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Women accused of operating 'puppy mill' file lawsuit

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The mother and daughter who were accused of running a “puppy mill” and had animals removed from their homes as a result of tax law violations are now suing the Indiana attorney general and others involved in the removal of the dogs.

Virginia and Kristen Garwood filed a lawsuit in May in Harrison Circuit Court against the Indiana Department of State Revenue, Attorney General Greg Zoeller, and dozens of other defendants; the suit was moved to federal court last week at the request of the defendants.

The AG’s office and the state revenue department investigated the mother and daughter’s business activities involving the sale of puppies and found they weren’t remitting sales and income tax due on the sales. The dogs were seized and sold. The AG’s office said the animals were confined in squalid cages and enclosures and tested positive for disease.

The women pleaded guilty to Class D felony failure to remit or collect sales tax in connection with their dog-breeding operation; that charge was recently reduced to a misdemeanor.  Virginia also pleaded guilty to a separate felony count of income tax evasion. Daughter Kristen’s felony was later reduced to a misdemeanor. There is also a civil case seeking more than $140,000 from the women.

In their lawsuit, the women claim to never have received a hearing addressing taxes due or the value of the property seized in June 2009. Virginia says that she reported the profits of the puppy sales on her taxes and that her income tax advisor didn’t advise her that she should be paying sales tax. They say they have been subjected to public ridicule and harassment because several of the defendants – including the AG – described their operation as a “puppy mill.” The women claim several of their constitutional rights were deprived by the raid on the business and lawsuit for taxes.

The mother and daughter also are in the midst of challenging the jeopardy tax assessments made against them. This issue made it to the Indiana Tax Court in December 2010, and Judge Thomas Fisher denied the state’s motion to dismiss their challenge.

 

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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