Courts

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New justice known for commitment to service on and off the bench

June 28, 2017
Soon-to-be Indiana Supreme Court Justice Christopher Michael Goff isn’t a jurist who rules from the bench with little perspective on the lives of those who come before him, his colleagues say. Instead, he’s a judge who is active in his community, working alongside his neighbors to make Wabash County a better place to live.More.

BMV intentionally overcharged, lawyer says after fresh settlement

July 20, 2017
The Indiana Bureau of Motor vehicles intentionally overcharged some 5.5 million Hoosiers for years, even after its misconduct was pointed out, said an attorney whose firm announced the second settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the agency.More.

COA: Trial courts can waive right to be at commitment hearing

July 20, 2017
State statute allows trial courts to waive respondents’ right to be present at their mental health commitment hearings, though the use of such statute should be limited only to cases where the evidence shows respondents’ presence would be injurious to their mental health, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in a precedent-setting case.More.

COA affirms GPS monitoring after violation of protective order

July 20, 2017
A Hendricks County man will remain on GPS monitoring after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday his estranged wife presented sufficient evidence of his violation of a protective order and that he had notice of the possibility that he could be put on a GPS tracker.More.

Other Courts Coverage

COA: Trial courts can waive right to be at commitment hearing

State statute allows trial courts to waive respondents’ right to be present at their mental health commitment hearings, though the use of such statute should be limited only to cases where the evidence shows respondents’ presence would be injurious to their mental health, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in a precedent-setting case.More.

7th Circuit affirms denial of disability benefits

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the denial of a woman’s application for disability benefits after finding an administrative law judge properly determined the woman’s medical impairments did not prevent her from working certain jobs.More.

Justices allow strict enforcement of Trump refugee ban

The U.S. Supreme Court is granting the Trump administration's request to more strictly enforce its ban on refugees, at least until a federal appeals court weighs in.More.

High court to consider interpretation of habitual offender statute

Indiana’s highest court will determine whether a lower court’s interpretation of the habitual offender statute will stand after granting transfer to a case that raises questions of proper statutory interpretation.More.

Yorktown official faces complaint for removal from office

The state of Indiana is employing a statutory procedure to remove the Yorktown clerk-treasurer from office amid allegations that she has failed to fulfill her elected duties for the last two years, amounting to more than $100,000 in errors.More.

More Courts Coverage

In Depth Report

Online Extra: Judicial Roundtable 2014

When Loretta Rush was named chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court in August, Indiana hit a milestone. For the first time, all of our state's appellate courts were being led by women. Indiana Lawyer recently invited Rush, Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik, Indiana Tax Judge Martha Wentworth and Chief Judge Robyn Moberly of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana's Bankruptcy Court to discuss their career paths as well as opportunities and challenges today's courts and lawyers face.More.

Improving a child's access to counsel

A proposed draft rule would change waiver procedures in the juvenile justice system.More.

Early intervention for juveniles

A new law, along with pilot programs, encourage alternatives to keep kids out of courts.More.

Views shift on use of executions

What if 1976 hadn’t played out the way it did, and some of the jurists on the U.S. Supreme Court had held the view of capital punishment at that juncture that they did at the end of their judicial careers? The death penalty may never have been reinstated.More.

In Depth Reports

 
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  1. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  2. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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