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

Drug court lawsuit certified as class action

September 5, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal magistrate has approved class-action status for a lawsuit accusing southern Indiana officials of violating the civil rights of dozens of drug court participants.
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Same-sex couples seek to have their Indiana marriages recognized

September 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Three same-sex couples who married in the days after Indiana’s marriage law was declared unconstitutional have filed a complaint in federal court, asserting the validity of their unions is not affected by the stay issued from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Judge rules for defendants in Indy skyline photo copyright suit

August 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
A retired attorney and photographer who has filed numerous infringement lawsuits over the use of his copyrighted photo of the Indianapolis skyline lost a contested case. The ruling judge also said the purported value of the photo is questionable.
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Counsel’s conflict, misconduct bar class certification in tax sale suit

August 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge cited an attorney’s conflict of interest, misconduct and relative inexperience in rejecting his bid to certify a class in a lawsuit over costs of redeeming property after tax sales.
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Same-sex marriage memo keeps Pence as defendant in lawsuit

August 20, 2014
 Associated Press, Marilyn Odendahl
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Indiana must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, but says the ruling doesn’t take effect until the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the issue.
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Church accuses JPMorgan of mismanagement, self-dealing

August 14, 2014
Cory Schouten
Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis has filed a federal lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase, alleging the bank's "intentional mismanagement" and "self-dealing" led to $13 million in losses in church trust accounts endowed in the 1970s by Eli Lilly Jr.
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Judge: Indiana can sue IRS over health care rules

August 13, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge has ruled Indiana and nearly 40 state school districts can sue the Internal Revenue Service over rules it imposed to implement the federal health care overhaul.
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Public asked to comment on magistrate’s reappointment

August 6, 2014
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is accepting comments on whether Magistrate Judge Craig M. McKee should be recommended for reappointment.
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District courts warn of new juror scam

August 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Once again, the federal courts are warning of a juror scam designed to trick unsuspecting people into giving their personal information.
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Minkler promoted to acting U.S. Attorney

August 1, 2014
IL Staff
Josh J. Minkler, 51, was named Friday to lead the federal prosecutor’s office for the Southern District of Indiana. As acting U.S. attorney, Minkler replaces former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett, whose final day on the job was Thursday.
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Judge orders federal defender to turn over Conour funds

July 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A judge has ordered Indiana Federal Community Defenders Inc. to turn over money it is holding in a trust account belonging to convicted fraudster and former attorney William Conour.
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Epileptic man’s excessive force, wrongful arrest case proceeds

July 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man with epilepsy who claims Indianapolis police assaulted and falsely arrested him while he was having a seizure may proceed with numerous claims against the officers and the city, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
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1 same-sex marriage lawsuit remains in District Court

July 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
One challenge to Indiana’s same-sex marriage law remains in federal court and could, again, open a window for gay and lesbian couples in the state to get married, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in the case said.
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Owner of Anderson location yanks suit against Motel 6

July 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Owners of an Anderson hotel that has operated as a Motel 6 since its construction in 1974 – but soon won’t –  withdrew a federal lawsuit Tuesday that claimed the national chain had not maintained the site “as a first class motel” required under its decades-old lease.
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Indiana attorney general appeals marriage ruling

June 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is fighting Wednesday’s decision that overturned the state’s marriage law.
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Indiana attorney general appeals marriage ruling

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is fighting Wednesday’s decision that overturned the state’s marriage law.
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Marriage ruling brings Indiana same-sex couples to the courthouse

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl, Dave Stafford
Together more than eight years, Craig Bowen and Jake Miller finally got to say “I do.” The men made history June 25 when they became the first legally wed same-sex couple in Marion County. The pair went to the Marion County Clerk of the Court’s office shortly after a federal judge ruling the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
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Indiana same-sex marriage ban overturned

June 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Federal Judge Richard Young has overturned Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, finding the law violates the 14th Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses.
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2 convicted for roles in death of fellow inmate

June 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Two inmates at the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Institution have been convicted for their roles in the death of a fellow inmate, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana announced Wednesday. William J. Bell and Lenard Dixon were recently ordered to wear modified leg restraints during their trial.
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Cold beer lawsuit fails in federal court

June 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A challenge to state law prohibiting convenience, grocery and drug stores from selling cold beer failed Monday when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana denied the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and granted the state’s motion for summary judgment.
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Judge asks public defender about Conour money

June 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has ordered the Office of the Federal Defender for the Southern District of Indiana to disclose whether it is holding any property belonging to William Conour, the former attorney who was represented by a public court-appointed lawyer from the agency.
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7th Circuit reverses ‘troubling’ ruling in discrimination case

June 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a District Court judge made several errors in analyzing the evidence brought by an African-American electrician in his lawsuit alleging he wasn’t hired because of his race, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed judgment in favor of the company.
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Federal court seeks comment on local sentencing procedure rule

June 6, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has determined there is a need to amend Local Criminal Rule 13.1 on sentencing procedure and is accepting comment on the proposed changes.
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Electronic devices must be turned off in Southern District courtrooms

June 5, 2014
IL Staff
If you plan on bringing your mobile phone, tablet or any other electronic device into court in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana, make sure you turn it off. That’s an order from Chief Judge Richard Young.
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Depositions delayed in Spierer civil case

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Attorneys for the parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer must delay more than a dozen planned depositions. The depositions were scheduled this month in four cities in the federal civil trial naming two of the people believed to have last seen Spierer.
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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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