Indiana Couple Settles Civil Rights Claims for $3 Million

Price Waicukauski Joven and Catlin, LLC obtained a $3 million settlement of a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by Jan and Chris Marten of Carmel, Indiana.

The Martens claimed that State employees had wrongfully accused the Martens of withholding sales taxes generated by Jan Marten’s jewelry business. The Martens were arrested on false criminal charges, including tax evasion and maintaining false tax records. After the criminal charges were dismissed, the Martens sued, alleging that the actions of certain State employees led by Andrew Swain, then Chief Counsel of the Tax Litigation Division of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, violated their constitutional rights, causing severe reputational, financial, and emotional damages.

The Martens’ civil rights lawsuit was initially lost in the trial court while being represented by prior counsel.  Ron Waicukauski and Carol Joven then entered their appearance and won an appeal before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  When the resurrected case was returned to the district court, Brad Catlin played a central role in discovery and motion practice, positioning this case for the successful resolution that was achieved.

After concluding the settlement, Brad Catlin said, “For years, the Martens have proclaimed their innocence and insisted that they did nothing wrong. Both this settlement and the dismissal of the criminal charges vindicate the Martens and show the amount of damage that a few misguided State employees can cause.”

Price Waicukauski Joven & Catlin, LLC represents clients in complex litigation, including cases involving federal civil rights and abuse of power by public officials, business litigation, and legal malpractice.

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