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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. I will be filing a lawsuit in Tippecanoe County for so many violations in a case we became involved in, including failure to contact through mail, Violation of 4th Amendment rights, Violation of Civil Rights, and so on. Even the Indiana Ombudsmen Bureau found violations and I have now received the report and they are demanding further training in Tippecanoe County. I am going to make sure they follow through!!!

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  3. I thought the purpose of the criminal justice center was to consolidate all the criminal services and get them out of downtown to clean up the place. Why in the HELL are the civil courts moving? What a burden to all the downtown law firms. Now we all get to work downtown, but then have to get in a car and COMMUTE to court? Who approved this idiocy?

  4. I drive through the neighborhood whenever I go to the City-County Building or the Federal Courthouse. The surrounding streets are all two way with only two lanes of traffic, and traffic is very slow during rush hour. I hope that enough money has been allocated to allow for improvement of the surrounding streets.

  5. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

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