Indiana Suit Over Pre-trial Detainees Denied the Right to Vote Certified as Class Action

This may be the first class action suit by detainees seeking money damages for loss of the right to vote certified for class status.

Here’s an earlier story in Indiana Lawyer:

Lawyers for inmates of the Allen County Jail and for the sheriff conferred in federal court Tuesday as a lawsuit proceeds alleging detainees were denied their right to vote.

A first amended complaint filed Tuesday seeks a class action, and attorneys met before Judge Theresa Springmann for a preliminary pretrial conference in the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division.

The suit alleges Sheriff David Gladieux “systematically disenfranchised hundreds of eligible voters held in the Allen County Jail during the 2016 general election by refusing to provide them absentee ballots or alternative access to the polls.”

The suit, Demetrius Buroff and Ian Barnhart v. David Gladieux, 1:17-cv-124, claims violation of the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment. Both were pretrial detainees on Election Day, the suit says, without felony convictions and eligible to vote.

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