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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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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