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COA rules in favor of DOC employee

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has found the trial court should have granted summary judgment to a Department of Correction employee on a man's claim that he was personally deprived a liberty interest when the DOC refused to remove his name from the sex offender registry.

In Brent Myers v. Jarod Coats, No. 49A04-1104-PL-208, Jarod Coats had tried unsuccessfully to have his name removed from Indiana’s sex offender registry. Coats pleaded guilty but mentally ill in 1999 to two counts of battery, one count of intimidation, and one count of criminal confinement. Although no children were involved in any of the charges and Coats has never been convicted of a sex offense, the DOC told him he had to register as a sex offender. The DOC maintains the registry; Brent Myers is the director of registration and victim services.

Coats kept his registration current, while disputing the requirement and unsuccessfully attempting to have his name removed from the list. After filing suit in federal court in 2009, Coats was removed from the registry and the case was dismissed. He then filed a complaint for declaratory relief and damages in state court against Myers under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, alleging Myers failed to provide Coats with a procedure to challenge his erroneous listing.

The trial court concluded that Coats had a liberty interest in not being mistakenly labeled as a sex offender and that the process to challenge the erroneous listening was inadequate, which the COA affirmed. The trial court found that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Myers personally deprived Coats of a constitutional right, which the judges reversed. Any policy Myers contributed to or produced was subject to input from supervisors and the DOC’s legal counsel, which undercuts Coats’ argument that Myers was the driving force behind the failure to provide a policy, ruled the COA. The judges entered summary judgment for Myers on this issue.

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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