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Court orders damages to Lake County in bail bond case

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has remanded a bail bond case it considers filed in bad faith, with instructions that the trial court judge calculate damages for the Lake County sheriff, Superior Court Clerk, and the Criminal Justice Section of the Lake County Bar Association.

In Smith and Zacek v. Lake County, et al., the appellate court ruled today that the two bail bondsmen filed a complaint in 1999 alleging that bail statutes included in the Indiana Code were unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause and Privileges and Immunities Clause of the state constitution, in that "when a defendant fails to appear, bail agents are subject to forfeiture and late surrender fees while defendants who post 10 percent cash bonds are not."

The following year, a judge entered an order declaring Indiana Code Section 35-33-8-3.2 unconstitutional and enjoined the defendants from allowing bail for any criminal defendants pursuant to that statute. The Lake County Bar Association entered as amicus curiae and later as a defendant, and the county appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court. The high court reversed the trial court decision and ruled the state ;s bail scheme doesn ;t violate the constitution. After further appeals, the case was ultimately remanded to a special judge, who entered final summary judgment in favor of the county on the basis of res judicata.

In this latest appeal, the Court of Appeals cites Smith ;s history of filing suits relating to bail bonds: "When viewed in the context of Smith ;s well-documented history of piecemeal attacks on Indiana ;s bail scheme, however, the instant appeal may fairly be calculated as harassing and vexatious. We therefore remand for a calculation of damages, including appellate attorneys ; fees, to which Appellees may be entitled in accordance with Appellate Rule 66(E)."

Read the full opinion at Herbert Smith, Jr. and Charles Zacek v. Lake Co., Lake Co. Sheriff, and Clerk of Lake Superior Court.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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