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Monday, November 30, 2015

Ind. Decisions - "Change in law costs five Lake County men ability to drive"

Today's 2-1 Court of Appeals decision in BMV v. Gulden (ILB summary here) is the subject of a story this afternoon by Dan Carden of the NWI Times. Some quotes:

Five Lake County men are set to be classified "habitual traffic violators" and lose their driver's licenses for 10 years, after the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday reversed a ruling by Lake Superior Judge Julie Cantrell.

In a 2-1 decision, the appellate court rejected Cantrell's reasoning that a 2012 legislative change in how HTV status is determined should not apply to the men because it unconstitutionally altered the punishment for a crime after the crime had been committed. * * *

The appeals court agreed the change in law does create an ex post facto effect, but determined it merely was a permissible procedural clarification as to how HTV status should be determined and neither changes the elements of the crime, nor enlarges the punishment.

"Even though, as here, where the statutory amendment may work to the disadvantage of a defendant, this hardship does not propel a procedural change into the ex post facto realm," said Judge Patricia Riley, a Rensselaer native.

Judge Elaine Brown dissented from the ruling. She said the change in law as applied to the five defendants clearly is an impermissible ex post facto violation.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 30, 2015 04:51 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions