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Court deputy alleges discrimination

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A Marion County deputy sheriff is suing her employer, claiming the sheriff's department discriminated against her when it selected male deputies for open positions within the court system.

Rita Smith filed suit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. In her suit, Smith v. Marion County Sheriff's Department, No. 1:09-CV-1058, she claims the Marion County Sheriff's Department violated the Family Medical Leave Act, discriminated against her because of her sex, and retaliated in violation of Title VII when she complained about discriminatory practices.

Smith joined the department in October 2005 and was transferred to the position of "court line" deputy in Marion County courts in August 2006. After one day of working in Marion Superior Court 9 in 2007, she was replaced by a male deputy. Smith alleges the MCSD falsified information stating the judge asked she be removed from the court.

Smith also alleges that she was constantly passed over for open deputy positions within the court system and those jobs were given to other male candidates with less seniority. She was also removed from a court line deputy position in Court 17 in March 2007 after conflict with her male partner. She believes he should have been removed because he instigated the conflict and she had seniority.

She also had been told deputies wouldn't be allowed to move with their judges if the judge is relocated to another court, although several male deputies who wished to move with their assigned judges were allowed.

Smith claims the MCSD harassed her about not showing up for roll call even though she was on approved Family and Medical Leave Act leave and that the department retaliated against her for vocalizing her objections to sexist, discriminatory practices.

Smith wants the court to enjoin MCSD from engaging in further acts of discrimination and retaliation, and to promote her immediately to a position in a major felony court. She also wants payment of any lost wages and money suffered as a result of the department's alleged unlawful actions, punitive damages, payment of her attorneys' fees, and any other relief to which she may be entitled.

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  1. Too many attorneys take their position as a license to intimidate and threaten non attorneys in person and by mail. Did find it ironic that a reader moved to comment twice on this article could not complete a paragraph without resorting to insulting name calling (rethuglican) as a substitute for reasoned discussion. Some people will never get the point this action should have made.

  2. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  3. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  4. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  5. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

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