Theresa Lazar Springmann

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Theresa Lazar Springmann
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
Assumed office
February 3, 2017
Preceded by Philip P. Simon
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
Assumed office
June 24, 2003
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by James Tyne Moody
Personal details
Born 1956 (age 60–61)
Gary, Indiana
Education Indiana University B.A.
Notre Dame Law School J.D.

Theresa Lazar Springmann (born 1956) is the Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Gary, Indiana, as the third of four children and the granddaughter of immigrants from Ireland and Russia.[1] In 1977, Springmann graduated summa cum laude from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and later from Notre Dame Law School with a Juris Doctor in 1980.

Legal career[edit]

Following law school graduation, she worked as a law clerk for Judge James Tyne Moody of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana from 1980 to 1983. She was in private practice in Indiana from 1984 to 1995. She served as a United States Magistrate Judge of the Northern District of Indiana from 1995 to 2003.

Federal judicial career[edit]

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 Tyne Moody. Springmann was confirmed by the Senate on March 31, 2003 on a Senate vote and received her commission on June 24, 2003. She became Chief Judge on February 3, 2017.[2]

Notable rulings[edit]

In May 1997, a 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 stun belt in front of the jury that convicted him. In April 2007, the Indiana 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 United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.[3]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
James Tyne Moody
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
2003–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Philip P. Simon
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
2017–present