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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. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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