District Courts

Ex-Evansville official gets 4 years for money laundering

January 30, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge has sentenced a former Evansville Redevelopment Commission member to four years in prison for money laundering.
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Judge admonishes losing counsel in long-running litigation

January 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal judge admonished a lawyer Wednesday whose clients were found to have abused the process in prosecuting a trademark infringement suit against a similar wine-and-art business.
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New Albany attorney named part-time magistrate judge

January 21, 2015
IL Staff
A senior partner with Kightlinger & Gray LLP has been selected as a part-time magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Federal courts warn of threatening jury duty scam calls

January 16, 2015
IL Staff
Federal courts are warning residents of scam phone calls threatening prosecution for failure to comply with jury service, according to an alert released Thursday by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Judge grants motion to make nonsurgical abortion ruling final

January 7, 2015
IL Staff
A federal judge has granted the state and plaintiff’s joint motion to make final her December ruling that a 2013 law regarding nonsurgical abortion clinics violates the Equal Protection Clause.
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Parties ask for December nonsurgical abortion ruling to be made final

January 7, 2015
IL Staff
Attorneys for the state of Indiana and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky filed a joint motion Tuesday requesting a federal judge make final her Dec. 3 ruling that found a 2013 law regulating nonsurgical abortion clinics violated the Equal Protection Clause.
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Jury awards Indiana teacher nearly $2M in firing over IVF

December 22, 2014
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A federal jury awarded a former teacher nearly $2 million Friday after finding that a northern Indiana Roman Catholic diocese discriminated against her by firing her after church officials learned she was trying to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization.
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Judge delays hearing on Indiana Nativity scene

December 19, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge has delayed a hearing on a bid to remove a Nativity scene that's been erected each winter for more than a half-century on a southeastern Indiana county's courthouse lawn.
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Judge rejects NCAA concussions deal

December 18, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge in Chicago rejected a proposed $75 million class-action head injury settlement with the National Collegiate Athletic Association on Wednesday, portraying the deal as too unwieldy and potentially underfunded and urging both sides to go back to the drawing board.
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Jury selected to hear in vitro dismissal lawsuit

December 17, 2014
 Associated Press
A jury has been selected to hear a schoolteacher's lawsuit over her claim she was dismissed by a northern Indiana Roman Catholic diocese because she tried to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization.
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Judge holds 2013 abortion law violates Equal Protection Clause

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A ruling in federal court has essentially struck down Indiana’s restrictions on drug-induced abortions, but the argument that the law places an undue burden on women caused the court to refrain from making a final judgment.
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Federal Bar Update: End-of-year tweaks to federal court rules

December 17, 2014
John Maley
John Maley takes a look at rule changes in federal courts and reminds attorneys that the rule on Statement of the Facts has been deleted.
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Federal judiciary receives budget boost

December 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by the U.S. Congress as a government shutdown loomed included some relief for the federal judiciary.
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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
Indianapolis Business Journal, 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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  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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