On November 28, 2017, Chief U.S. District Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson and U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler warned the public of a nationwide scam in which callers pose as U.S. Marshals or other government officials and claim that the victim is about to be arrested for not appearing for jury duty, but can avoid arrest by paying a fine. The Southern District of Indiana has recently received an increased number of phone calls from victims regarding these scams and deems it of the utmost importance to reissue this Press Release to promote awareness and prevent more people from falling prey to such scams. Please click on the link below for the full Press Release.
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News & Announcements
Check this page, or the News and Announcements box on the homepage, for the latest official news and announcements released by the court. You can also access archived news and announcements from this page.
The Historical Society of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is excited to announce that its documentary film And Justice for All: Indiana’s Federal Courts has been nominated for two Emmy Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Lower Great Lakes Region.
The film is nominated in the Documentary – Historical, and Musical Composition/Arrangement. Winners will be announced at the 49th Annual Emmy Awards ceremony on Saturday, June 23, 2018.
The film can be viewed in its entirety online; DVD copies are also available free of charge to educators (while supplies last) by contacting Doria Lynch at Doria_Lynch@insd.uscourts.gov. A classroom version of the film and a Teacher’s Guide are also available and provide in-class and take-home activities relating to the film.
In addition to providing an overview of the history of Indiana’s federal courts, the film portrays the events surrounding three cases of historical significance:
Ex parte Milligan, in which Indiana’s federal court played a role in answering the Constitutional question of whether civilians are eligible for prosecution by a military tribunal when civilian courts are open. This Civil War-era case made its way to the Supreme Court of the United States.
United States v. Ryan, et al., a case involving members of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers who were prosecuted for their roles in allegedly having conspired to bomb their way to the bargaining table, resulting in the deaths of 21 people at the The Los Angeles Times and thousands of dollars in property damage. The 1912 conspiracy trial lasted three months and brought international media attention to Indianapolis.
- United States v. Board of School Commissioners of the City of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Public Schools desegregation case that began in 1968 and continued until 2016, when the busing order of Judge S. Hugh Dillin finally expired.
The film was produced by Gudaitis Production, a documentary and educational film production company, led by David Gudaitis, Ph.D., Alan Backler, Ph.D., and Larry Laswell, M.A.
The Local Rules Advisory Committee for the Southern District of Indiana has recommended, and the District Court has authorized release for a period of public comment through May 29, 2018, the revision of certain Local Rules of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The proposed revisions are attached below.
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (April 10, 2018): The Honorable Jane E. Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, announced that a formal swearing-in ceremony for United States Magistrate Judge Doris L. Pryor will be held on Friday, April 13, 2018, at 2:00 EDT at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. Chief Judge Magnus-Stinson will preside over the en banc ceremony in the William E. Steckler Ceremonial Courtroom (courtroom 202).
Judge Pryor previously served as the National Security Chief for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana from September 2014 until mid-February 2018. From August 2006 until her appointment as National Security Chief, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. From August 2005 through August 2006, Judge Pryor served as a Deputy Public Defender in the State of Arkansas Public Defender’s Commission. She also has served two terms as a law clerk, for Judge J. Leon Holmes in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas (August 2004-August 2005), and for Chief Judge Lavenski Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (August 2003-August 2004).
Born in Hope, Arkansas, Judge Pryor graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1999 from the University of Central Arkansas, where she majored in political science. She obtained her law degree from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2003 and was admitted to the bar the same year. Judge Pryor has since been admitted to practice in numerous state and federal courts, including Indiana.
Judge Pryor’s caseload is drawn from the Indianapolis and Terre Haute divisions. Like the other magistrate judges in the Southern District of Indiana, she conducts various pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings in civil cases on delegation from a district judge and presides over trial and disposition of civil cases upon consent of the litigants. After a period of recusal, she will also conduct preliminary proceedings in criminal cases and preside over trial and disposition of misdemeanor cases. Magistrate Judges are appointed by the Judges of the United States District Courts for terms of eight years, and are eligible for reappointment to successive terms.
The investiture ceremony is a public event, but seating is limited. Photography will be permitted during the program. If you would like to send a photographer and/or reporter to cover the ceremony, or if you have other questions, please contact Deputy Clerk Doria Lynch at 317-229-3729 or Doria_lynch@insd.uscourts.gov.
In honor of Women's History Month, please view this Press Release for a look back at the remarkable careers of the Honorable Virginia Dill McCarty and the Honorable Sarah Evans Barker, two legends of Indiana history.
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (March 19, 2018): Chief Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson is pleased to announce that the Honorable William T. Lawrence has received the 2018 Silver Gavel Award from the Indianapolis Bar Association.
Judge Lawrence was sworn in as a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in June 2008. Judge Lawrence is the first district judge in the Southern District to have previously served as a magistrate judge, a position he held from November 2002 until his elevation. He recently announced his intention to assume senior status, effective July 1, 2018.
Prior to his service on the federal bench, Judge Lawrence was an elected judge of the Marion Circuit Court, after serving as a part-time Master Commissioner there for over 13 years. In 1980, Judge Lawrence was appointed Executive Director of Indiana’s first Merit Selection Commission on Federal Judicial Appointments by Senator Richard Lugar. Judge Lawrence is an Indianapolis Bar Foundation Fellow and currently serves as Master in the Sagamore American Inn. Judge Lawrence graduated from Indiana University and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
His nomination for the Silver Gavel Award referred to Judge Lawrence’s long and exemplary service in the law and on the bench: "Judge Lawrence has had stellar careers as a lawyer, state court judge and on the federal bench. He's respected in the legal community and is recognized as a judge who treats lawyers, and their clients, well. He never forgot what it is like to be on the other side of the bench."
The Court congratulates Judge Lawrence on this award and thanks him for his continued service to the citizens of the Southern District of Indiana.
The Honorable Jane E. Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, is pleased to announce that Doris L. Pryor today, March 1, 2018, began her duties as United States Magistrate Judge. Judge Pryor fills the vacancy created by the untimely death of Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue, who passed away on August 2, 2017.
Please see the Press Release for complete details.
The current term of office of United States Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore at Indianapolis, Indiana, is due to expire on December 16, 2018. Comments from members of the bar and the public are invited as to whether the incumbent magistrate judge should be recommended by the panel for reappointment by the court. Please see the Public Notice linked below for more information.
In the far reaches of southwestern Indiana lies the community of Lyles Station. Settled by free black farmers in 1813, Lyles Station and its citizens have fought many legal battles in a persistent quest for equality and justice. On Friday, February 2, 2018, federal agencies in Indianapolis will sponsor a Black History Month event celebrating the many contributions and legal achievements of the people of Lyles Station. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will host the free event at 2:00 pm in the Sarah Evans Barker Courtroom (courtroom 216) at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse, 46 East Ohio Street, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Stanley Madison, historian and chairman of the Lyles Station Historic Preservation Corporation, will provide an overview of the history of Lyles Station, then speak about The State ex rel. James Roundtree v. the Board of Commissioners of Gibson County, Indiana, an 1880s case filed by Lyles Station native James Roundtree to replace and maintain a bridge over the Patoka River. Mr. Roundtree initially lost his case at the county level but successfully appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court, a notable achievement for an African American farmer at that time. The presentation will be moderated by Doria Lynch, court historian. The history of Lyles Station is of such significance that it is featured in a prominent exhibit at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
Musical entertainment will be provided by the Golden Singers of Broad Ripple Magnet High School for the Arts and Humanities.
This program will last one hour and approval of one hour of Continuing Legal Education credit is pending. Pre-registration is NOT required.
The program is free and open to the public. Photography will be permitted during the program. If you would like to send a photographer and/or reporter to cover the program, or if you have other questions, please contact Doria Lynch at 317-229-3729 or Doria_Lynch@insd.uscourts.gov.
Certain amendments to the Local Rules of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will take effect on January 1, 2018. Please see the attached Public Notice for those amendments.