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Monday, May 11, 2015

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today and an Ind.-related case May 8th

In USA v. Bob Henson (SD Ind., Pratt), a 11-page opinion, Judge Rovner writes:

Michael Knoll and Dax Shephard were members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club (“Outlaws”). Both men pled guilty to racketeering and Knoll also pled guilty to running an illegal gambling business. Both men agreed in their plea deals to forfeit certain real and personal property that was used in the crimes. Bob Henson intervened to object to the forfeiture of property in which he claimed an interest. Henson now appeals the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the government, and we affirm. * * *

The indictment sought the forfeiture of real and personal property from Knoll, Shephard and some of their fellow Outlaws on the basis of the racketeering count. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 1962 and 1963. Specifically, the indictment sought the forfeiture of real property located at 305 North Jefferson Avenue and 2204 East New York Street, both in Indianapolis, Indiana (“Indianapolis Properties”); as well as real property located at 1202 West Main Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana (“Fort Wayne Property”).

In the May 8th Indiana-related case, Megan Runnion v. Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and NW Indiana (ND Ill., ED), a 29-page opinion, Judge Hamilton writes:
This appeal presents substantive issues concerning the scope of the federal Rehabilitation Act’s coverage of private organizations (like the Girl Scouts) that receive federal funding. Before addressing the merits, though, we must address some recurring procedural issues involving Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) dismissals and plaintiffs’ opportunities to amend complaints before en-try of a final judgment of dismissal. In particular, we focus on how the 2009 amendment to Federal Rule of Civil Proce-dure 15(a)(1) affects amendment practice in district courts.

Plaintiff Megan Runnion was active in a Girl Scout troop run by defendant Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, which is the largest regional Girl Scout organization in the United States. Megan is deaf. For several years she benefitted from sign language interpreters provid-ed by the Girl Scouts that enabled her to participate fully in the troop’s activities. The Girl Scouts then stopped providing interpreters. When her mother complained, Megan’s entire troop was disbanded.

Megan alleges that the Girl Scouts violated the Rehabili-tation Act by refusing to provide her with sign language ser-vices and then by disbanding her troop because her mother complained. The district court ultimately dismissed the case under Rule 12(b)(6), finding that Megan had failed to allege sufficiently that the Girl Scouts are subject to the Rehabilita-tion Act. Thinking amendment would be futile under its in-terpretation of the Rehabilitation Act, the district court dis-missed the case without leave to amend.

We reverse. We first set out the facts and procedural his-tory of the case, including the substantive issue about the scope of the Rehabilitation Act’s coverage. We then turn to the procedural issues and seek to clarify the proper ap-proach to motions for leave to amend complaints. We then resolve the substantive issues under the Rehabilitation Act and conclude that the district court erred by dismissing the entire case without giving plaintiff an opportunity to amend her complaint. The district court corrected that error in part by vacating its judgment but then erred again by refusing to allow a proposed amended complaint that is more than sufficient to state a viable claim for relief.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 11, 2015 01:40 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions