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ACLU of Indiana files proposed class action against BMV

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The ACLU of Indiana filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Marion County to require the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles to reinstate a woman’s suspended license. The ACLU of Indiana claims that the BMV randomly selected Lourrinne White from a “Previously Uninsured Motorist Registry” and suspended her license for not having insurance, even though she did not have a working car titled in her name at that time.

The lawsuit says that Indiana law doesn’t require licensed drivers to have insurance or other proof of financial responsibility if they aren’t driving a vehicle. White’s license was suspended in 2010 for driving without insurance. The suspension ended in April 2010. According to the lawsuit, even though she owned a van in 2012, she never titled it because it did not work when she bought it and she never drove it. She sold it in March 2012 and bought a Dodge Neon and obtained insurance.

The BMV issued a notice on March 5 requiring her to show that she had insurance on that date. She says she never received it and didn’t respond, so the BMV suspended her license for a year. White says even though she told the BMV after receiving notice of her suspended license that she didn’t have a car titled in her name on March 5 and that she wasn’t driving, the BMV said she was supposed to have insurance on that date.

White’s name was selected randomly by the BMV from the “Previously Uninsured Motorist Registry,” which the General Assembly created in 2010. The BMV was supposed to issue regulations to make it work but has not, the suit alleges, but began issuing notices of license suspensions to people in 2011.

The ACLU of Indiana claims the BMV’s actions are contrary to law and violate due process under the 14th Amendment. Demanding that people show financial responsibility in the absence of the regulations required by Indiana Code 9-25-10-5 isn’t allowed by Indiana law and is a void and unlawful action pursuant to a non-promulgated rule in violation of the Indiana Administrative Rules and Procedures Act and under I.C. 9-25-10-5, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also seeks class-action status on behalf of the possibly thousands of people subject to this BMV action.

 

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