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Justices accept 1 transfer case, deny 9

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a divorce case last week and denied nine other cases during its weekly private conference.

An order list issued Monday by the Indiana appellate clerk’s office indicated that the justices voted to accept the case of Sean Thomas Ryan v. Dee Anna Ryan, No. 71S03-1111-DR-644.

The Indiana Court of Appeals issued a ruling in March, reversing a judgment made by St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael G. Gotsch in the case involving a husband and wife who filed for divorce in 2008. The judge denied the husband’s motion for relief from judgment under Indiana Trial Rule 60(B)(8) and did not hold a hearing on pertinent evidence before ruling on the prices set for the sale of real estate listed in a settlement agreement. The appellate panel pointed out that the trial judge on remand doesn’t need to modify the agreement terms or the agreement to provide for relief, but he could issue an order providing for additional terms if the agreements are silent. That point came up in a prior appellate decision in Rothschild v. Devos, 757 N.E.2d 219, 224 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001).

The justices unanimously denied six cases: The Board of Commissioners in the County of Allen, Commissioner Linda K. Bloom, Commissioner William Brown, Commissioner F. Nelson Peters v. Northeastern Indiana Building Trades Council, Kent L. Prosser, Mark Jarrell, Gregory Stoller, and Michael Kinder & Sons, Inc.; State of Indiana v. Stephen Alter; Karl Driver v. State of Indiana; Anthony Scott v. Saundra L. Walden; Estate of Verna D. Carter v. Holly F. Szymczak; and First Consumer Credit, Inc. v. Sho-Pro of Indiana, Inc.

A majority of justices also denied three others: Save Our School; Elmhurst High School v. Fort Wayne Community Schools and Fort Wayne Community Schools Board of School Trustees, in which Justice Robert Rucker would have granted transfer; Gary Nelson II v. State of Indiana, in which Justice Steven David would have granted transfer; and Robbie J. Bex v. State of Indiana, in which both David and Rucker would have granted transfer.
 

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  3. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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