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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. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

  2. I agree. My husband has almost the exact same situation. Age states and all.

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  4. Andrew, if what you report is true, then it certainly is newsworthy. If what you report is false, then it certainly is newsworthy. Any journalists reading along??? And that same Coordinator blew me up real good as well, even destroying evidence to get the ordered wetwork done. There is a story here, if any have the moxie to go for it. Search ADA here for just some of my experiences with the court's junk yard dog. https://www.scribd.com/document/299040062/Brown-ind-Bar-memo-Pet-cert Yep, drive by shootings. The lawyers of the Old Dominion got that right. Career executions lacking any real semblance of due process. It is the ISC way ... under the bad shepard's leadership ... and a compliant, silent, boot-licking fifth estate.

  5. Journalism may just be asleep. I pray this editorial is more than just a passing toss and turn. Indiana's old boy system of ruling over attorneys is cultish. Unmask them oh guardians of democracy.

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