Judge says Indiana BMV wrongly pulled '0INK' license plate

By: NewsCenter 16 Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Email

INDIANAPOLIS Hoosiers will once again be able to purchase personalized Indiana license plates because of a decision issued late Wednesday in Marion Superior Court.

The Court found that the Bureau of Motor Vehicles violated Indiana law in July of 2013 when it suspended the personalized license plate program, and it ordered that the program be immediately reinstated.

The Court further found that the standards the BMV was using to assess the appropriateness of personalized license plates violated the First Amendment and Indiana law and ordered that they cease being used.

The reinstatement comes after a judge ruled that Indiana officials violated a police officer's constitutional rights by revoking his vanity license plate "0INK."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana had argued that decision infringed on Greenfield police Officer Rodney Vawter's freedom of speech rights.

Marion County Judge James Osborn issued his ruling Wednesday.

Vawter sued the Bureau of Motor Vehicles when it revoked his plate after three years, saying its content was "offensive or misleading."

The BMV stopped offering vanity plates last July until the case was decided.

A BMV spokesman didn't immediately return a phone call from the Associated Press seeking comment Thursday.

The case is among several cases involving vanity plates across the country. The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in favor of a man with a "COPSLIE" plate.

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