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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ind. Courts - "Eight plaintiffs added to Clark Drug Court suit"

Adding to the long list of stories about the Clark County Drug Court program, Charlie White of the Louisville Courier Journal reports:

Eight more Clark County Drug Court program participants are now listed in a federal civil-rights lawsuit, doubling the number of those claiming their rights were violated by county officials involved with its embattled treatment program.

Most in the suit, including the new plaintiffs, say they were jailed longer than the 72 hours allowed before conducting required hearings or having attorneys appointed to represent them.

Some of the plaintiffs claim they were arrested by drug court workers with no arrest powers and faced improper searches or the possibility of being in violation of drug court. The court was suspended in mid-February by the Indiana high court after allegations of unlawful conduct by drug court staff and practices harmful to participants.

“I’ve been trying to figure out why it was being run the way it was,” said Louisville attorney Mike Augustus, who filed the amended complaint in U.S. District Court in New Albany last week. * * *

U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker is expected to decide whether to certify it as a class-action suit.

Augustus believes the number of plaintiffs will rise from 16 to more than 40 based on the “nature of addiction, combined with the consistently applied unconstitutional practices of Clark County Circuit Court 2,” he wrote in the latest complaint. There are currently more than 70 participants remaining in the program.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 17, 2014 09:34 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts