Judge clears way for $4.5 million settlement

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A U.S. District magistrate judge granted a joint motion Sept. 2 to vacate a jury verdict in favor of a man wrongfully imprisoned for rape, allowing a settlement reached between the man and the city of Hammond to be approved.

The parties in Larry Mayes v. City of Hammond, Indiana, et al., No. 2:03-CV-379-PRC, reached a settlement of $4.5 million in March and asked that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacate summary judgment and a jury verdict awarding Larry Mayes $9 million after DNA evidence exonerated him from committing a 1980 rape.

The 7th Circuit denied the motion to vacate and remanded to the District Court to allow it to inform the appellate court if it would vacate the judgment and jury verdict. On Aug. 15, Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry of the Northern District of Indiana's Hammond Division issued an opinion advising the 7th Circuit that the court was inclined to grant the joint request of the parties to vacate the jury verdict and judgment to allow for the settlement. The 7th Circuit remanded the appeal of the case to the District Court to allow for the magistrate judge to vacate the judgment and jury verdict.

Mayes spent 21 years in the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. With the help of Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis' Criminal Defense Clinic, he was released in 2001 after the court granted a petition filed by students requesting DNA testing in his case.

For more about this story, check out the Sept. 17-30, 2008, edition of Indiana Lawyer.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.