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Judge certifies sex offender's class-action suit

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A federal judge has certified a convicted sex offender's suit against the Indiana Department of Correction as a class action. The plaintiff claims registrants have no procedure to correct errors on the sex and violent offender registry.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed suit in October 2009 on behalf of David Schepers, who is listed on the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry as a sex offender and a violent offender. Schepers was convicted of two sex offenses - rape in 1987 and two counts of child exploitation in 2006. He is challenging his listing as a sexually violent predator and that the registry states he was convicted of two rapes instead of one.

Schepers claims because the DOC doesn't have a process to challenge factually erroneous information or inform registrants of such a process, this violates his due process rights and the due process rights of all other registrants.

The DOC challenged Schepers' motion for class certification, arguing his class definition isn't specific enough, and others haven't come forward to say their information is incorrect and there's no way to fix it.

U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence of the Southern District of Indiana found Schepers' suit satisfies the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) and (b). His proposed class is specific enough: those who are on the registry are putative class members; those who are not on it are excluded from the class. The number of registered offenders is so large that joinder of all of them would be impracticable.

Schepers doesn't have to show that others want to challenge their listing in the registry, only that the DOC has failed to inform registrants how to challenge their listing. In addition, Schepers has shown he is an appropriate class representative, and if he prevails on the merits, injunctive relief will be appropriate.

A bench trial for David Schepers, et al., v. Commissioner, Indiana Department of Correction, No. 1:09-CV-1324, has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on Aug. 1, 2011.

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  1. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  2. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  3. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

  4. I'm going to court the beginning of Oct. 2015 to establish visitation and request my daughters visits while she is in jail. I raised my grandchild for the first two and half years. She was born out of wedlock and the father and his adopted mother wantwd her aborted, they went as far as sueing my daughter for abortion money back 5mo. After my grandchild was born. Now because of depression and drug abuse my daughter lost custody 2 and a half years ago. Everyting went wrong in court when i went for custody my lawyer was thrown out and a replacment could only stay 45 min. The judge would not allow a postponement. So the father won. Now he is aleinating me and my daughter. No matter the amount of time spent getting help for my daughter and her doing better he runs her in the ground to the point of suicide because he wants her to be in a relationship with him. It is a sick game of using my grandchild as a pawn to make my daughter suffer for not wanting to be with him. I became the intervener in the case when my daughter first got into trouble. Because of this they gave me her visitation. Im hoping to get it again there is questions of abuse on his part and I want to make sure my grandchild is doing alright. I really dont understand how the parents have rights to walk in and do whatever they want when the refuse to stand up and raise the child at first . Why should it take two and a half years to decide you want to raise your child.The father used me so he could finish college get a job and stop paying support by getting custody. Support he was paying my daughter that I never saw.

  5. Pence said when he ordered the investigation that Indiana residents should be troubled by the allegations after the video went viral. Planned Parenthood has asked the government s top health scientists at the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.

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