Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville family back in court fighting to get girl's support dog back

January 11, 2016
A Jacksonville family was back in court Monday hoping to get their dog back from the city.
     In August, the city of Jacksonville took the dog because of an ordinance banning pit bulls. Amanda Simmons says the dog, named Edith, is an emotional support animal for her daughter Ahmeah.
     Their attorney says taking the animal violates the Federal Fair Housing Act.
     Simmons says her daughter has gotten worse since the dog was taken away.

Lawsuit: Housing Authority won't translate documents

June 15, 2009
A growing population of immigrants and refugees is leading to increased conflict with public agencies over the translation of vital documents into Spanish and other languages.
     Advocates in the Hispanic community and people who help refugees say housing is especially difficult for people who don't speak English well.
     Case in point, they say, is a complaint against the Jacksonville Housing Authority by a woman who says it refused to translate documents.
     Her lawyers say the authority ignored specific federal instructions to do so and filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
     

One bus incident, two outlooks

July 12, 2004
One day last fall, a school bus driver unceremoniously dropped Zahra DiyaaAldeen, Karim Ahmadi and more than 20 other Muslim children, most of them Iraqis and Afghans, on a roadside miles from their homes.
     The bus company said the kids were shouting and stamping their feet on board. But 16-year-old Zahra, 14-year-old Karim and others say that they weren't doing anything disruptive and that only Muslim children, many in traditional dress, were forced off the bus. The driver picked out the Muslim students one by one, Zahra says.
     The children made it home safely. But in a cluster of low-income apartments on Jacksonville's east side, the incident has radically changed some lives and subtly altered others.

Legal Aid courts volunteer attorneys

January 12, 2004
Michael Figgins got a warm reception when he pled his case for more pro bono involvement before the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association. “Generally, when you say pro bono, two things happen: someone raises their hand or someone leaves the room, he said. “Generally, they leave the room.
     “I am continually grateful for the support from this organization, not only for your time, but your treasure as well.”
     Figgins refreshed some memories about the kind of work that qualifies for pro bono and the amount of work available through Legal Aid. He also renewed his pitch to younger lawyers to continue the tradition of helping those with the greatest needs.

Family loses suit over 1964 Fla. slaying

August 12, 2003
The children of a black woman slain nearly 40 years ago cannot bring a lawsuit now, a federal appeals court ruled, even though they did not learn of an alleged cover-up in the case until after the statute of limitations expired.
     On Monday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta refused to resurrect a civil rights lawsuit filed by Johnnie Mae Chappell's children, ruling there was no evidence that an alleged 1964 cover-up by white police officials prevented the family from suing before the deadline.
     The court called the death a "tragic" example of the damage done by racism but said, "we cannot find that the facts alleged here are sufficient to constitute a violation of the right of access to the courts."

Racist graffiti strikes mayoral election

May 13, 2003
The city that calls itself "The Bold New City of the South" was reminded of its troubled racial past when vandals spray painted racist graffiti on the campaign headquarters of a black mayoral candidate.
     It happened earlier this month, when similar graffiti also were discovered on the sign outside the office of a white Republican who supported the black Democratic candidate, Nat Glover.
     Glover and his opponent, John Peyton, have denounced the acts as hate crimes. Peyton has contributed to a reward fund to arrest those responsible.
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