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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. I will be filing a lawsuit in Tippecanoe County for so many violations in a case we became involved in, including failure to contact through mail, Violation of 4th Amendment rights, Violation of Civil Rights, and so on. Even the Indiana Ombudsmen Bureau found violations and I have now received the report and they are demanding further training in Tippecanoe County. I am going to make sure they follow through!!!

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  3. I thought the purpose of the criminal justice center was to consolidate all the criminal services and get them out of downtown to clean up the place. Why in the HELL are the civil courts moving? What a burden to all the downtown law firms. Now we all get to work downtown, but then have to get in a car and COMMUTE to court? Who approved this idiocy?

  4. I drive through the neighborhood whenever I go to the City-County Building or the Federal Courthouse. The surrounding streets are all two way with only two lanes of traffic, and traffic is very slow during rush hour. I hope that enough money has been allocated to allow for improvement of the surrounding streets.

  5. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

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