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7th Circuit affirms permanent injunction

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction preventing the application of Indiana's Uniform Consumer Credit Code to an Illinois company because it violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

In Midwest Title Loans Inc. v. David H. Mills, Director of the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions,  No. 09-2083, the state appealed the permanent injunction entered by the U.S. District judge in Indiana's Southern District against applying Indiana's UCCC against Midwest Title Loans, which is a "car title lender." Midwest had offices only in Illinois but had many Indiana residents travel to the state in order to obtain a loan. Midwest advertised in Indiana but stopped once it learned about the "territorial application" provision added to the Indiana UCCC in 2007. The provision says if an Indiana resident enters into a consumer sale, loan or lease with a creditor in another state and the creditor advertises in Indiana, the lender is subject to the code. That would require a license from Indiana to make consumer loans and would subject the company to restrictions on annual interest rates it can charge. The goal is to protect residents from predatory lending.

The 7th Circuit judges, who included U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan of the Northern District of Illinois sitting by designation, agreed with the District Court's injunction. They likened the instant case to that of Healy v. Beer Institute, 491 U.S. 324, 337 (1989), and a hypothetical case of involving Indiana and out-of state casinos to rule the application of the state's UCCC to Midwest violates the commerce clause of the federal Constitution.

In Healy, Connecticut passed a "price affirmation" law that required brewers to commit that the prices they charged for beer in Connecticut wouldn't be any higher than the lowest prices charged in a bordering state. The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the law because Connecticut would be regulating prices in another state, albeit indirectly.

The Circuit judges also used the hypothetical of Indiana banning casinos because of massive gambling problems but requiring out-of-state casinos to obtain Indiana licenses that would limit a Hoosier to gambling no more than $10 per day.

"A state law of that kind, however well intentioned and genuinely beneficial to the state imposing it, would burden interstate commerce by restricting travel and a firm's ability to deal with residents of a different state, even though the law treated out-of-state businesses no worse (in our example, even slightly better) than businesses located in the state," wrote Judge Richard Posner.

Allowing Indiana to apply its law against title loans when its residents obtain them in a different state that has a different law would arbitrarily exalt the public policy of one state over the other, he continued.

All of the commercial activity involved with the loans happened in Illinois - the offices are located there, car keys handed over there, and checks were drawn and could be cashed there. The contract was made in Illinois, and that is enough to show that the territorial-application provision violates the commerce clause, wrote the judge.

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  1. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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