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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. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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