On July 7, 2009, a member of the Illinois bar who sought to join the Indiana bar filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, under § 1983 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, against members of the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners. The ...
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On July 7, 2009, a member of the Illinois bar who sought to join the Indiana bar filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, under § 1983 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, against members of the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners. The plaintiffs, who were represented by the ACLU of Indiana, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the state agency violated their rights by making unnecessary inquiries into mental health history and placing additional burdens on individuals with disabilities during the process of admission to the bar.
Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the application to the Indiana bar asks a number of intrusive questions concerning each applicant's mental health. If an applicant answers affirmatively to any of the questions, the applicant must disclose information about his or her mental health treatment and submit to further evaluation. The named plaintiff ("Jane Doe") had applied for admission to the Indiana bar. As part of her application, she disclosed that she had been diagnosed with an emotional disorder and was undergoing treatment. She provided further information at the request of the state bar, including a statement from an expert that the disability would have no relevance to her ability to practice law. She later withdrew her application before any determination was made by the state bar.
On January 27, 2010, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, in which the ACLU of Indiana and Amanda Perdue (previously "Jane Doe") were named plaintiffs on behalf of the class.
On January 29, 2010, the court (Judge William T. Lawrence) entered an order regarding class certification. The court (Judge Lawrence) granted class certification as to Amanda Perdue and denied class certification as to the ACLU, on the grounds that the court could not determine whether the ACLU had standing and could be an appropriate class representative. On March 25, 2010, the court (Judge Lawrence) determined that the ACLU did have standing, and therefore granted a renewed request to be appointed class representative.
On October 6, 2011, the court (Judge Tanya Walton Pratt) entered a judgment enjoining defendants from inquiring whether applicants had been diagnosed with or treated for "any mental, emotional, or nervous disorders." On June 21, 2012, the court (Judge Pratt) ordered the case to be closed after the parties filed a Joint Notice Concerning Settlement of Attorneys' Fee and Costs Claims. On October 1, 2014, an interested party filed a Motion for Contempt of Court against the Indiana Board of Law Examiners but as of November 24, 2014, the court had not yet ruled on the motion.Priyah Kaul - 11/24/2014