Monday, April 11, 2016

Again, Senator Bobby Zirkin Holding Up Legislation.

Again this year, legislation supported by public interest law groups, including MDLC, passed the House and has not been voted on in Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. If you agree that Marylanders should have the help they need to enforce their Constitutional rights against government violations, please call or write the Committee Chairman, Senator Zirkin, immediately. Ask him to please personally support and call for a vote on HB 393/SB 362.
Also, if you are a constituent of Senator Michael Hough:, or Senator Justin Ready: 410-841-3683 /, please call their offices to tell them you are a constituent and support HB 393/SB 362.
(Find out who your representatives are at:
These bills allow state court judges to award reasonable attorney fees to a person who wins a suit against state or local government for violating the Maryland Constitution. The bills will help make it possible for people to find legal representation so they can enforce their rights. Such rights include voting, free speech, and due process.

Examples of recent cases affecting people with disabilities that involve claims under the Maryland Constitution:
  • Unlawful use of restraint in State facilities.
  • Denial of visitation or rehabilitative services in State facilities. 
  • Practices that violate known standards of care, such as:
    • failing to provide screening or risk assessments to separate individuals with histories as sexual aggressors from individuals with histories as sex abuse victims; 
    • failing to provide facilities that minimize the risk of suicide when such facilities house populations with known depressive and suicidal ideations; 
    • failing to screen staff in adolescent treatment facilities for criminal backgrounds.
  • Actions to defend the right of detained persons to be free from unconstitutional confinement due to their lack of competency.
  • Actions to advance the right of individuals with severe mental illness to be free from the established harm of prolonged periods of solitary confinement. 
HB 393/SB 362 increase access to justice, deter government agencies from violating peoples' rights, and ensure that Maryland Constitutional claims may be heard in Maryland courts by Maryland judges.

1 comment:

  1. Their mission is to create tangible personal inconvenience for the elusive common good.


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