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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. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  2. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

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  4. He must be a Rethuglican, for if from the other side of the aisle such acts would be merely personal and thus not something that attaches to his professional life. AND ... gotta love this ... oh, and on top of talking dirty on the phone, he also, as an aside, guess we should mention, might be important, not sure, but .... "In addition to these allegations, Keaton was accused of failing to file an appeal after he collected advance payment from a client seeking to challenge a ruling that the client repay benefits because of unreported income." rimshot

  5. I am not a fan of some of the 8.4 discipline we have seen for private conduct-- but this was so egregious and abusive and had so many points of bad conduct relates to the law and the lawyer's status as a lawyer that it is clearly a proper and just disbarment. A truly despicable account of bad acts showing unfit character to practice law. I applaud the outcome.

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