ILNews

Judge: Parents not responsive in Anderson school uniform suit

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The legal challenge to a new school uniform policy in Anderson could be slowly slipping away, as a federal judge in Indianapolis is looking to dismiss the case after the pro se parent plaintiffs "utterly failed" to respond to discovery requests and haven't shown any likelihood of prevailing in court.

U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder on Friday vacated an injunction hearing and trial set for this morning because of the plaintiffs' lack of response. He has issued orders barring testimony and evidence, essentially dismissing the case initiated by parents Laura and Scott Bell.

The two filed suit in Madison Circuit Court on Tuesday against Anderson Community Schools, claiming that a policy set to start on the first day of school Aug. 20 would violate the constitutional right of children to a free education.

This dress code - similar to those implemented in other Hoosier school districts such as the Indianapolis Public Schools that took effect today - limits students to black, navy, or khaki pants or skirts and solid color shirts and sweaters. Students wouldn't be allowed to wear baggy pants or skirts sagging below the midriffs, or shirts with writing on them.

Anderson Community Schools had asked for summary judgment July 30, noting that there is no basis for the federal or state law claims regarding a constitutional right to a "free education" and no violation of "parental rights" under the 9th and 14th amendments.

While the summary judgment motion hadn't been granted by IL deadline this afternoon, Judge Tinder had granted a motion prohibiting testimony on residency and custodial status information on their children, factual testimony about amendment violation claims, and any information on alleged financial hardship resulting from the policy compliance. Today, the Bells submitted an objection to the dismissal along with an amended motion for preliminary injunction.
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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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