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Opinions Oct. 4, 2012

October 4, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Angelina Povey v. City of Jeffersonville, Indiana
11-1896
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the city on Povey’s claim that her termination of employment by the city animal shelter violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and on her retaliation claim. Povey failed to meet her burden to demonstrate that she was disabled under the ADA and is not protected by its provisions.

Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

In the Matter of Minor Children Alleged to be in Need of Services, T.G., A.G., and D.G., Minor Children; L.E., Mother v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
53A01-1203-JC-130
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms finding children are children in need of services.  

L.D.P. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1203-JV-161
Juvenile. Affirms order L.D.P. pay restitution secondary to her adjudication as a delinquent child.

Ryan K. Powell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
19A01-1205-CR-195
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections and revocation of probation.

Ronald A. Bohannon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A01-1203-CR-115
Criminal. Affirms post-conviction court did not err in denying claim that Bohannon’s sentence violated prohibitions against double jeopardy, that the state violated I.C. 35-34-1-5(e), and in finding that Bohannon received effective assistance of counsel. Remands to correct his sentence in accordance with the post-conviction court’s determination that his original sentence for Count III was impermissibly enhanced twice.

D.B. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1201-PC-18
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Brandon A. Henson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
10A01-1201-CR-013
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted murder.

David Allen Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
10A05-1201-CR-16
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted murder.

Justine Miller v. Anonymous Healthcare Organization, DOE 1, DOE 2, DOE 3, DOE 4, and DOE 5 (NFP)
49A02-1201-CT-117
Civil tort. Affirms grant of summary judgment in favor of the health care organization on Miller’s claims of slander and infliction of emotional distress.

Melissa Ramos Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1203-CR-138
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felonies aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent.

Thomas Carr v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1202-CR-67
Criminal. Affirms sentence for two counts of Class B felony robbery while armed with a deadly weapon and two counts of possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Marcel D. Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1201-CR-28
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony dealing in cocaine and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
 

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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. 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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