Legal Docket Update

Our legal team is working overtime to defend your rights in state and federal courts

[Planned Parenthood Association of Utah (PPAU) v. Miner]

Issue: Reproductive rights (14th Amendment)

Filed: April 2019

ACLU lead: Leah Farrell, Senior Staff Attorney

Co-counsel: Planned Parenthood

Background: In late 2019, our federal lawsuit against Utah’s 18-week abortion ban on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Utah went on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court considered if providers could be blocked from challenging abortion restrictions in court. In June, the Court rejected that argument, allow our lawsuit to resume.

Update: We are deposing (interviewing) expert witnesses hired by the state of Utah, which is defending the abortion ban.

[Marquez Yañez v. Burdine, et al]

Issue: Unreasonable and unlawful searches and seizures (4th Amendment)

Filed: January 2020

ACLU lead: John Mejia, Legal Director

Co-counsel: Covington & Burling, LLP, and Crowell & Moring LLP

Background: We sued on behalf of the Yañez family after a dozen, heavily-armed Adult Probation & Parole agents violently entered their home looking for someone who was not there. The family alleged the agents’ actions violated their rights to be free from unreasonable and unlawful searches and seizures and excessive force.

Update: In September 2020, the family reached settlement where the Defendants agreed to pay a total of $137,500 and conduct increased training for agents.

[Disability Law Center v. Davis County]

Issue: Transparency of Jail Standards and Records (1st and 8th Amendments)

Filed: May 201

ACLU lead: John Mejia, Legal Director

Co-counsel: Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless, P.C.

Background: In response to a spike of troubling deaths in jails, we made public records requests to Davis County for their jail standards and audits. When the county refused to provide them, we sued in state court. Last fall, the court ruled that the audits and part of the jail standards should be released, but has yet to decide whether copyright protects certain parts of the standards from public release.

Update: Trail date scheduled for early 2021.

[Miller v. Murray City]

Issue: Racial profiling (4th and 14th Amendments)

Filed: May 2020

ACLU lead: Jason Groth, Smart Justice Attorney

Co-counsel: Holland & Hart

Background: We sued Murray police on behalf of Donna Miller, a 59-year-old Black woman and nursing student, alleging that racial profiling was behind a traffic stop and charge of driving under the influence of an illegal substance. After being stopped in her car, Ms. Miller passed four sobriety tests, two breathalyzer exams, and a battery of drug tests.  Nonetheless, she was detained, handcuffed, and charged with a DUI, all based on the arresting officer’s “sixth sense” that she “uses cannabis regularly.”

Update: Fact discovery is currently underway. 

Ramirez v. Reddish

Issue: Illegal entry (4th Amendment)

Filed: February 2018

Co-counsel: Covington & Burling, LLP

Background: We sued members of a joint state-federal task force (which included U.S. Marshalls, an ICE agent, and local law enforcement officers) and the U.S. on behalf of the Ramirez family after agents carried out back-to-back home raids and engaged in other behavior that we alleged were grave violations of their rights. 

Update: The Court granted summary judgement for the Defendants on several claims, but allowed the illegal entry claim to proceed. The court is considering additional motions.

McCubbin v. Weber County

Issue: Gang injunction (1st and 14th Amendments)

Filed: 2015

ACLU lead: John Mejia, Legal Director

Co-counsel: Richards Brown P.C.

Background: We sued Weber County and others on behalf of plaintiffs Leland McCubbin and Daniel Lucero, alleging that the County violated plaintiffs’ rights by serving plaintiffs with a so-called “gang injunction” that immediately criminalized many protected activities. The Utah Supreme Court ruled that the County violated plaintiffs’ due process rights, and allowed other claims to go to trial.

Update: Several pending motions by plaintiffs need to be resolved before the case could go to trial.

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…from the Fall 2020 Liberty Reporter