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Legal Advocacy

The ACLU of Utah seeks to address civil liberties problems without having to rely on litigation. Below are letters we have written on a variety of issues in which we attempted to resolve reported grievances outside of the courtroom.

Uintah School District Agrees Student Dress Code Policies Cannot Rely on Outdated Gender Stereotypes

14 December 2005 Published in Legal Advocacy
The Uintah School District agrees with the ACLU of Utah that student dress code policies cannot rely on outdated gender stereotypes.

ACLU of Utah Writes a Letter on Behalf of Utah High School Student Who Was Told to Change Gay-Friendly T-Shirt

20 October 2005 Published in Legal Advocacy
ACLU of Utah writes a letter on behalf of Utah high school student who was told to change gay-friendly t-shirt.

Utah State Tax Commission Approves Personalized License Plates with Gay-Positive Messages

19 July 2005 Published in Legal Advocacy
The Utah State Tax Commission approves personalized license plates with gay-positive messages.

Letter to Provo High School Regarding Right of Same-Sex Couples to Participate in Annual Prom

15 April 2005 Published in Legal Advocacy
ACLU of Utah letter to Provo High School regarding the right of same-sex couples to participate in annual prom and promenade.

ACLU of Utah Maintains Utah's Amendment 3 Should Not Deny Benefits to Dependents of Gay and Lesbian Faculty and Staff at Utah State University

14 April 2005 Published in Legal Advocacy
Open letter to a Utah State University professor in which the ACLU of Utah maintains that Utah's Amendment 3 should not be interpreted to prohibit benefits to dependents of gay and lesbian faculty and staff.

ACLU of Utah Requests Information from Davis Metro Narcotics Strike Force about Agency’s January 21 “Knock and Talk”

04 April 2005 Published in Legal Advocacy
The ACLU of Utah requests information via the Governmental Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) from the Davis Metro Narcotics Strike Force about the agency’s January 21, 2005 “knock and talk” program.

ACLU of Utah Investigates Sign at U.S. Army Recruiting Booth Implying Army Will Pay for Religious Missions

20 December 2004 Published in Legal Advocacy
On February 7, 2005, we were contacted by an attorney at the army recruiting office in Fort Knox, Kentucky who had been assigned to investigate a situation at an army recruting booth at a Utah high school. A sign posted at the booth implied the army would pay for religious missions. After his investigation, the attorney determined the sign was not appropriate and assured us that the army would stop using it.

ACLU of Utah Submits Letter to Copper Hills High School Regarding School Dance Policy for LGBTQ Students

07 December 2004 Published in Legal Advocacy
The ACLU of Utah submits a letter to Copper Hills High School regarding its school dances policy for LGBTQ students.

ACLU of Utah Urges Spanish Fork to Abandon Discriminatory Rule Prohibiting Females from Wrestling Males

08 November 2004 Published in Legal Advocacy
The ACLU of Utah submitted a letter to Spanish Fork regarding its discriminatory rule prohibiting females from wrestling males in a 2004 tournament.

In Letter, ACLU of Utah Urges Employers to Comply with "Time-Off to Vote" Policy in Provo City

24 September 2004 Published in Legal Advocacy
The ACLU of Utah sends letter to Provo City regarding its “Time-Off to Vote” policy. We received a call from a Provo city employee concerned that he would be denied his statutory right to time off from work to cast his vote on Election Day. Our letter to a Provo City attorney received a tepid response, and we passed the matter over to the Assistant Attorney General who works on election issues. As a result, Provo is now re-examining its policy.

ACLU of Utah Asserts Unconstitutionality of Campaign Sign Ordinances in Several Utah Cities

24 August 2004 Published in Legal Advocacy
The ACLU of Utah submits letters to Orem City, Riverdale, Roy City, and Weber County regarding their unconstitutional campaign sign ordinances.

Lehi Police Department Urged to Comply with Utah's Open Records Law

21 July 2004 Published in Legal Advocacy
Letter to the Lehi Police Department regarding its record release policy. In denying Ronnie Sorensen’s request for the initial police contact report involving her son, the Lehi Police Department did not follow the requirements outlined in Utah’s open records law. Within a week of receiving the ACLU of Utah’s letter, the police department contacted Ms. Sorensen and provided her with a copy of the requested records.

ACLU of Utah Warns Jordan School District Not to Discipline Students Wearing LGBTQ-Positive T-Shirts

11 May 2004 Published in Legal Advocacy
The ACLU of Utah submitted a letter to Hillcrest High School and the Jordan School District regarding the school’s disciplinary actions against a group of students who wore t-shirts proclaiming “Queers Kick Ash” to school (the names of the students have been removed to protect their identities).

ACLU of Utah Informs Murray High School that Gay Students Must Be Allowed to Attend Prom

11 March 2004 Published in Legal Advocacy
Letter to Murray High School regarding its actions prohibiting a lesbian student couple from joining other couples in the “grand promenade” at their Junior Prom. After the ACLU of Utah wrote the letter, the district relented and opened the promenade to all couples.

Constitutional Violations Outlined in Salem City's Use of Government Resources to Promote LDS Activities

07 March 2004 Published in Legal Advocacy
Letter to Salem City regarding the use of government resources to sponsor and promote LDS Church activities.

ACLU of Utah Asserts Salt Lake Valley Detention Center Cannot Detain Minors Without Parental Notification

20 February 2004 Published in Legal Advocacy
Letter to the Salt Lake Valley Detention Center regarding the detention of minors without parental notification.

ACLU of Utah Requests Public Records from Utah Department of Public Safety on Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX)

18 November 2003 Published in Legal Advocacy
The ACLU of Utah submitted a formal request pursuant to the Utah Government Records and Management Act (GRAMA) to allow inspection and copying of the public records held by the Utah Department of Public Safety regarding the Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX).

ACLU of Utah Maintains Courts Must Provide Indigent Defense for Man Who Was Denied Counsel After Being Charged with Traffic Violations

03 October 2003 Published in Legal Advocacy
Letter to Judge Kevin Christensen regarding Trent M. Brown's unpaid fine for citations including illegal dumping, parking a trailer, and a violation of the Utah Department of Transportation's (UDOT) right of way.

ACLU of Utah Appeals Salt Lake City Police Department's Denial of GRAMA Request

30 September 2003 Published in Legal Advocacy
Letter to Rick Dinse, Salt Lake City Chief of Police, regarding the appeal of a Governmental Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) request.

ACLU of Utah Submits GRAMA Request to Salt Lake City Police Department After Police Officers Film Attendees at Pro-Patriot Act Rally

11 September 2003 Published in Legal Advocacy
When Attorney General John Ashcroft visited Salt Lake City in 2003 to promote the USA Patriot Act, police officers of the Salt Lake City Police Department videotaped several attendees at the Ashcroft rally, sparking concerns over the privacy and First Amendment associational rights of those in attendance. In response, the ACLU of Utah submitted a letter to the Salt Lake City Police Department regarding a request under the Governmental Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA).

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