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Theresa Springmann

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Theresa Springmann
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #1
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   6/24/2003 - Present
Preceded by:   James T. Moody
Past post:   Magistrate Judge
Past term:   1995 - 2003
Personal History
Born:   1956
Hometown:   Gary, IN
Undergraduate:   Indiana U., B.A., 1977
Law School:   University 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

Born in Gary, Indiana, Springmann graduated from Indiana University with her bachelor's in 1977, and obtained her Juris Doctor from Notre Dame Law School in 1980.[1]

Professional career

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.[1]

Judicial career

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.[1]

Notable cases

Restraints on defendants in court

     United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana (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".[2]

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.[2]

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.[3] 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.[4]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
James T. Moody
Northern District of Indiana
Seat #1
Succeeded by:

IndianaIndiana Supreme CourtIndiana Court of AppealsIndiana Superior CourtsIndiana Circuit CourtsIndiana Small Claims CourtsSt. Joseph County Probate Court, IndianaIndiana Tax CourtIndiana Municipal CourtsUnited States District Court for the Northern District of IndianaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of IndianaUnited States bankruptcy court, Northern District of IndianaUnited States bankruptcy court, Southern District of IndianaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Seventh CircuitIndiana countiesIndiana judicial newsIndiana judicial electionsJudicial selection in IndianaIndianaTemplate.jpg