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Court orders BMV to hold hearing on whether felon can get ID

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A federal judge has found a convicted felon’s due process clause claim “has teeth” and that the Bureau of Motor Vehicles must determine whether to issue the man an identification card even though his last name on his birth certificate and Social Security card do not match.

Joesph A. Worley filed a lawsuit for declaratory and injunctive relief after the BMV refused to issue him a photo ID under the name he uses. His birth certificate says “Joseph Alan Ivey” but after his mother married his biological father a year later, the Social Security card issued to Worley said “Joesph A. Worley.” He has used that name ever since.

He had been issued a license in the past – it was suspended in the mid-1990s on two occasions for drunken-driving offenses. He was convicted of felony drunk driving in 2007 when he did not have a valid license. In 2011, he attempted to obtain a photo ID and then driver’s license from the BMV. The agency initially refused because the name on his documents didn’t match. Later in the year, he did obtain a photo ID and then a driver’s license, but the BMV shortly thereafter sent a letter seeking he return the license because they were “improperly issued.”

Worley said in his suit that he has not filed for a name change with the courts because of the cost.

“We conclude that his claim was intended to redress Defendant’s conduct, which has effectively impeded his ability to vote, marry, or adopt his natural child,” Judge Sarah Evans Barker wrote in the Oct. 9 order. “The importance of these basic, community-oriented functions cannot be overstated. Thus, we concluded that Mr. Worley’s argument that he has ‘a reasonable expectation [to] be issued a photographic identification card so that he can participate in our democracy on equal terms with other qualified citizens’ has teeth.”

Barker noted that two cases pending on appeal deal with a similar issue, in which two Marion County courts have read I.C. 34-28-1-1 in conjunction with 34-28-2-1 to bar the plaintiffs’ otherwise legitimate petitions for a name change.

“The prescribed state law remedy, although generally acceptable, fails to afford Mr. Worley full protection for important interests,” she wrote.

Barker ordered the BMV to conduct an evidentiary hearing before the Nov. 6 elections. She acknowledged the state agency’s interest in trying to prevent voter fraud, and that at the hearing, it can decide whether Worley’s conduct is fraudulent or otherwise improper.

The case is Joesph A. Worley v. R. Scott Waddell, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, 1:10-CV-1259.

 

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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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