U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

Judge: Disabled housing discrimination suit may proceed

December 2, 2016
IL Staff
An Indianapolis subsidized senior-citizens housing facility must face a lawsuit from disabled tenants who claim the three-story apartment building failed to repair its only elevator for weeks, leaving them unable to get to apartments on the top two stories and leaving some disabled tenants stranded upstairs.
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Hartford City sex offender ordinance unconstitutionally vague

December 2, 2016
IL Staff
A 2008 Hartford City ordinance that restricted registered sex offenders from entering or loitering within 300 feet of broadly defined “child safety zones” is unconstitutionally vague, a federal judge has ruled.
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Mother’s suit alleging DCS caseworker abuses proceeds

December 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Department of Child Services case manager who allegedly pursued meritless child-abuse allegations against an Indianapolis mother must face a federal civil lawsuit, though her DCS supervisors will not, a judge has ruled.
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Judge denies summary judgment on claim of sex discrimination by state police

November 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
A federal judge has denied summary judgment in favor of Indiana State Police in a sex discrimination case, finding that a former officer’s evidence in the case creates a factual dispute about her claim that the department decline to hire her for a civilian position after her retirement because she is a woman.
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Magnus-Stinson becomes chief judge for Southern District

November 28, 2016
IL Staff
Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson has been named chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. She assumed the leadership position Nov. 23, when Judge Richard Young’s term as chief judge expired.
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Judge: Sysco must face Teamsters suit over retirement benefits

November 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
A local division of foodservice-supply giant Sysco Systems must face a lawsuit from its Teamsters workers who say the company reneged on retirement benefits negotiated through collective bargaining.
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Southern District adopts amended rules

November 21, 2016
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana announced Monday that it will adopt a set of amended local rules beginning Dec. 1.
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Judge jails ex-Vigo County sheriff’s deputy, citing risk to public safety

November 15, 2016
IL Staff
A federal judge ordered a former Vigo County sheriff deputy’s pretrial detention because the officer posed a danger to public safety for threatening to kill potential witnesses, and because the evidence against him in a kickbacks case indicates “that he believes he can operate outside of the law.”
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Ex-deputy’s suit against Marion County deputy prosecutor proceeds

November 15, 2016
Dave Stafford
A former Marion County deputy sheriff’s malicious prosecution lawsuit will proceed against a deputy prosecutor he claims pressed for a misconduct investigation against him at the request of a show-business connection.
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Indianapolis federal courthouse gets national award

November 15, 2016
IL Staff
The Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse has received national recognition for a refurbishment project that ushered the infrastructure of the 100-year-old building into the 21st century while preserving the structure’s distinguished spirit.
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District court fees to increase Dec. 1

November 11, 2016
IL Staff
Several fees included on the U.S. District Court’s Miscellaneous Fee Schedule will soon increase after the Judicial Conference approved fee changes at its September 2016 session.
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Auditor says Eskenazi Health fired her for identifying improper billing

November 11, 2016
John Russell, IBJ Staff
A compliance auditor at Eskenazi Health claims she was fired after alerting her supervisor that the hospital was improperly billing the federal government and Indiana for potentially hundreds of patients whose bills were already being paid by research grants.
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Judge initially dismisses ticket broker suit against Colts

November 10, 2016
Olivia Covington
A district court has dismissed a lawsuit against the Indianapolis Colts after deciding the team had the legal right not to renew an out-of-state ticket broker’s season tickets, but the court left the case open for further action by inviting the broker to file an amended claim on stronger legal ground.
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Ong still has path to Southern District seat

November 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
With Republicans set to control the White House, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the fate of Indiana’s judicial nominees to the federal bench is even more uncertain, but one court-watcher believes Winfield Ong might be confirmed.
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Judge to hear bid to block Indiana abortion ultrasound law

November 9, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A federal judge is set to hear arguments in Planned Parenthood’s bid to block a new Indiana mandate that women undergo an ultrasound at least 18 hours before having an abortion.
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Plaintiffs in Carmel class-action traffic lawsuit file appeal

November 7, 2016
Lindsey Erdody, IBJ Staff
The plaintiffs in a federal class-action lawsuit filed against the city of Carmel for its enforcement of a local traffic ordinance are appealing the dismissal of the case in early October.
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Woman’s wage suit against Indiana medical supplier goes forward

November 3, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has rejected an Indiana-based medical supplier’s effort to dismiss a former employee’s lawsuit seeking enhanced damages over withheld pay.
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Greenfield police officer loses suit over discipline for profane texts

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Greenfield police officer has lost his federal lawsuit filed against the city after he was suspended for allegedly sending profane text messages that insulted and threatened his superior officers.
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State brief cites religion in defending fetal-remains statute

October 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
The state is continuing to defend Indiana’s fetal-remains statute that a federal judge blocked after a U.S. Supreme Court decision this year reinforced prohibitions against laws restricting a woman’s right to abortion. The state is relying in part on “astonishing” religious practices to make its case.
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Southern District seeking public comment on proposed rule amendments

October 21, 2016
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has opened a period of public comment on amendments to certain local rules.
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Child porn accuser drops lawsuit against ex-Subway pitchman

October 21, 2016
 Associated Press
The family of a girl who accused Jared Fogle in a child pornography case that led to the former Subway pitchman's imprisonment is dropping a lawsuit against him.
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Victims to collect money soon in Veros case

October 19, 2016
Jared Council
Efforts to clean up what the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged was an $8.6 million Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Indianapolis-based Veros Partners Inc. are entering their final stages, with all but one defendant having reached a settlement and the company’s receiver preparing to make his first distribution to affected investors.
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Pence mum on continuing anti-Syrian refugee fight gubernatorial candidates reject

October 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
Gov. Mike Pence’s fight to keep Syrian refugees out of Indiana may continue — as his term is expiring, he hasn’t said whether he will appeal federal court rulings that his position is discriminatory. Nevertheless, the candidates vying to succeed him as governor oppose the stance he’s unsuccessfully fought for.
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Indy jail wrongful-detention suit order appealed to 7th Circuit

October 17, 2016
Dave Stafford
A judge’s ruling denying class-action certification for a group of people held in the Marion County Jail, sometimes for days after posting bond, has been challenged at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Dozens of judge nominees wait on Senate as time dwindles

October 17, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
Senate confirmation of President Barack Obama's nominees slowed to a halt this election year, a common political occurrence for the final months of divided government with a Democratic president and a Republican-controlled Senate. But more than 90 vacancies in the federal judiciary are taking a toll on judges, the courts and Americans seeking recourse.
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  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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