Legal Question in Discrimination Law in Indiana

Convicted Felon (and family) Discrimination

My daughter and I were discriminated against when trying to become members of the Girl Scouts of America because I am a convicted felon. They did not want me or my daughter to be members and my daughter was even called a murderer (She was only 7 at the time). Not only did this happen twice from two separate Girl Scout Troops, but the Unit Representatives are aware that it happened and did nothing to resolve this. Do I have any rights in this matter and what can I do about it legally? My conviction was the result of a plea bargain that I chose to accept for killing my husband after being beaten for hours by him. It was clearly a case of self defense but I did not want my children to think that it was ok to kill someone so I wanted to take full responsibility for what I did. The judge even stated in the sentencing that had I chose to go to a trial I would have been acquitted.

Asked on 1/27/99, 12:17 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Jonathan Schiff Self employed

Re: Convicted Felon (and family) Discrimination

I don't know about discrimination. But there may be some other issues. One thing I advise you to do is to sit down with whatever handbook they have that spells out admission criteria. Considering the usual classifications, race, sex, gender, disability, I don't think your situation meets any of these. But they may be violating their own rules. Plus, I would be interested to know about this comment accusing your daughter of being a murderer. Depending on when and in what context this occurred that could be actionable.

I am sorry to give you vague answers. I am not particularly knowlegable in this area, but as there weren't yet other responses, I thought I'd at least give you something to think about.

Jonathan Schiff

Self employed

605 Rose Hill Ave

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Answered on 1/30/99, 1:03 pm
Harold M. Weiner Coles & Weiner, P.C.

Re: Convicted Felon (and family) Discrimination

I can't believe it. Why not in New York? I cannot

handle a case in any other state and am slathering

to get at these sanctimonious people. There are a number of routes that come to mind....Violation of

public policy, if you have a relief from civil disabilities in your jurisdiction and have availed yourself of it... what about considering the argument that to uphold this rule where the child is innocent of all wrongdoing is the same as making her birth certificate a bill of attainder, if you can find enough involvement with the Government to make the Girl Scouts' actions " state action"?.Get the ACLU involved in it in your locale. This is a travesty, not a tragedy. Don't let up on them until she is in and has twenty five merit badges. I won't buy another cookie from them until I hear that she has been accepted; and you ought to post this message on all Scouting BBS's and websites. It is an outrage.

Harold M. Weiner

Coles & Weiner, P.C.


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Answered on 1/30/99, 7:04 pm

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