AG saves taxpayer money

July 25, 2008
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For the second time in a month, the Indiana Attorney General’s office has decided not to appeal court decisions that didn’t come out in its favor regarding new laws.

Earlier this month, the office announced it wouldn’t appeal U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s July 1 ruling that a law requiring bookstores, retailers, and others to register with the state and pay a fee to sell any sexually explicit material was in violation of the First Amendment. Yesterday, nearly a month after another law was struck down in its entirety for being unconstitutionally vague, the AG’s office said it wouldn’t appeal.

On June 24, U.S. District Chief Judge David Hamilton of the Southern District of Indiana struck down portions of a new law requiring all sex offenders – even those who had served their sentence – to be subject to blanket searches of their homes and computers by authorities. The judge ruled that portion of the law was unconstitutional.

Instead of appealing, the attorney general’s office said it will work with legislators this fall to ensure new laws that are passed regarding these issues are effective and constitutional.

The office also noted that part of its latest decision not to appeal was because it would be costly to taxpayers, throwing out a figure of $100,000. It would be especially costly if the state didn’t win its appeal. It’s good to see the attorney general’s office is thinking of the taxpayers and not spending unnecessary money on an appeal they probably wouldn’t win.

Money must be no object when it comes to the legislative prayer suit brought by four taxpayers against Brian Bosma, then-speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, for allowing prayers that were overtly Christian in content.

After two years of litigation – which the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied hearing en banc after dismissing the suit – at least $350,000 has been spent defending the representatives’ right to praise a higher religious power at the start of each House session.

What made the legislative prayer suit worth spending money on as opposed to suits challenging laws that relate to the sex-offender registry or sexually explicit materials? When does the state draw the line and decide it has spent too much pursuing or defending a lawsuit?
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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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