Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2071, Rule 83 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana hereby gives public notice of the following: 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 June 15, 2022, the revision of certain Local Rules of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. For details, please click on the link below.
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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.
Pursuant to unanimous votes by the Facility Security Committees for the federal courthouses in the Southern District of Indiana, Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt today issued a General Order, effective March 7, 2022, stating that people are recommended, but no longer required, to wear face coverings or maintain physical distance while entering and occupying the public spaces of the federal courthouses in the Southern District of Indiana. All members of the public entering the courthouses will be asked health screening questions by the court security officers.
The General Order contains provisions allowing tenant agencies in the courthouses to determine the face covering and social distancing policies in their own spaces. Judges have the authority to determine such policies in their courtrooms, chambers, and any other spaces in which a court proceeding is being conducted, including at naturalization ceremonies.
All persons summoned for jury service, and court staff interacting with such persons, must wear face coverings while in rooms and public spaces designated for juror check-in, orientation, and related activities until such persons enter a courtroom, at which time the rules and requirements of the presiding Judge take effect.
The Court will continue to accept filings from pro se litigants via email. Information on how to do so can be found in a previous General Order. Drop boxes for filings also remain accessible at all courthouses.
The District Court has also created a COVID-19 response page on its website that contains all orders, press releases, and other information regarding Court operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 response page will be updated with the above changes on Monday, March 7, 2022.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has determined there is an immediate need to amend Local Rule 5-3 – Eligibility, Registration, Passwords for Electronic Filing; Exemption from Electronic Filing; Local Rule 83-5 – Bar Admission; and Local Rule 83-6 – Pro Hac Vice Admission. The amendments linked below are effective as of November 8, 2021.
The Court has considered the recommendation of the Local Rules Advisory Committee that the revision of certain Local Rules of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana be adopted, and the Clerk issued a Public Notice on September 20, 2021, regarding the proposed amendments. The Court has considered the proposed amendments and the comments received. Therefore, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2071, Rule 83 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and Rule 57 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana hereby gives public notice that the following amendments to the Local Rules of this Court are adopted, effective December 1, 2021.
Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt announced that, with the approval of the judges and the Facility Security Committee of the Southern District of Indiana, effective August 2, 2021, all courthouses in the Southern District of Indiana will enact new restrictions on electronic devices. Specifically, people will be required to power off and secure electronic devices before entering the federal courthouses in Indianapolis, Evansville, New Albany, and Terre Haute. Full details of this policy may be found in General Order 2021-19. Members of the media who wish to obtain an exemption from the policy may do so using this form. A press release can be accessed here.
Spoofers are using the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s phone number and other information to intimidate and scam people.
Today, the Clerk’s Office began receiving phone calls from individuals who had been contacted by people claiming to be with the “court,” and whose number on the recipient’s caller ID appeared as the court’s actual main phone number (317-229-3729). The scammers are also using Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt's name to scare people into paying money to the scammer.
A court will never call someone and demand a payment. If you receive such a call, hang up immediately. You can then call the court directly at 317-229-3700, and legitimate court staff will verify that the victim does not owe any money.
Residents of the Southern District of Indiana who believe they have been the victim of such a scam are encouraged to report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov..
Here is additional information on things to remember, who to call, and what to do if you are contacted by a scammer:
- Authenticate an email or call by contacting the Clerk’s Office of the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis at (317) 229-3700 to verify that the court is not requiring any action from you and that the scam call did not come from the court.
- Do not divulge personal information or financial information to unknown callers, including those who claim to work for a government agency.
- A court will never ask for a credit/debit card number, gift card number, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers over the phone or by email for any purpose.
- A fine will never be imposed until after an individual has appeared in court and been given the opportunity to explain a failure to appear.
- Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission.
- You can remain anonymous when you report.
The Honorable Tanya Walton Pratt, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, announced that Mario Garcia was sworn in today as United States Magistrate Judge. Judge Garcia fills a new magistrate judgeship created by the Judicial Conference of the United States. He is the first judge of Hispanic heritage to serve the Southern District of Indiana. Please see the Press Release for full details.
On Saturday, March 20, 2021, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana came under the leadership of a new chief judge, the Honorable Tanya Walton Pratt. She succeeds Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson. Chief Judge Pratt is the first person of color to serve as the Southern District of Indiana's chief judge, and the tenth chief judge in the court's history. Chief Judge Pratt was appointed as a district judge on June 15, 2010, becoming the first African-American federal judge in Indiana history. See the Press Release for full details.
Chief Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson today announced that the court anticipates the resumption of in-person jury trials in all divisions of the Southern District of Indiana on Monday, April 5, 2021. Additionally, the Clerk's Offices in all divisions will reopen to the public on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. Please see the Press Release for full details.