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Hoffman v. Jacobi

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division

October 24, 2014

DESTINY HOFFMAN, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
JEROME JACOBI, et al., Defendants.

ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO SEVER

SARAH EVANS BARKER, District Judge.

This cause is before the Court on the motion [Docket No. 45] of Defendants Danielle Grissett, Stephen Mason, Henry Ford, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden, and the Clark County Board of Commissioners ("the Clark County Defendants") to sever the claims of Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint, which motion the Defendants filed on July 1, 2014 pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 21. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is DENIED without prejudice.

Background

Plaintiffs are a group of current or former criminal defendants in the Circuit Courts of Clark County, Indiana, many of whom also participated in Clark County's Drug Court program. Defendants are the following officials of the Clark County courts or other employees of the county government:

• Judge Jerome Jacobi is an elected Circuit Court judge, who presides over Clark Circuit Court 2 (formerly Clark Superior Court II); he was also, at the time in which the alleged misconduct occurred, the presiding judge of the Clark County Drug Court.[1] Am. Compl. at ¶ 27.
• Susan Knoebel was a probation officer serving in Clark Circuit Court 2, and she also served as the Clark County Drug Court supervisor, "responsible for the daily operation and administration of the drug court. Id. at ¶¶ 28, 43.
• Jeremy Snelling was the court bailiff for Clark Circuit Court 2 who also served on the drug court committee responsible for the administration of the Clark County Drug Court. Id. at ¶¶ 29, 44.
• Josh Seybold was a "case manager" in the Clark County Drug Court, whom Plaintiffs assert was responsible for the "management of Drug Court participants." Id. at ¶ 34.
• Henry Ford was the chief probation officer of Clark County-and Susan Knoebel's supervisor. Id. at ¶ 30.
• Danielle Grissett was the director of the county's work release program. Id. at ¶ 32.
• Stephen Mason, the Executive Director of Clark County Community Corrections, oversaw the work release program and served as Grissett's supervisor. Id. at ¶ 33.
• Danny Rodden was the Sheriff of Clark County, responsible for the county's law enforcement operations and the administration of the Clark County Jail. Id. at ¶ 31.
• Lastly, the Clark County Board of Commissioners is the governing body of the county, with ultimate supervisory authority, Plaintiffs assert, over the drug court, the circuit courts, the probation department, the Sheriff's department, the drug court advisory committee, the work release program, and Clark County Community Corrections, among other county agencies. Id. at 37.[2]

The "Clark County Defendants"-the commonly-represented group of Defendants that have brought the present motion-are Danielle Grissett, Stephen Mason, Henry Ford, Sheriff ...


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