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Case Name Perdue v. Individual Members of the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners DR-IN-0001
Docket / Court 1:09-cv-00842-WTL-TAB ( S.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
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 (42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.), against members of the Indiana ... read more >
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 (42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.), 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.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction. On December 8, 2009, the court (Judge William T. Lawrence) denied the motion, finding the court to have jurisdiction over the claim. 2009 WL 4841113.

Although the plaintiff had initially filed the lawsuit under a pseudonym, the court denied her request to proceed with a pseudonym. 2009 WL 2448468. On January 27, 2010, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint, in which the ACLU of Indiana and the now named plaintiff sought to represent a class of similarly situated individuals.

On January 29, 2010, the court entered an order regarding class certification. The court granted class certification with the individual plaintiff as class representative but denied the ACLU's request to act as class representative on the grounds that the court could not determine whether the ACLU had standing. 266 F.R.D. 215. On March 25, 2010, the court determined that the ACLU did have standing, and therefore granted a renewed request to be appointed class representative.

On June 25, 2010, the case was reassigned to Judge Tanya Walton Pratt. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. On September 20, 2011, Judge Pratt granted in part and denied in part the motions. 2011 WL 4387470. Specifically, she found that there was no dispute of fact that one of the three questions on the bar application violated the ADA. The parties agreed that in light of the summary judgment decision, that a final judgment from the court was appropriate.

On October 6, 2011, Judge Pratt entered a judgment permanently enjoining defendants from inquiring whether applicants had been diagnosed with or treated for "any mental, emotional, or nervous disorders." On June 21, 2012, Judge Pratt ordered the case to be closed after the parties filed a Joint Notice Concerning Settlement of Attorneys' Fee and Costs Claims. The Clearinghouse does not know how much the plaintiffs obtained in fees.

There was sporadic subsequent docket activity. In 2014 and 2018, an individual asked the court for relief from Indiana's alleged violations of the injunction. The court denied both motions, stating that in no circumstance could the individual be entitled to the relief requested. 2015 WL 5316967.

There has been no docket activity since May 9, 2019.

Priyah Kaul - 11/24/2014
Virginia Weeks - 03/16/2018
Hope Brinn - 04/09/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Medical Exam / Inquiry
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Disparate Treatment
Other
Records Disclosure
Testing
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Mental Disability
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) State of Indiana
Plaintiff Description Applicants to the Indiana State Bar who as a condition of admission would have to disclose on their application a history of their mental health issues since the age of 16.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2012 - n/a
Filed 07/07/2009
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
1:09-cv-00842-TWP-MJD (S.D. Ind.)
DR-IN-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/25/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:09-cv−00842-TWP-MJD (S.D. Ind.)
DR-IN-0001-9002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Second Amended Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 82]
DR-IN-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/26/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
DR-IN-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/07/2009
Entry on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 60] (2009 WL 4841113) (S.D. Ind.)
DR-IN-0001-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/08/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Entry on Amended Motion for Class Certification (266 F.R.D. 215) (S.D. Ind.)
DR-IN-0001-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/29/2010
Entry on Cross Motions for Summary Judgment [ECF# 188] (2011 WL 4387470) (S.D. Ind.)
DR-IN-0001-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/20/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment [ECF# 189-1] (S.D. Ind.)
DR-IN-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/06/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 219] (S.D. Ind.)
DR-IN-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/21/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Entry on Pending Motions [ECF# 233] (2015 WL 5316967) (S.D. Ind.)
DR-IN-0001-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/11/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion to Reopen Case [ECF# 239] (S.D. Ind.)
DR-IN-0001-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Dinsmore, Mark. J. (S.D. Ind.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
DR-IN-0001-9000 | DR-IN-0001-9002
Lawrence, William T. (S.D. Ind.) show/hide docs
DR-IN-0001-0002 | DR-IN-0001-0004
Pratt, Tanya Walton (S.D. Ind.) show/hide docs
DR-IN-0001-0005 | DR-IN-0001-0006 | DR-IN-0001-0009 | DR-IN-0001-0010 | DR-IN-0001-0011 | DR-IN-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Falk, Kenneth J. (Indiana) show/hide docs
DR-IN-0001-0001 | DR-IN-0001-0007 | DR-IN-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Craig, Darren Andrew (Indiana) show/hide docs
DR-IN-0001-9000
Overholt, Anthony W. (Indiana) show/hide docs
DR-IN-0001-9000
Other Lawyers Shaw, Robert M. (Indiana) show/hide docs
DR-IN-0001-9000

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