ILNews

BMV policy change case gets transfer

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The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case challenging the state's Bureau of Motor Vehicle's invalidation of licenses or identification cards only on the basis of mismatched records. The high court granted transfer Oct. 29 to Lyn Leone, et al. v. Indiana BMV Commissioner, No. 49S02-0910-CV-505.

Lyn Leone and others received letters from the BMV notifying them that their information on record didn't match that from the Social Security Administration and their driver's licenses or ID cards would be revoked if the BMV records weren't updated. The class sought a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the policy. The trial court denied the injunction, as did the Indiana Court of Appeals.

The appellate court ruled the plaintiffs showed the BMV's policy violated constitutional guarantees of due process, but a preliminary injunction wouldn't be in the public's best interest because of the threat of identify theft.

Judge Patricia Riley dissented, arguing the plaintiffs were being hassled by the new policy and the BMV should approach the legislature to amend Indiana Code to allow for the new policy.

The Supreme Court also granted transfer to three additional cases - Andrew King v. State of Indiana, No. 49S04-0911-CR-507; Steven W. Everling v. State of Indiana, No. 48S05-0911-CR-506; and Subhen Ghosh v. Indiana State Ethics Commission and the Office of the Inspector General, No. 32S01-0910-CV-504.

In King, the appellate court affirmed Andrew King's felony convictions of child solicitation and attempted dissemination of matter harmful to minors. It concluded that impossibility isn't a defense to the crime of attempted dissemination of matter harmful to minors and that the legislature couldn't have intended to foreclose prosecution under Indiana Code Section 35-49-3-3 when the defendant erroneously believes the victim is a minor.

In Everling, the Court of Appeals upheld Steven Everling's felony convictions of child molesting and sexual misconduct with a minor. He claimed he didn't receive a fair and impartial trial, and that his trial counsel was ineffective. The appellate court disagreed, finding the testimony of his witnesses, which were excluded based on a motion from the state, wouldn't have likely affected the outcome of the trial. His trial counsel's performance was deficient, but based on the record the Court of Appeals couldn't determine if Everling was prejudiced.

In Ghosh, the appellate court affirmed the Ethics Commission conclusion that an Indiana Department of Environmental Management employee violated a provision of the ethics code when he bought gas with a state-issued credit card at a gas station he partly owned. Ghosh argued he didn't "participate in any decision" per statute by using the credit card because participate implies more than one person is involved in the decision. The Court of Appeals rejected the argument and remanded on the issue of the monetary sanction he was ordered to pay.

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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