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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ind. Decisions - More on: 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today, a reversal

The 7th Circuit opinion today in Schepers, et al v. Ind. Dept. Corrections (ILB summary and initial discussion here) is the subject of a story released a few minutes ago by Jonathan Stempel of Reuters. Some quotes:

(Reuters) - A federal appeals court said Indiana's sex and violent offender registry unconstitutionally violated the due process rights of thousands of registrants because it did not give them a chance to fix mistakes.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago rejected arguments by the Indiana Department of Correction that it was not directly responsible for errors in the registry, which contains about 24,000 names, and that registrants had other procedures to challenge mistakes. * * *

Tuesday's decision reversed a December 2011 ruling by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in Indianapolis. The 7th Circuit sent the case back to that court, and encouraged the parties to agree on procedures to fix registry errors. * * *

Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana, said he was "very happy" with Tuesday's decision.

"There are examples of people who are being labeled as sex offenders who are not, and cannot get their names off the registry," he said. "That is a stigma that follows you forever."

Wood also said new procedures may even help the state, by reducing unnecessary monitoring costs by law enforcement and increasing the value of the registry as a child protection tool.

Circuit Judges Richard Posner and Joel Flaum joined Wood in Tuesday's decision.

[More] The Indiana ACLU has now issued a press release, available here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 28, 2012 01:22 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions