Case Update

Spring 2008

Roe v. Planned Parenthood (Ohio)—Civil action for damages and injunctive relief filed against PP for performing abortion on fourteen-year-old girl in violation of Ohio law. Claims on behalf of girl and parents include violation of parental notice and consent statutes, informed consent statute, and law requiring reports in cases of suspected child abuse. PP’s motion to dismiss four of the claims was overruled, and PP unsuccessfully appealed that decision. Plaintiffs proceeded with discovery seeking redacted records of abortion on other minors. PP objected, but court ruled that records must be produced. PP appealed that decision and Supreme Court reversed trial court. Victory! Petition for rehearing in the Ohio Supreme Court accepted.

Logsdon v. Hains (Ohio)—Federal civil rights lawsuit for damages filed against two Cincinnati police officers for arresting sidewalk counselor at abortion clinic without probable cause. Lower court dismissed based on qualified immunity, but Sixth Circuit reversed, holding that a prudent officer would listen to witnesses on both sides, rather than only listening to clinic employee and telling pro-lifers to tell it to the jury. Case remanded for further proceedings in trial court.

Buchinger v. Santa Barbara City College—Pro-lifers arrested for remaining on campus and engaging in free speech activity. Complaint filed, motion to dismiss granted. Ninth Circuit affirmed dismissal.

Moreno v. Los Gatos (Calif.)—Pro-lifers arrested for picketing and distributing literature on public sidewalk outside high school. Police told them they had to stay 1,000 feet from the school. No charges filed. Complaint for civil rights violation filed. Town has agreed to permanent injunction and payment of attorney fees. Ninth Circuit ruled that Plaintiffs are also entitled to statutory damages under state law.

Rader v. Akins (Calif.)—Pro lifers forcibly removed from quad area at Riverside Community College. Civil rights action filed. Victory! Case settled for monetary damages and attorney fees.

Fairbanks v. Planned Parenthood (Ohio)—Lawsuit filed alleging that PP violated Ohio law by their failure to report the sexual abuse of minors. The suit alleges that Fairbanks was brought to PP by her father, who had been sexually assaulting her since she was thirteen. He sought an abortion for his daughter at PP to cover up the sexual abuse and resulting pregnancy. Although minor attempted to tell PP personnel of abuse, they ignored her and failed to report, allowing abuse to continue.

Jackson Mississippi v. Weimer (Miss.)—Pro-life picketer convicted of local sign ordinance violation. Appeal pending.

Sonora College v. Lord (Calif.)—Pro-lifers arrested for trespass on public college campus after complaints from pro-abort. Trial is set for April 28, 2008.

St. John Church in the Wilderness v. Scott (Colo.)—Pro-lifers who picket church with abortion ties enjoined from demonstrating on all sidewalks in the vicinity of the church, because signs upset churchgoers. LLDF filed amicus brief in support of pro per defendants appeal. Decision pending.

Aurora, Illinois—Multi-pronged attack on Planned Parenthood for lying its way to open an abortion “Mega-Mill” in Aurora, the fastest-growing city in Illinois. Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, recently wrote her supporters that Aurora now represents “‘Ground Zero’ in the national fight to protect reproductive freedom.” Four different lawsuits attack Planned Parenthood and compliant city officials for defamation, fraud, violation of municipal zoning regulations, and civil rights violations. Lawyers from the various pro-life organizations involved see this as an opportunity not only to prevent the operation of this suburban Dachau, but to achieve a breakthrough in municipal and zoning law as it relates to abortion providers.

North Carolina v. Survivors—Pro-lifers arrested at A-B Tech College for not complying with unconstitutional permit requirement. Trial set for April 15, 2008.

Hoye v. Oakland—Challenge to Oakland “Bubble Zone” law. Challenge filed Dec. 19, 2007. Victory! On Dec. 20, court told city to amend ordinance or have it enjoined. City amended ordinance and a second challenge is being prepared.

Roethisberger v. Gwinnet County Georgia—Driver of Truth Truck arrested and jailed. Charges dismissed. Civil suit pending.

Colorado v. Wiechec—Pro-lifer attacked by police officer when serving lawsuit. Pro-lifer charged with Disturbing the Peace and Failure to Obey an Officer. Victory! Charges dismissed.

Flagstaff, Arizona v. Shaver et al.—Three pro-lifers cited for violating a residential picketing ordinance while picketing an abortionist’s home. Criminal charges pending. Abortionist also sought restraining  order to keep pro-lifers away from her home ANDwork, i.e., Planned Parenthood. Victory! after a hearing, the court modified the TRO, dissolving the order keeping them away from the clinic. Just days later, the pro-lifers saved a baby at the Planned Parenthood clinic.

In re Grand Jury, Sedgwick County, Kansas—Pro-lifers petitioned for grand jury to investigate possible criminal activity by late-term abortionist George Tiller, including illegal late-term abortions, record-keeping violations, and failure to comply with laws mandating reporting of suspected abuse. Tiller attempted to quash seating of grand jury; pro-lifers, represented by LLDF attorneys, intervened to uphold right of petitioners. Kansas Supreme Court denied Tiller’s petition. Grand jury is now seated, and has subpoenaed documents. Tiller is seeking to have subpoenas quashed.

Vivian Skovgard v. Pedro (Ohio)—Civil action arising from unlawful arrests of two sidewalk counselors.

Colorado v. Joanne Cox (Colo.)—Sidewalk counselor charged with two incidents of violating Bubble Zone ordinance. Discovery reveals that, in at least one incident, the “victims” were Planned Parenthood employees posing as patients. Trial court judge recused himself because he had represented abortionists Warren Hern and his wife worked for Planned Parenthood. Case awaits assignment of new judge and new trial date.

Blythe v. Cypress College (Calif.)—Civil action for false arrest and violation of free speech rights against college and administrator who arrested pro-lifers for failure to confine their activities to “free speech area” that was in remote area of campus.

In Re Watters (Calif.)—Family of patient with severe brain stem hemorrhage which rendered the patient in a near comatose state was concerned feeding tube and other life-sustaining treatment would be stopped by medical care providers who insisted the patient would die in the hospital. After an LLDF associated attorney intervened it was determined that the patient’s feeding tube would remain.

Loebker v. John Doe (Ohio)—Long-time picketer’s signs were intentionally run over by angry motorist. Suit for damages.

Condit v. John Doe (Ohio)—Pro-abortion driver attempt to run over picketer. Lawsuit pending.