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Service-animal suit against Evansville schools proceeds

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A federal lawsuit brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act after Evansville schools adopted a policy restricting the use of service animals will proceed.

Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on Friday rejected a motion to dismiss, in M.T., et al. v. Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, 3:13-cv-00171-RLY-WGH, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the suit against the public school system in August. Plaintiffs are M.T. and R.J., sophomore students and Reitz and Harrison high schools, whose families claim they were unaware at the beginning of the school year of policies adopted by the school board over the summer that require significant documentation regarding the service animals two weeks before the animals may accompany students to school.

As a result, the children suffered pain and other problems when they were not allowed to bring their service animals to school with them because of the new restrictions.

Magnus-Stinson ruled that dismissal was inappropriate at this stage and rejected defense claims that the plaintiffs had not exhausted administrative avenues before filing suit.  

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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