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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. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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