ILNews

License revocations stayed for now

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals has temporarily blocked the state from revoking driver's licenses that don't match Social Security records.

The preliminary injunction came June 6 in a case challenging the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles' invalidations of licenses or identification cards on the sole basis of mismatched records.

The decision comes in Lyn Leone, et al. v. Indiana BMV Commissioner, No. 49A02-0804-CV-00377, which is currently pending in the state's second highest appellate court and is at the briefing stage and hasn't yet been assigned to a court writing panel. The order posted online from Chief Judge John Baker includes concurrences from Judges Nancy Vaidik and Terry Crone, and a dissent from Senior Judge John T. Sharpnack.

Last year, the BMV started using the new screening process of comparing records that about 47 other states use, checking about 6 million records and finding about 206,000 mismatches due to typographical errors, people getting married, or changing their names.

Many were resolved, but the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana challenged the policy and undertook a class-action suit including about 15,332 people who'd lost their licenses or cards or were threatened with that action. The ACLU argued that state law and the U.S. Constitution don't allow the BMV to revoke licenses just because records don't match.

In April, Marion Superior Judge Kenneth Johnson denied an injunction request and held that the BMV had a strong interest in maintaining accurate records to reduce fraud and identify theft. The judge determined the suit failed to show any harm or hardship to the plaintiffs, which includes South Bend attorney Lyn Leone as a lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit.
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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

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