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Lawsuit seeks impartial decision-maker in license plate dispute

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Indiana Youth Group challenging the authority of the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles to issue an order of remand on its administrative law judge’s order to restore the LGBT youth group’s specialty license plate.

The ALJ ruled in May that the state violated IYG’s specialty license plate contract when it issue a suspension of the plate last year without giving notice and the group a chance to correct any issues. On June 14, BMV Commissioner R. Scott Waddell issued an order of remand, which effectively reversed the ALJ’s decision, according to a release from the ACLU of Indiana.

“The BMV commissioner acting as the appellate and final authority over a decision that he, in effect, issued, violates the right to have an impartial decision maker in administrative adjudications and therefore violates the fundamental principle of due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment," said Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana legal director.

Mary Byrne, IYG executive director, thinks the BMV is being “vindictive,” according to the release. “The BMV had a chance to present its side at the administrative hearing, and they lost. The BMV simply does not want IYG to get its plate back, ever."

IYG provides support to youth that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

The ALJ also found that IYG’s actions didn’t constitute the sale of low-digit special plates, as several state senators alleged last year. Those senators sought termination of the group’s contract through the BMV.

The case is Indiana Youth Group Inc. v. R. Scott Waddell, 1:13-CV-981, which was filed in the Indianapolis Division of U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana.

 

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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