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COA: Competitor can't challenge state contract for services

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A mental health services provider doesn’t have standing to challenge a nonprofit competitor’s subcontract for similar services with the Indiana Department of Administration, the state’s second highest appellate court has ruled.

In Midwest Psychological Center, Inc. v. Indiana Dept. of Administration, et al., No. 49A02-1103-MI-213, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling from Marion Superior Judge Cynthia Ayers regarding a contract with the state Department of Administration.

The state hired a company named Corizon to provide mental health services and that company has a subcontract for some of those services with Indiana Minority Health Coalition, a nonprofit organization that is certified by the state as a minority business enterprise (MBE). But Midwest Psychological Center Inc., the only for-profit MBE mental health provider in Indiana that provides the same services as Minority Health, objected to the contract and filed a grievance that alleged Minority Health wasn’t eligible to be certified as a MBE. Midwest filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment on various points: that Minority Health isn’t a MBE; that defendant Tony Kirkland has a conflict of interest by serving both on Minority Health’s governing board and as the commissioner overseeing IDOA’s decertification process; enjoining Minority Health from providing mental health services under its subcontract; and enjoining the state from contracting with Corizon because of its subcontract with Minority Health.

The trial court found Midwest lacked standing and granted motions for judgment on the pleadings in favor of the state and Minority Health. On appeal, the three-judge appellate panel found that Midwest isn’t an “aggrieved party” under Indiana Code 5-22-19-2 and, as a result, doesn’t have standing to challenge either the subcontract or the underlying contract.

Midwest argued that it has standing as an aggrieved party under the Public Purchasing Act outlined in IC 5-22. It argued that it’s the only for-profit that is certified as a MBE to provide those mental health services and if Minority Health was decertified, Corizon would have to subcontract with Midwest.

The appellate court disagreed, finding that generally an unsuccessful bidder doesn’t have standing to challenge the award of a government contract under the Public Purchasing Act. The court didn’t address Midwest’s arguments regarding primary jurisdiction because the case was resolved on on the other points.

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  1. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  2. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  3. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  4. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  5. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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