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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. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  2. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  3. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  4. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  5. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

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