Do you have a photo that could go here? Submit it for this profile by emailing us!
|Current Court Information:|
|United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana|
|Appointed by:||George W. Bush|
|Active:||6/24/2003 - Present|
|Preceded by:||James T. Moody|
|Past post:||Magistrate Judge|
|Past term:||1995 - 2003|
|Home State:||Gary, IN|
|Undergraduate:||Indiana U., B.A., 1977|
|Law School:||U. of Notre Dame, J.D., 1980|
Theresa Lazar Springmann is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. She joined the court in 2003 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.
Early life and education
Springmann was a law clerk for Senior Judge James T. Moody in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana from 1980 to 1983. From 1984 to 1995, Springmann was a private practice attorney in the State of Indiana.
Northern District of Indiana
On the recommendation of Senator Richard Lugar, Springmann was nominated to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana by President George W. Bush on January 29, 2003, to a seat vacated by James T. Moody. Springmann was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 31, 2003 on a Senate vote and received commission on June 24, 2003.
Restraints on defendants in court
*JOHN M. STEPHENSON v. MARK LEVENHAGEN 3:07-cv-00539-TLS
In May of 1997, John M. Stephenson received a guilty verdict and death sentence for killing three people in Warrick County, Indiana. He appealed his case to the Indiana Supreme Court on the basis of "ineffective counsel" because his attorney didn't object to him wearing a prisoner control device (a stun belt) in front of the jury that convicted him. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected his appeal. After the Indiana Supreme Court rejected Stephenson's appeal, he took it to the federal level, where Judge Springmann overturned his guilty sentence and the death penalty in a 26-page ruling. She noted, "Due process mandates that John M. Stephenson is entitled to what he was denied: a trial without restraints".
The Indiana Attorney General, Greg Zoeller, said that he will appeal her order, either by asking her to reconsider or by taking it to the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. "The federal court's ruling this week is disappointing since we believe the Indiana Supreme Court ruled correctly when it denied Stephenson's petition for post-conviction relief on this very issue in April 2007," Zoeller said in a statement.The Seventh Circuit, reversed Judge Springmann's decision, as the judges found that the question of prejudice from the stun belt required more consideration. Stephenson then requested a rehearing of his case but the judges of the Seventh Circuit voted to deny his petition. Although at that time Stephenson was entitled to a new trial per Springmann's ruling, his attorneys decided to bring the issues Springmann raised about the stun belt in front of the Supreme Court. Ultimately, the Supreme Court denied a grant of certiorari to Stephenson, and declined to hear the case.
|Federal judicial offices|
James T. Moody
|Northern District of Indiana
|Magistrate judges||Roger Cosbey • Paul Cherry • Christopher Nuechterlein • John E. Martin (Indiana) •|
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|