List of all Litigation: Sept. 6, 2016

 *New since last report

Children's Rights

Price v. Department of Child Services (Marion Superior Court, Indiana Court of Appeals) (filed 7/15)

This is a class action case brought by a case manager for the Department of Child Services alleging that the Department has allowed caseloads to rise far in excess of mandatory state standards. The trial court granted the State's motion to dismiss and the matter is being appealed. The case was argued in the Indiana Court of Appeals and a decision is pending.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk, Gavin M. Rose 

 

Due Process and Fair Hearing Rights

Rebirth Christian Academy Daycare, Inc. v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (U.S. Dist. Ct. — So. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 07/12, our appearance 10/12]

The plaintiff in this case was registered as an unlicensed child care ministry in order to provide child care services under Indiana law. This registration was terminated by the State, although the plaintiff was never afforded an opportunity to have a hearing or to contest the factual allegations made by the State. The original complaint was filed by a private attorney, and we filed an amended complaint alleging that this violates due process and seeking both an injunction and damages. A motion to dismiss was granted in part and denied in part. We received partial summary judgment and we are appealing the issue we lost. The Seventh Circuit recently entered a decision in our favor, reversing the district court's grant of qualified immunity and remanding the case for trial.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin Rose

United States v. Bowser (U.S. Dist. Ct., So. Dist. of Indiana, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals)[our appearance 6/15]

This is a high profile criminal case against several members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. After several defendants pled guilty, the United States initiated civil forfeiture proceedings against, among other things, all items at several addresses containing the insignia of the Outlaws. However, these items are not owned by the criminal defendants but by the collective membership of the Outlaws. Nonetheless, the United States did not give notice to the Outlaws before the items were forfeited. We represent Bradley Carlson, who is recognized by the Outlaws as responsible for maintaining these items. He filed pro se a motion to have the district court set aside the orders of forfeiture, which was denied. We have appeared in order to represent him in an appeal of that order, which is proceeding to the Seventh Circuit. The Seventh Circuit has recently entered a decision against us and we have sought rehearing en banc.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin Rose 

Election Issues

Valenti v. Secretary of State (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist. of Ind.) (Filed 8/15)

The new law that prevents certain sex offenders from entering schools prevents them from voting in-person if their voting place is in a school. Although the absentee ballot voting law has been amended to allow these persons to vote absentee, absentee voting is not a substitute for in-person voting. This case alleges an infringement on the right to vote. A motion to dismiss by the State has been denied and the case is proceeding.

ATTORNEY(S) Jan P. Mensz, Kenneth J. Falk

Freedom of Speech and Association

Benson v. Commissioner(U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist of Indiana) [Filed 6/15]

Mr. Benson is a prisoner who contests his guilt. The DOC has in place methods of electronic communication for prisoners and the outside world. The methods include video-chats, e-mail, and videograms (30-second videos). Mr. Benson sent a videogram to his sister thanking his supporters for their support as he approached a court hearing. His sister posted the video on Facebook. In response the DOC punished Mr. Benson by, among other things, taking away good time and putting him in segregation for a period of time. The DOC vacated the punishment and we are now suing for damages and an injunction to make sure this does not happen again. A favorable settlement has been negotiated. The matter is closed.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk

Brady v. Individual Members of the Indiana State Board of Nursing (Marion Superior Court) [Filed 2/16]

Ms. Brady is a registered nurse who was discharged from a teaching position at a private Indiana school because she responded to a student's question about Indiana's RFRA. When she reported the discharge on her license renewal she was ordered to attend additional training and education by the State Board of Nursing and her license now has a less than full and unrestricted status. The case alleges that this violated the First Amendment and also argues that the Board failed in its mandatory duty to provide Ms. Brady with a written decision.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk

Buford v. Commissioner, Indiana Department of Correction (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. District of Indiana) [Filed 2/15]

Ms. Buford is Mr. Benson's sister (see above). As punishment for posting her electronic communication privileges with Mr. Benson were terminated by the DOC. The case seeks both injunctive and declaratory relief and damages. A favorable settlement has been negotiated. The matter is closed.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk

*East Chicago Housing Authority v. Clifford Ramer (Lake County Superior Court) [answer/counter-claim filed 8/2016]

Our client in this case is a resident in a public housing development in East Chicago and the vice president of his building's tenant organization. The housing authority served him with a notice of eviction after he spoke out about the deteriorating conditions in his building, which was recently condemned by the City of East Chicago. The ACLU is defending the plaintiff in his eviction proceedings and is pursuing a counterclaim for violations to his First Amendment right to free speech, seeking an injunction and damages.

ATTORNEY(S): Jan P. Mensz, Kenneth J. Falk

 

Gohmann Asphalt and Construction v. Cornetta (Clark Superior Court) [Filed 7/08]

An employer involved in the construction of the I-69 Project is seeking a workplace violence restraining order against a group of environmental protesters. We represent them in an effort to support their 1st Amendment rights. We have filed for summary judgment and it was denied and interlocutory appeal was denied.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin Rose

Gracey v. Brownsburg Community School Corporation (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 10/15]

Two cafeteria workers were disciplined by their employer school corporation after they posted comments on Facebook on their own time about two school bond referendums that went to the ballot in May 2015. This occurred because of a broadly worded "social media policy." We have challenged both the discipline and the policy as violating the First Amendment. The school thereafter rescinded the discipline and made substantial modifications to the policy, and we dismissed the lawsuit.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin Rose; Jan Mensz

Higher Society of Indiana, Inc. v. Tippecanoe County, Indiana (U.S. Dist. Ct – No. Dist. of Indiana)

This case challenges the failure of the County to allow the plaintiff group to have a rally on the grounds of the Tippecanoe County Courthouse. A preliminary injunction hearing is set for late August. A preliminary injunction hearing has been held and we are awaiting a decision.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk, Jan P. Mensz

ICLU v. Secretary of State (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist. of Ind.) (Filed 8/15)

This case challenges the new Indiana law the prohibits people taking photos or other digital images of their ballots. The challenge is based on the First Amendment. The district court entered a preliminary injunction against the law. The State did not appeal the grant of a preliminary injunction and the parties are proceeding to file motions for summary judgment. A decision is pending.

ATTORNEYS: Kenneth J. Falk, Gavin M. Rose, Jan P. Mensz

Peden v. City of South Bend (U.S. Dist. Ct. — Northern Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 6/14]

This is a challenge to a South Bend ordinance that imposes requirements on persons wishing to serve as street performers on the sidewalks of downtown South Bend. The case alleges that the ordinance violates the First Amendment. The case was dismissed after the City changed the ordinance to remove the objectionable requirements.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin M. Rose

Quick v. City of Beech Grove (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist. of Indiana) [filed 6/16]

Both Beech Grove and its police department maintain separate Facebook pages. The plaintiffs posted comments to the pages that were deemed critical. Their comments were removed and they were blocked from posting any more comments. The case alleges that this violates the First Amendment. A favorable settlement has been negotiated and the matter will be closed.

ATTORNEY(S): Jan P. Mensz, Kenneth J. Falk

St. John Homeowners PAC v. Town of St. John (U.S. Dist. Ct. – No. Dist.) [Filed 2/16]

Plaintiff is a group that is politically active in St. John. It produced signs to be posted along with other political signs at election time and the Town Manager removed the signs and threatened individuals associated with the PAC with ordinance violations if there were future postings. The suit alleges violations of the First Amendment and seeks damages and injunctive relief.

ATTORNEY(S): Jan P. Mensz, Kenneth J. Falk

Van Hook v. King (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist.) [filed 8/15]

The plaintiff was employed doing database maintenance at the Indiana Department of Child Services. She was terminated because of an internet posting that she made, concerning a matter of public interest, using her personal computer from home. The case asserts that this violates the First Amendment. A favorable settlement has been negotiated.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk., Gavin M. Rose, Jan P. Mensz

*Willis v. Commissioner – (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist.) [Filed 08/16]

The plaintiff is an inmate and a subscriber to the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper. After a different inmate wrote an op-ed concerning "why black lives matter behind bars" that was published in the newspaper, the plaintiff was informed that he could no longer receive copies of the newspaper while incarcerated. We have challenged this action as violative of the First Amendment. A preliminary injunction has been sought. (The plaintiff is a different "Mr. Willis" than in the long-standing case concerning kosher meals in prison.)

ATTORNEY(S) Gavin M. Rose; Jan P. Mensz

 

Miscellaneous

Exodus Refugee Immigration v. Pence (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist. of Ind.) [Filed 11/15]

This case challenges the Governor's "suspension" of the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana. The district court granted our request for a preliminary injunction and the State is appealing. The case has been fully briefed and is set for oral argument on September 14.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk, Gavin M. Rose, Jan P. Mensz, attorneys from the National ACLU – Judy Rabinovitz, Cecillia Wang, Omar Jadwat

Hope v. Indiana Department of Correction (Marion Superior Court) [Filed 7/14]

In a 2009 case the Indiana Supreme Court held that requiring an individual to register as a sex offender when the person committed his or her offense prior to the time the law had imposed the registration obligation violated the Indiana Constitution's prohibition on ex post facto punishments. This case challenges the fact that the Department of Correction is still listing these persons as having a registration obligation, absent the person affirmatively filing litigation to remove the registration obligation. The case was certified as a class action. Following two adverse decisions by the Indiana Supreme Court, however, we decertified the class and dismissed the lawsuit.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin M. Rose

Valenti v. Hartford City, Indiana (U.S. Dist. Ct. – No. Dist. of Ind.) [Filed 3/15]

Hartford City has in place an ordinance that prohibits persons who are required to register because of sex offenses against children from going into Child Safety Zones (school, parks, athletic areas, etc.) and also prohibits them from "loitering" within 300 feet of these areas. This is a class action challenge, with an individual request for damages. Hartford City has amended the ordinance and has attempted to define "loitering." However, we believe that the ordinance remains unconstitutional and the case is pending on cross-motions for summary judgment.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk

Prisoners' Rights

Fugate v. Martin, et al. (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist. ) (Rec'd appointment 5/16)

At the request of the District Court we have accepted appointment to represent the plaintiff in this case who has numerous complaints concerning medical treatment issues.

ATTORNEYS(S): Jan P. Mensz, Kenneth J. Falk

Hos v. Vigo County Sheriff (Vigo Superior Court) [Filed 8/13]

As part of a settlement entered into in 2002 the Vigo County Sheriff and Commissioner agreed to a population cap of 268 on the Vigo County Jail and agreed that prisoners should be allowed recreation 3 times a week. The population has greatly exceeded that amount and prisoners are not getting the requisite amount of recreation. This is a breach of contract action filed in state court to require the defendants to comply with the contract.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk

Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission v. Commissioner, Indiana Department of Correction (U.S. Dist. Ct. — So. Dist. of Indiana)

This case challenges the continued confinement of seriously mentally ill prisoners by the Department of Correction in segregated or extremely isolated prison environments. The case is brought on behalf of Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services which is charged by federal law for advocating on behalf of the mentally ill. We have added prisoners and class has been certified and we are moving forward. The case was tried in July of 2011 and the trial court recently ruled in plaintiffs' favor, finding that the treatment of these seriously mentally ill prisoners violates the 8th amendment. A final settlement has been negotiated and has been allowed to go into effect. The case remains open for monitoring.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk, Gavin Rose, attorneys from Indiana Protection
and Advocacy Services

Lindh v. Warden (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist.) [filed 5/14] (not listed previously)

This is a challenge to the practice in the Communications Management Unit at the federal prison in Terre Haute of subjecting all prisoners to cavity searches before they have a non-attorney visit, even though the visits are all non-contact and are conducted through plexiglass. The parties are filing cross-motions for summary judgment, and the district court recently entered a decision in our favor.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk, Gavin M. Rose

Richardson v. Monroe County Sheriff (U.S. Dist. Ct. — So. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 2/08]

This is a case challenging the conditions at the Monroe County Jail. A motion to dismiss has been filed by the defendants and was denied. The case has been settled and is open for monitoring.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk 

Religious Freedoms and Establishment Clause

Bellar v. River Forest Community School Corporation (U.S. Dist. Ct.—No. Dist. of Indiana) (Filed 6/2015)

The plaintiffs are a high school student and his parents, who have filed suit to challenge three separate religious practices of the school corporation: the practice of requiring student athletes to participate in coach-led prayers prior to athletic events; the practice of conducting prayers (led by the president of the school board) at or near the beginning of each monthly public meeting of the school board; and the practice of having prayers sponsored by the school corporation at high school graduation ceremonies. The case is pending.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin M. Rose

Doe v. Boone County Prosecutor (Boone Superior Court) [Filed 5/16]

Indiana's "serious sex offender" law prohibits sex offenders from entering school property. The Boone County Prosecutor and Sheriff have interpreted the law to prohibit these persons from attending church if there is any children's programming on the premises. This interpretation is both erroneous and violates Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. A preliminary injunction has been sought.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk, Jan P. Mensz

Freedom from Religion Foundation v. Concord Community Schools (U.S. Dist. Ct. – N. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 10/15]

Each year, Concord High School stages several performances of a "Christmas Spectacular," which includes many songs celebrating the holiday season performed by various classes and groups from the school's performing arts department. The event then concludes with a 20-minute live nativity scene and scriptural reading telling the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. We represent an organization, a student enrolled at the school, and the father of that student in challenging this portion of the Christmas Spectacular as violating the Establishment Clause. A preliminary injunction was granted and the matter is proceeding in the district court.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin M. Rose; Sam Grover and Ryan Payne (Freedom From Religion Foundation); Heather Weaver and Dan Mach (ACLU-National)

*Glenn v. Liebel (Marion Superior Court ) [Filed 7/16]

We previously represented the plaintiff, a prisoner, in a federal case that resulted in a private settlement agreement allowing him and other Eastern Orthodox adherents at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility to meet for worship and study. The case alleges that defendants have breached that agreement and seek its enforcement.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk

Kemp v. Commissioner (U.S. Dist. Ct. — So. Dist. of Indiana) (Filed 10/14]

This is an action by two Jewish prisoners who were at a facility that provided both a kosher diet and services. The DOC decided to construct what it characterizes as kosher kitchens at 4 institutions. The prisoners were transferred to one of the institutions so that they could continue their kosher diets. However, the DOC has not allowed any of the Jewish prisoners to meet for worship or study at the new institution. After services were finally initiated the case was fully briefed on the question of damages. A decision is pending.

Miller v. Delaware Community School Corp. (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist.) [Filed 6/16]

This case challenges the practice of the defendant school corporation of allowing Bibles to be distributed to graduating seniors at a senior luncheon and also the practice of having a prayer during graduation. The matter is pending.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk, Jan P. Mensz

Pyle v. Hamilton (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist.) [Filed 4/16]

This is a case that seeks damages because of a traffic stop by a State Trooper where, after the conclusion of the stop, he engaged in proselytizing. The matter has been settled and will be closed.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk. Jan P. Mensz

*Thomas v. Boone County Sheriff – (US Dist. Ct. – So. Dist) [Filed 8/16]

The plaintiff is a Muslim prisoner who complains of not receiving a Halal diet. The matter is pending.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk. Jan P. Mensz

Willis contempt cases – Witmer and Benjamin v. Commissioner (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist.)

In Willis v. Indiana Department of Correction (2010), the district court held that prisoners within the DOC who require a kosher meal to satisfy their sincere religious beliefs must be supplied one. Recently (in December of 2014 and January of 2015) we have sought to add two new named plaintiffs to the case to pursue contempt remedies against the DOC for failing to comply with the Willis judgment. The matter has been settled and will be closed.

ATTORNEY(S) Kenneth J. Falk

Reproductive Rights

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc. v. Commissioner, Indiana State Department of Health (U.S. Dist. Ct – So. Dist. of Ind.) [Filed 4/16]

This case challenges various aspects of HEA 1337, including the prohibition on obtaining abortions for certain reasons and the requirement that women seeking abortion services be informed of these prohibitions as part of Indiana's so-called "informed consent" process. The district court granted a preliminary injunction on June 30. The State is not appealing the grant of the preliminary injunction and the case is proceeding to summary judgment.

ATTORNEY(S); Kenneth J. Falk, Gavin M. Rose, Jan P. Mensz, Jennifer Dalven (National ACLU), Helene Krasnoff (National Planned Parenthood)

* Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc. v. Commissioner, Indiana State Department of Health (U.S. Dist. Ct – So. Dist. of Ind.) [Filed 7/16]

This case challenges another provision of HEA 1337 that requires that ultrasound examinations be performed at least 18 hours before the abortion, as opposed to prior law that allowed the examinations to occur at the time of the abortion. This will negatively impact the ability of women to obtain abortions and in light of recent Supreme Court precedent is an unconstitutional undue burden. A preliminary injunction hearing is set for November.

ATTORNEY(S); Kenneth J. Falk, Gavin M. Rose, Jan P. Mensz, Jennifer Dalven (National ACLU), Jennifer Sandman (National Planned Parenthood)

Rights of those with Disabilities and Medicaid

Blade v. City of Richmond (U.S. Dist. Ct. — So. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 7/04]

This case challenges the lack of accessible sidewalks in Richmond, Indiana. A settlement has been reached and has been approved by the Court. It is open for monitoring.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk

Cantrell v. Town of Liberty (U.S. Dist. Ct. — So. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 2/02]

This is a challenge under the ADA to the fact that the Town of Liberty does not have accessible sidewalks. The case has been settled in plaintiff's favor. It remains open for monitoring as the sidewalks are made accessible.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk

Caylor v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (Fayette Superior Court) [Filed 10/12]

The plaintiff is a serious disabled adult who requires constant care and supervision, and receives services through the Medicaid waiver program to receive this care and supervision. As a result of new service limitations that are being imposed on waiver recipients, the plaintiff's services have been dramatically reduced. The lawsuit alleges that this violates the ADA, as well as state and federal Medicaid law. This case presents the same issue as the Smith case and the Chickadaunce case below. The case has been stayed pending a resolution to the Chickadaunce case.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin Rose, Nicole Goodson (private attorney)

Chickadaunce v. Minott (U.S. Dist. Ct. — So. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 8/13]

The plaintiffs are three individuals who are enrolled in a home-and-community-based Medicaid waiver program in Indiana. They have been assigned by the State to a category of individuals that require 24/7, or almost 24/7 care. However, the State has promulgated limits on services that are far lower than this level of care. The lawsuit challenges these service limits as violative of the Medicaid Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The plaintiff class has been certified, and the matter is pending. This case presents the same issue as presented by the Smith and Caylor cases. The case has now been stayed as the agency contemplates making changes to its waiver program.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin Rose

Culvahouse v. City of Laporte (U.S. Dist. Ct. — Northern Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 5/06]

This is a class action challenge to the failure of LaPorte to have sidewalks that are accessible to disabled persons as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Both sides have sought summary judgment. The trial court has entered partial summary judgment in plaintiffs' favor. The parties have entered into a settlement of all remaining issues and the case is open for monitoring.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk

Jackson v. Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration(U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 11/15]

This is a putative class action that challenges the failure of the Indiana Medicaid program to provide recipients with Harvoni, the new drug that cures Hepatitis C unless and until they reach the later stages of the disease. The case is pending.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin M. Rose. Fran Quigley (IU McKinney School of Law)

Meeker v. Kosciusko Community Fair, Inc. (U.S. Dist. Ct. – No. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 9/14] (mistakenly not listed previously)

The client, who is a person with disabilities, challenges the lack of accessibility of the Kosckiusko County Community Fair fairgrounds. A settlement has been filed and has been approved. The case remains open for monitoring.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk

Neal v. Indiana Department of Correction (U.S. Dist. Ct. –So District of Ind.) [filed 9/15)

Plaintiff is a prisoner with a disability that prevents him from walking any distance. He is being denied a wheelchair, which, in turn, prevents him from accessing various program available to prisoners. The case alleges that this violates the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

ATTORNEY(S): Jan P. Mensz, Kenneth J. Falk

Sipe v. Indiana Department of Correction (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 6/ 15]

This case challenges the fact that the plaintiff, a wheelchair bound prisoner with a disability, was placed into segregation by the DOC because there were accessible cells there, even though there were accessible areas elsewhere in the institution. Because he was still classified as general population - even though in segregation- he was forced to leave the segregation unit for recreation and other matters. Each time he did he had to struggle out of his wheelchair so he could be strip searched – both at leaving and returning. Damages and injunctive relief are sought. The matter has been settled and will be closed.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk

Smith v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (Monroe Circuit Court) [Filed 10/12]

The plaintiff is a serious disabled adult who requires constant care and supervision, and receives services through the Medicaid waiver program to receive this care and supervision. As a result of new service limitations that are being imposed on waiver recipients, the plaintiff's services have been dramatically reduced. The lawsuit alleges that this violates the ADA, as well as state and federal Medicaid law. A motion for preliminary injunction has been filed. This case presents the same issue as the Caylor case and the Chickadaunce case above. The case has been stayed pending a resolution to the Chickadaunce case.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin M. Rose

Steimel v. Minott (U.S. Dist. Ct. — So. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 6/13]

This is a class action challenge to recent actions by the State of Indiana eliminating the waiting list for a Medicaid waiver program and determining that persons with developmental disabilities who do not required skilled nursing services may not receive services through a particular waiver designed to allow the aged and disabled to receive services in the community as opposed to nursing homes. The case alleges that these actions violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, in addition to the Medicaid Act. The trial court has denied plaintiffs' request for class certification and the matter is continuing with individual plaintiffs. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of the defendants, and we have appealed both that order and the denial of class certification. The Seventh Circuit reversed judgment for the defendants and remanded the case back to the district court after issuing a favorable decision, although denial of the class action was affirmed.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin M. Rose

Beckem v. FSSA (U.S. Dist. Ct. — So. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 4/14]

I realize that this case is out of alphabetical order. However, it is a damages case by persons who would have been class members in the Steimel case immediately above. The plaintiffs in this case, who lost services when they were removed from the aged and disabled waiver, seek damages because of the violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act. One of the plaintiffs, like the plaintiff in Steimel, also seeks injunctive relief to get back on the waiver. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of the defendants, and we have appealed that order. The Seventh Circuit reversed judgment for the defendants and remanded the case back to the district court after issuing a favorable decision.

ATTORNEY(S): Gavin M. Rose

Targett v. City of Brazil (U.S. Dist. Ct. — So. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 8/00]

This case challenges the failure of the City of Brazil to maintain accessible sidewalks in violation of the ADA. Discovery is being done. A settlement was approved. Contempt was filed since it is alleged the City has not complied with the settlement. We entered a new settlement which the City did not comply with and we again sought contempt. The matter was resolved and we are monitoring.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk 

Wolfe v. Indiana Department of Correction (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 6/ 15]

This case challenges the fact that the plaintiff, a wheelchair bound prisoner with a disability, was placed into segregation by the DOC because there were accessible cells there, even though there were accessible areas elsewhere in the institution. Because he was still classified as general population —even though in segregation- he was forced to leave the segregation unit for recreation and other matters. Each time he did he had to struggle out of his wheelchair so he could be strip searched —both at leaving and returning. Damages are sought. The matter has been settled and will be closed.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk

Search and Seizure Issues

Gutierrez v. City of East Chicago (U.S. Dist. Ct. – No. Dist. of Ind.) [Filed 3/16]

This is a challenge to the policy of the Housing Authority of East Chicago of conducting warrantless searches and inspections of tenants' apartments without cause or consent, including some searches that are clearly for criminal investigatory purposes. A preliminary injunction was recently argued and we are awaiting a decision.

ATTORNEY(S): Jan P. Mensz, Kenneth J. Falk

Neale v. Black Township, Posey County, Indiana (U.S. Dist. Ct. – So. Dist. of Indiana) [Filed 6/15]

This case challenges the requirement imposed by the Black Township Trustee that all applicants for township assistance must take and pass a drug test. The Trustee has agreed to suspend its policy while the case is resolved. A settlement is being pursued.

ATTORNEY(S): Kenneth J. Falk, Gavin M. Rose

 

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