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

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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Judge: Yorktown’s door-to-door soliciting restriction unconstitutional

October 3, 2014
IL Staff
Yorktown’s ordinance forbidding door-to-door canvassing before or after daylight hours is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled.
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Judge tosses suit over IU student's disappearance

October 1, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge has thrown out the lawsuit filed by the parents of an Indiana University student last seen more than three years ago against two men who were with her the night she vanished.
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Ex-Conseco board member owes legal fees, may pursue malpractice claim

September 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
A pre-bankruptcy board member of Conseco Inc. was ordered to pay $127,592.21 in outstanding legal fees, but he may pursue legal malpractice claims, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
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Cabbies, Speedway settle lawsuit over race-day license seizures

September 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
Taxi drivers who had their licenses seized by police officers from the Town of Speedway after the 2013 Indianapolis 500 will be receiving a few hundred dollars for their trouble as a result of a settlement of their federal lawsuit.
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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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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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