Legal Docket Update

MicrosoftTeams-image (13).png

​ Planned Parenthood Association of Utah (PPAU) v. Miner 

Issue: Reproductive rights (14th Amendment) 

Filed: April 2019 

ACLU lead: Valentina De Fex, Staff Attorney 

Co-counsel: Planned Parenthood 

Background: In 2019 we filed a federal lawsuit against Utah’s 18-week abortion ban on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Utah and were able to immediately block that law from taking effect while the litigation proceeds.     

Update:  Both sides have asked the Court for summary judgment, which means judgment in one party’s favor without a trial.  The Court has scheduled a hearing on those motions for November 2021. 

  

 Disability Law Center v. Davis County 

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

Filed: May 2019 

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 in 2017 to Davis County seeking their jail standards and audits. When the county refused to provide them, we sued in state court along with the Disability Law Center (“DLC”).  

Update: After an initial ruling that required the County release a certain portion of the standards to the ACLU and the DLC, a trial took place around whether the remainder of the standards were protected from disclosure by copyright law. In a first-of-its-kind in Utah ruling, in March 2021 the Court decided that government entities must provide copyrighted records upon request subject to fair use rules. The Court then ordered Davis County to provide records to the ACLU and the DLC subject to a review for safety-related information. 

  

 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: The case is currently in fact discovery. 

  

 Ramirez v. Reddish 

Issue: Illegal entry (4th Amendment) 

Filed: February 2018 

ACLU lead: John Mejia, Legal Director 

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

Background: We sued members of a joint state-federal task force (including U.S. Marshals, 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: Trial is set for February 2022. 

  

 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 in federal court, alleging that the County violated plaintiffs’ rights by serving plaintiffs with a so-called “gang injunction” that immediately criminalized many protected activities. The district court ruled that the County violated plaintiffs’ due process rights and allowed other claims to go to trial. 

Update: The case is awaiting trial. 

 

 Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission v. San Juan County 

Issue: Voting Rights 

Filed: 2016 

ACLU lead: John Mejia, Legal Director 

Co-counsel: DLA Piper and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law 

Background: After San Juan County switched to primarily mail-in ballots in 2016, the ACLU sued to reverse the decision based on adverse impacts on Navajo voters. A 2018 settlement agreement ended the lawsuit and required the county to provide meaningful and effective language assistance and expand in-person voting access for Navajo voters. 

Update: The Court approved the ACLU of Utah’s request to extend the settlement agreement to provide equal access and language services to San Juan County voters through 2024. 

 

Track current lawsuits on our website: www.acluutah.org/legal-work