Friday, January 04, 2013
Ind. Courts - Briefs in the Berry v. Crawford legislative fines case
IMHO, yesterday's oral argument in Berry v. Crawford is not to be missed. Watch it here. And the ILB is pleased to report that last evening I obtained the briefs in the case - here they are:
- Feb. 6, 2012 - Judge Dreyer's ruling
- April 13, 2012 - 83-page Brief of Appellants Tim Berry, Caroline Spotts and State of Indiana (00075303).PDF
- June 25, 2012 - 80-page Appellees Brief
- July 13, 2012 - Reply Brief of Appellants Tim Berry, Caroline Spotts and State of Indiana
The justices prodded both attorneys with questions throughout the hearing, asking repeatedly whether they believed there were any limits on the Legislature’s power over its members and how they thought the fines ought to be collected. The power to levy the fines wasn’t in dispute, but the degree to which the Legislature could go to collect them was.
Justice Loretta Rush asked Fisher if the House had the power to seize members’ cars or homes if they don’t follow the rules. “Is there any limit to the collective power?” she asked.
“No, I don’t think there is,” Fisher answered. He cited a case where another state’s Legislature seized a member’s house over an unpaid fine.
GiaQuinta said House leaders hadn’t followed due process in collecting the fines. He suggested that officials should have filed a lawsuit and asked a judge to garnish the legislators’ wages.
“How is that materially different from what happened here?” Justice Robert Rucker said. “The end is the same.”
Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 4, 2013 08:57 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts