In 2004, our daughter Courtney Bisbee, was falsely accused by one teenager, of an alleged sexual "touching" incident while in a room of teenagers. The crime never happened. The story was made up by her teenage accuser’s mom in a scheme to sue a school district for money. Her own son, and the prosecution’s star witness, would sign a sworn affidavit admitting his mother forced him to lie about this.

Days after the alleged incident, Courtney was arrested at her home with no arrest warrant in Scottsdale, AZ. There was no due process, no investigation and Courtney was held NON-bondable for 66 days. All based on a false accusation. (Note: the National Exoneration Registry, 2012 data shows 74% of the exonerees convicted of child molest were falsely accused/perjury).

On January 18, 2006, she was wrongfully convicted of child molestation of then 13-year-old Jonathan Valles at a Bench trial (no jury) in this “he said, she said” case - there was no physical evidence against her. She was sentenced to 11 years flat time, no early release, and sex offender registry upon release.

After Courtney's conviction, Nik Valles, who was the prosecution’s star witness and older brother of her accuser, (and in the room at the time of the alleged incident) came forward and admitted in a sworn affidavit that the accusation against Courtney was concocted by their mother Janette Sloan. She forced them to lie and testify against Courtney as part of a plan to sue Paradise Valley Unified School District.

Courtney was convicted and sentenced, under then Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas who refused to consider the new evidence of Nik Valles’ recantation to avoid having to admit that his office made a mistake and convicted an innocent woman. Thomas was disbarred in 2012 after being charged with 32 alleged ethics violations on another case.

Courtney has maintained her innocence from the beginning and filed her Writ of Habeas, "actual innocence" claims, in the U.S. District Court of Arizona, 2013. But Arizona’s Attorney General Tom Horne and Maricopa County Prosecutor Bill Montgomery have done nothing to help this new evidence come to light and free Courtney.

Courtney's new and exculpatory evidence exists: proof of her innocence and a scam for money came forward, which they refused to hear in an Arizona Court: (1) Courtney passed a polygraph test. (2) The prosecution’s star witness, older brother, Nik Valles recanted his trial testimony. (3) The accuser’s one-time girlfriend, came forward in a deposition to say that Jonathan told her, on numerous occasions that "nothing happened". (4) Other witnesses, acquaintances of Jonathan Valles, who did not know Courtney, came forward to say, that Courtney did not do anything wrong.

Still, prosecutors have refused to hear this new and exculpatory evidence.

In our long fight to save our daughter, we’ve sold our home, Courtney’s home, and used much of our retirement savings to pay for mounting legal expenses. We need your help.

Please sign our petition asking Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Maricopa County Prosecutor Bill Montgomery, and Governor Doug Ducey to do everything in their power to right this wrong, in this travesty of justice done to Courtney Bisbee.


Veterans who were used in chemical and biological testing from 1922 to 1975 have filed a class action lawsuit against the U. S. Army. If they are successful, the Army will have to explain to anyone who was used in testing exactly what substances they were given and any known risks. The Army would also have to provide those veterans with health care for any illnesses that result, in whole or in part, from the testing. The law firm representing the veterans estimates at least 70,000 troops were used in the testing, including World War II veterans exposed to mustard gas. In June, an appeals court ruled in favor of the veterans. The Army has filed for a rehearing. For more information, visit the website and the Morrison Foerster website at

For more on veteran benefits, visit the Benefits Center.




Dolan v. Connolly, No. 14-2561
In an inmate's lawsuit alleging that defendants retaliated against him for his actions as a member of the prison Inmate Liaison Committee (ILC), in violation of 42 U.S.C. section 1983 and 1985(3), the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's section 1983 claim is reversed where voicing inmate grievances as a member of the ILC constitutes constitutionally protected conduct.


US ex rel. Keshner v. Nursing Personnel Home Care, No. 14-251
In a False Claims Act (FCA) case alleging fraudulent medical billing practices, the district court's grant of attorney's fees to plaintiff pursuant to the FCA's attorneys' fee provision is affirmed where defendant waived its present challenge to time entries in plaintiff's fee petition by failing to raise this objection before the district court.


Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, No. 14-3845
In a putative class action against law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Tower Legal Staffing, Inc. for violations of the overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. sections 201 et seq. (FLSA), arising out of plaintiff's work as a contract attorney in North Carolina, the district court's dismissal of the action is vacated where, although state not federal law informs FLSA's definition of "practice of law", and North Carolina has the greatest interest in this litigation, the district court erred in its conclusion that by undertaking the document review plaintiff was allegedly hired to conduct, plaintiff was necessarily "practicing law" within the meaning of North Carolina law.


Laurent v. PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP, No. 14-1179
In a lawsuit against an accounting company and its retirement plan, alleging that the plan violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the district court's denial of defendants' motion to dismiss is affirmed where the plan's definition of "normal retirement age" as five years of service violates the statute not because five years of service is not an "age" but because it bears no plausible relation to "normal retirement."

Department of Justice seal

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights

The Department of Justice published revised final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for title II (State and local government services) and title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities) on September 15, 2010, in the Federal Register. These requirements, or rules, clarify and refine issues that have arisen over the past 20 years and contain new, and updated, requirements, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards).


This publication provides guidance on the term “service animal” and the service animal provisions in the Department’s new regulations.

  • Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA.
  • A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
  • Generally, title II and title III entities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go.

How “Service Animal” Is Defined

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act.

Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general’s office.

Where Service Animals Are Allowed

Under the ADA, State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go. For example, in a hospital it would be inappropriate to exclude a service animal from areas such as patient rooms, clinics, cafeterias, or examination rooms. However, it may be appropriate to exclude a service animal from operating rooms or burn units where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment.

Service Animals Must Be Under Control

Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

Inquiries, Exclusions, Charges, and Other Specific Rules Related to Service Animals

  • When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
  • Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dog dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, for example, in a school classroom or at a homeless shelter, they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.
  • A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal’s presence.
  • Establishments that sell or prepare food must allow service animals in public areas even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises.
  • People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be isolated from other patrons, treated less favorably than other patrons, or charged fees that are not charged to other patrons without animals. In addition, if a business requires a deposit or fee to be paid by patrons with pets, it must waive the charge for service animals.
  • If a business such as a hotel normally charges guests for damage that they cause, a customer with a disability may also be charged for damage caused by himself or his service animal.
  • Staff are not required to provide care or food for a service animal.

Miniature Horses

In addition to the provisions about service dogs, the Department’s revised ADA regulations have a new, separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. (Miniature horses generally range in height from 24 inches to 34 inches measured to the shoulders and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.) Entities covered by the ADA must modify their policies to permit miniature horses where reasonable. The regulations set out four assessment factors to assist entities in determining whether miniature horses can be accommodated in their facility. The assessment factors are (1) whether the miniature horse is housebroken; (2) whether the miniature horse is under the owner’s control; (3) whether the facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size, and weight; and (4) whether the miniature horse’s presence will not compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility.

For more information about the ADA, please visit our website or call our toll-free number.

ADA Website

To receive e-mail notifications when new ADA information is available,

visit the ADA Website’s home page and click the link near the top of the middle column.

ADA Information Line

800-514-0301 (Voice) and 800-514-0383 (TTY)

24 hours a day to order publications by mail.

M-W, F 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Th 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

to speak with an ADA Specialist. All calls are confidential.

For persons with disabilities, this publication is available in alternate formats.

Duplication of this document is encouraged. July 2011

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