A Marion Superior Court ruled that the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles must respond in court to a class action lawsuit seeking the return of millions of dollars in overcharges for motor vehicle registrations and other services. The lawsuit, filed last October by Indianapolis law firm Cohen & Malad, LLP, is requesting a refund on behalf of millions of Hoosier drivers for dozens of categories of fees that the BMV has admitted were unlawfully high. On February 19, the Marion Superior Court denied the BMV’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, meaning that the BMV must respond to the claims and produce related evidence.
Last August, the Marion Superior Court approved a class action settlement under which the BMV agreed to refund $30 million in driver’s license overcharges. The current lawsuit seeks damages for millions of dollars of overcharges on dozens of other fees, and seeks a full accounting of all fee overcharges by the BMV, access to public records disclosing how long the overcharges were collected and how long the BMV knew about the overcharges.
Cohen & Malad, LLP managing partner Irwin Levin said the Court’s ruling this week was a victory for all Hoosiers and was necessary for government accountability. “The Court has essentially ruled that the BMV can’t simply say “Trust us” and throw out the case. Hoosiers now get to ask the BMV the tough questions about this debacle and get the answers they deserve.”