INDIANAPOLIS — A court has granted Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s request for a new judge in a case brought by an Indianapolis doctor being examined by Rokita’s office.
Rokita’s request for a judge change was granted this week after a status conference on Monday in the lawsuit filed by attorneys for Caitlin Bernard, MD, who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim before Indiana’s new abortion law took effect.
The lawsuit aims to prevent Rokita from accessing her private medical records.
During the status conference, attorneys debated whether Bernard’s request for a restraining order is an emergency hearing that can be held in light of Rokita’s request for a judge change. The lawyers were then instructed to confer on whether they could agree on another judge.
According to the court order, the parties to the case have a week from Tuesday to agree on a suitable special judge. If this is not possible, the Marion County Clerk’s Office will assign the case to another civil judge within Marion Superior Court.
The lawsuit was filed earlier this month on behalf of Bernard, her medical partner Amy Caldwell, MD, and their patients by Kathleen Delaney of DeLaney and DeLaney LLC along with Arnold & Porter.
Defendants in the case include Rokita and Scott Barnhart, director of the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
In an email statement, a spokesman for Rokita’s office told WRTV, “Besides our files in court, we have no further information to provide at this time.”
Bernard’s story garnered national attention after a local newspaper linked it to a 10-year-old victim who allegedly traveled from Ohio to Indiana to have an abortion after being raped.
Following that report, Rokita appeared on Fox News, called Bernard and vowed to investigate the circumstances of the abortion and determine whether or not she had followed proper reporting procedures.
Bernard’s attorney responded with a written statement provided to WRTV, along with the legal documents showing that she had properly reported the abortion within the timeframe required by law. WRTV also filed an open records request and received the same records from DCS.
This report shows that the abortion was reported to the Indiana Department of Child Services and received by the Indiana Department of Health on July 2nd. According to the Indiana Code, physicians must file the report within three days of the abortion if the patient suffers from it 14.
In July, Bernard received six “consumer complaint” notices from the Indiana Attorney General’s office. She then filed a tort suit against Rokita and the Indiana Attorney General’s Office for making false and defamatory statements against her.
Bernard’s attorney said they were also considering additional “legal remedies” to hold Rokita accountable at this time.