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Judge lets second suit alleging BMV overcharges proceed

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Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles must answer a second complaint alleging the agency overcharged Hoosiers millions of dollars on almost 30 types of licenses or registrations, a judge ruled Wednesday.

BMV previously agreed to refund $30 million for overcharges of operator’s licenses as a result of an earlier lawsuit.

In the latest lawsuit, Marion Superior Judge James Osborn denied the BMV’s motions to dismiss and stay discovery. The suit seeks class action status.

Lead plaintiff Tammy Raab sued the bureau alleging that 29 BMV fees overcharged people from 50 cents to $11 dollars, according to Cohen & Malad LLP managing partner Irwin Levin.

Among the more commonly alleged overcharges were $3 for motorcycle endorsements, $1 for duplicate titles, $4.50 for chauffeur’s license, $3 for personalized plates, and $1 for plate transfers. Overcharges of $11 are alleged for antique year of manufacture registrations.

“We’re guessing the number is in the tens of millions of dollars” that Hoosiers were overcharged at the BMV, Levin said Friday. The BMV hasn’t provided an accounting of how much it collected from the overcharges, and depositions are scheduled next month.

“We’re going to find out whether the BMV is just reckless in making sure they charge people the legal amount or if something else is going on,” he said.

BMV previously announced it would refund $30 million to motorists who were overcharged $3.50 to $7 for driver’s licenses. That suit  also was brought by Cohen & Malad.

“The court has essentially ruled that the BMV can’t simply say ‘Trust us’ and throw out the case. Hoosiers now get to ask the BMV the tough questions about this debacle and get the answers they deserve,” Levin said in a statement.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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