On May 16, 2018 the ACLU of Utah filed a lawsuit on behalf of Dustin Porter and Steven Drollette (“Plaintiffs”) seeking damages and injunctive relief for a pattern of severe cruelty against them while they were incarcerated at the Daggett County Jail. In their complaints, the Plaintiffs describe being shocked with a Taser for guards’ entertainment, being attacked by police dogs, being physically assaulted, being threatened with a gun, and being denied medical and mental health care, among other instances of abuse. Plaintiffs contend that State and County employees and officials were aware of the longstanding pattern of brutality at the jail but failed to take preventative and corrective actions to keep them safe and protect their dignity. As a result, Plaintiffs suffered severe and traumatic injuries. News PRESS RELEASE: ACLU of Utah Sues Daggett County Jailers and State Corrections Officials Over Pattern of Abuse (5/16/18) Legal Documents Complaint (PDF) (5/16/18)
Immigrants' Rights; Racial Justice; Equal Protection - On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, the ACLU of Utah Foundation, Inc. announced a new lawsuit filed against United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S Marshals over two SWAT-style, home raids on a Utah family living in Heber City in April 2017. The ACLU of Utah is being joined in this lawsuit by the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, and Covington & Burling, LLP.
Equal Protection - On July 6, 2017, the ACLU of Utah, the law firm of Latham & Watkins, and the ACLU Disability Rights Program filed a lawsuit demanding a right to counsel for anyone who is to be put under guardianship. The lawsuit also challenges a 2016 Utah law, H.B. 101, that lowered legal counsel requirements for people with disabilities who are involved in guardianship disputes.
The ACLU of Utah, along with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU of Hawai’i, has filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) demanding government documents related to the chaotic on-the-ground implementation of President Trump’s executive orders related to foreign travel from multiple majority-Muslim nations.
Criminal Justice; Indigent Defense; Equal Protection - UPDATE: On Friday March 23, 2018 the federal district court dismissed the Remick v. Utah lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Utah and the law firm of Holland & Hart in June 2016. The ACLU of Utah is disappointed by the court’s decision, given that the same systemic problems in indigent defense described in the lawsuit continue to play themselves out every day for low-income people charged with crimes in Utah. The ACLU of Utah, together with co-counsel Holland & Hart, will continue efforts to ensure that everyone in Utah—no matter their income level—has access to effective legal counsel.