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SCOTUS denies case between Indiana agencies on 11th Amendment

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The Supreme Court of the United States won’t take an Indiana case which delved into whether the 11th Amendment prohibits an independent state agency from suing a traditional state agency in federal court.

Justices on the nation’s highest court issued an order list Monday denying a writ of certiorari in the case of Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, et al., No. 08-3183, a case involving the state’s practices and programs regarding mentally ill inmates and what access exists to information on inmates.

The Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services had sued the state in late 2006 in order to gain access to records on a mentally disabled adult patient who’d died while at LaRue Carter Memorial Hospital to find out if she had been an abuse victim. U.S. Judge Larry McKinney decided the defendants had to hand over the records because the victim was an adult and her parents weren’t appointed as legal guardians, but the FSSA argued that releasing the records would violate the victim’s parents’ privacy.

A three-judge appellate panel for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the suit, but in April 2010 the appellate court en banc reversed that panel ruling on the grounds that the 11th Amendment doesn’t bar the plaintiff IPAS from suing the FSSA. Specifically, the ruling found that the federal Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act of 1986 allows that – as well as peer review of records relating to treatment within that facility. Circuit Judge David F. Hamilton authored the majority en banc opinion that held the litigation could proceed, though Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook disagreed and wrote a dissent saying he’d dismiss and let the administrative process play out.

The SCOTUS ruled April 19 on a similar issue about the 11th Amendment out of Virginia – that a federal court can hear a lawsuit for prospective relief against state officials brought by another agency of the same state. The case was Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy v. Stewart, No. 09-529.
 

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  1. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  2. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  3. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  4. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

  5. 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.

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