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Judge: Names in workforce development cases should remain confidential

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There appears to be discord among the judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals as to whether party names should be confidential in workforce development cases.

Chief Judge Margret Robb and Judges Edward Najam and Terry Crone released an unemployment benefits decision Thursday using only initials to identify the parties: company S.S. and employee D.H. In the opinion – in which the judges affirmed the finding of the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that D.H. was not terminated for just cause and is eligible for unemployment benefits – authoring Judge Najam and Chief Judge Robb noted they agreed with the recent opinion by another panel that names of parties should be used in workforce development cases.

But in S.S. LLC v. Review Board and D.H., No. 93A02-1101-EX-56, Judge Crone wrote a 7-page concurring opinion in which he agreed with the outcome of D.H.’s case, but felt that initials should be used instead of party names in review board case captions and opinions. This is contrary to the unanimous opinion issued Aug. 12 in LaDon A. Moore v. Review Board and Whitington Homes and Services, No. 93A02-1005-EX-529, in which authoring Judge John Baker and Judges James Kirsch and Elaine Brown held statute and administrative rules did not require the court to use initials in these types of cases.

The Moore judges noted that the initials-only practice began Jan. 1, 2010 – even though Indiana Code 22-4-19-6 has remained much the same since 1947 – when the issue was brought up that amendments to Administrative Rule 9(G) required using initials. In Moore, the review board had filed a motion asking the court to publish the names of the parties, individuals, and employment units in that case and all future cases.

Judge Crone found the position of the Moore court to be contrary to law and even pointed out that the Indiana Supreme Court adopted Administrative Rule 9(G)(1)(b)(xviii) using initials at the request of a former chief judge of the COA, making a reference to Judge Baker without using his name by saying that the chief judge also authored Moore.

Crone disagreed with the analysis in the Moore decision, believing that the rule amendment does apply to the Court of Appeals, that the COA’s opinions are easily searchable online regardless of whether full names are used, and opinions are not the same thing as an order for purposes of I.C. 22-4-19-6(b).

“More generally, I am dubious about the propriety of a single panel of this Court issuing a ruling on a motion in a single case that will affect the privacy rights of unemployment litigants in future cases,” Judge Crone wrote. “I have no position on the propriety of or the wisdom behind the rule as written, but I believe that we must follow it until such time as it is repealed by our supreme court. I would encourage our supreme court to visit this issue by court opinion or rule change to give proper guidance in and finality to this matter.”

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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