly detained or unlawfully arrested as participants in the problem-solving court he oversaw.
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Brother of former NFL player enters plea agreement

October 20, 2014
 Associated Press
The brother of a former NFL player has agreed under a deal with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to two counts of a 44-count indictment against him and receive a 14-year prison sentence.
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Amended bankruptcy rules take effect Oct. 27

October 13, 2014
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana has amended its local rules. The amendments, which take effect Oct. 27, include new rules and changes to existing rules.
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Assistant US attorney chosen as federal magistrate

October 13, 2014
IL Staff
An assistant U.S. attorney in Hammond has been tapped as the newest magistrate judge for the Fort Wayne Division of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Judge finds Marion County judicial election system unconstitutional

October 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in Indianapolis has ruled that the statute outlining how Marion Superior judges are elected is unconstitutional. Because a stay has been issued, the ruling will not impact next month’s election.
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Humvee maker wins $27.9M judgment against supplier

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
A supplier of armored doors for Humvees made for the military overcharged the manufacturer, a federal judge ruled Monday, awarding South Bend-based AM General LLC a $27.9 million judgment.
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7th Circuit rules against insurer in jurisdiction dispute

October 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal court judgment in favor of an insurer after the insurer’s motion to intervene in a state court lawsuit on the same matter was denied. The federal court incorrectly determined the state court did not have jurisdiction over an injured worker’s lawsuit.
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Federal prosecutors charge 22 in alleged drug ring

October 2, 2014
 Associated Press
Federal authorities said Wednesday they disrupted a major drug trafficking network stretching from Mexico to six U.S. states, and investigators partially credited a Chicago-based task force that focuses on the nexus between Mexican cartels and street gangs.
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  1. OK so I'll make this as short as I can. I got a call that my daughter was smoking in the bathroom only her and one other girl was questioned mind you four others left before them anyways they proceeded to interrogate my daughter about smoking and all this time I nor my parents got a phone call,they proceeded to go through her belongings and also pretty much striped searched my daughter including from what my mother said they looked at her Brest without my consent. I am furious also a couple months ago my son hurt his foot and I was never called and it got worse during the day but the way some of the teachers have been treating my kids they are not comfortable going to them because they feel like they are mean or don't care. This is unacceptable in my mind i should be able to send my kids to school without worry but now I worry how the adults there are treating them. I have a lot more but I wanted to know do I have any attempt at a lawsuit because like I said there is more that's just some of what my kids are going through. Please respond. Sincerely concerned single parent

  2. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  3. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  4. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  5. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

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