Indiana: Seriously, Evansville. Settle the zoo/gun lawsuit.

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Indiana: Seriously, Evansville. Settle the zoo/gun lawsuit.

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Post by NHGF [Feed] » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:28 pm








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City of Evansville(Photo: www.evansvillegov.com)



Mitch Daniels was governor. Andy Griffith was alive. Hope still existed.
Yes, a lot has changed since 2011. But one thing remains constant: the city of Evansville is still embroiled in that stupid zoo/gun lawsuit.
READ MORE:




Indiana Supreme Court says again it won't hear city's appeal in Evansville gun owner's lawsuit









WEBB: City needs to settle hopeless zoo gun lawsuit









City Council approves six-figure lawsuit settlement with police, fire departments





I’m sure you remember it. In September of that year, an Evansville man named Benjamin Magenheimer sauntered into Mesker with a handgun strapped to his hip. Security tossed him out, and he filed suit, knowing that a recently passed state law barring local municipalities from regulating guns would give him the upper-hand.
And he was right. As long as you’re not creating a disturbance – which Magenheimer swears he wasn’t —  you can take your gun into any public place you wish. There’s nothing the city can do about it because this is Indiana, baby. You may not be able to buy cold beer at the grocery store, but go ahead and take that sawed-off shotgun to the swing set.




Sawed-off shotguns legal in Indiana on July 1





Yet here the city is, after more than half-a-decade, offering the same legal arguments multiple courts have already hurled aside. Lawyers have tried several times to win on a technicality. They say Magenheimer should have filed his suit as a tort claim – the way citizens usually sue governments. And since he didn’t, it should be thrown out.

No one’s buying that. The Indiana Court of Appeals denied Evansville’s motion to dismiss the case over the summer. And after a ruling last week, the state Supreme Court has now twice refused to hear it.  
With all other options exhausted, the case will either go to trial or mediation, Guy Relford, Magenheimer’s attorney, told the Courier & Press Monday.
And it’s about time. This thing is older than both of my children. It’s been going on so long I forgot I’ve already written about it.
Oh man. That must have been a long time ago if it completely slipped my mind, I thought. Nope. It was in June. But in my defense, June of 2017 was roughly nine years ago.

My argument then is the same as it is now: settle the thing. We’ve spent years tallying up sporadic attorney’s fees. I know admitting defeat doesn’t jive with the city’s blinding optimism but at some point you have to stop deluding yourself.
Not only should the city settle this lawsuit, but it should probably avoid a lot of other legal squabbles as well because they usually don’t work out in Evansville’s favor.
Even when they do, we sometimes end up looking bad.




Indiana Supreme Court: EPD did not use unreasonable force in SWAT raid





In a 2-1 vote in October, the Supreme Court overturned an appeals court decision, ruling Evansville police did not use unreasonable force during a 2014 SWAT raid. But even that ruling was tinged with criticism because, during the raid, police put a flash-bang device into the same room as a 9-month-old baby.
“Flash-bang grenades should be the exception in search warrant executions,” the ruling read. “Their extraordinary degree of intrusion will in many cases make a search constitutionally unreasonable.”
That followed the infamous SWAT raid of 2012, in which police, all on video, tossed two flashbangs inside a South Side home and detained 68-year-old Louise Milan and an 18-year-old girl at gunpoint.

ImageEvansville Police Department SWAT (Photo: Helmet camera screenshot)


Problem was, neither detainee had done anything wrong. Turns out, a man named Derrick Murray – who has since served federal time on a marijuana charge – was making online threats against police using the home’s Wi-Fi.
Milan sued, and the city fought the thing all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In August of last year, four years after the incident, the two sides settled, forcing Evansville to shell out $60,000.




Settlement terms in Evansville SWAT raid lawsuit disclosed





Then there’s the drawn-out squabble between Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s administration and the police and firefighter unions. They fought over proposed changes to health insurance plans for almost a year before the city finally coughed up $300,000 in income tax revenue.
At this point, everyone must realize the zoo lawsuit is headed the same way. So why not save everyone the time, heartache and money?
Granted, the lawsuit is dumb. Unless lions learn to pick locks with credit cards, no one needs a gun at the zoo.
But state gun law is state gun law – it ain’t changing, and neither is the outcome to this lawsuit. There’s no need to wait another six years.
Contact Jon Webb at jon.webb@courierpress.com

Read or Share this story: http://www.courierpress.com/story/opini ... 922577001/



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