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Justices take homeschooling-group expulsion case

October 28, 2013

The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases, including one involving a homeschooling group that presented an issue of first impression regarding education under civil rights law.

The justices took Fishers Adolescent Catholic Enrichment Society, Inc. v. Elizabeth Bridgewater o/b/o Alyssa Bridgewater, 93S02-1310-EX-704, in which the Indiana Court of Appeals in May affirmed an administrative law judge’s decision that Fishers Adolescent Catholic Enrichment Society Inc. retaliated against a family by expelling them from a homeschooling group. The expulsion occurred after Elizabeth Bridgewater and her daughter Alyssa sought a dietary accommodation for Alyssa at a social event and later filed a complaint with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission.

The ALJ determined a ruling could be made on the matter despite FACES’ religious affiliation because it was “related to education” under I.C. 22-9-1-3(1). What “relates to” education under Indiana’s civil rights law is a first impression issue for the courts.

The justices also accepted Douglas A. Guilmette v. State of Indiana, 71S04-1310-CR-705, in which the Court of Appeals upheld Douglas Guilmette’s murder conviction despite finding that his bloody shoe shouldn’t have been admitted into evidence.

The high court denied transfer to 28 cases for the week ending Oct. 25.

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