Orlando & Miami Criminal Lawyer
call for a free
consultation

Michigan Police Department Liable for Discrimination based on HIV Status

In 2012, Shalandra Jones was pulled over for a routine traffic stop in Dearborn, Michigan. The officer involved reported that he pulled the car over, in which Ms. Jones was a passenger, because the brake light was out. He reported smelling marijuana, and found a small amount, as well as several of Ms. Jones’ medications. Ms. Jones provided the officer with her marijuana medical card, which had expired, and, in response to his inquiries about her medications, told the officer that she had HIV.

After disclosing her HIV status, the officer was reported to have said that the police do not like people with HIV and that Ms. Jones should have disclosed her HIV status immediately, so he could have worn gloves for the search. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV is transmitted when certain bodily fluids – blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk – of a person living with HIV come into contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue of someone who does not have HIV. HIV cannot be spread through casual contact, cannot be spread through saliva, is not spread through the air, and does not live long outside the body.

Ms. Jones was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession; the charge was dismissed last year. In 2014, Ms. Jones filed suit against the city. On September 22, 2015, Ms. Jones settled her lawsuit with the city of Dearborn for $40,000.

HIV Disclosure Laws

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are many states with statutes requiring those living with HIV to share their HIV status with specific people. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which compiled a list of laws in place in 2008, state statutes requiring disclosure generally required those living with HIV to disclose their status to sexual partners and/or health care providers, such as physicians or dentists. There is no law that requires those living with HIV to disclose their HIV status to law enforcement officers.

Florida HIV Disclosure Law

According to Florida law, any person who knows that he or she has HIV, or any other sexually transmitted infection (STI) (such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis), and who has been informed that he or she may transmit the disease to another person during sexual intercourse, is required to inform his or her partner(s) of their HIV or STI status prior to having sexual intercourse.

Florida law includes no requirement to disclose HIV status, or diagnosis of any other STI, to anyone other than a sexual partner. There is no requirement to share HIV status with medical professionals or with law enforcement officers.

Disability Discrimination

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits state or local public entities, such as local police departments and law enforcement officers, from subjecting any qualified individual with a disability to discrimination. According to the statute, disability includes “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities,” and is specifically defined to include HIV, regardless of whether or not the person is experiencing symptoms. While officers may be entitled to take certain steps – such as making a stop or conducting a search – while dealing with the public, officers are not entitled to treat citizens differently on the basis of HIV status.

If you or your loved one has been stopped by the police and have questions about your treatment and your rights, contact the experienced Florida lawyers at The Baez Law Firm for a consultation today.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
Miami Office

Miami Office

40 SW 13th St, Suite 901
Miami, FL 33130
Office: 305-999-5100
Fax: 305-999-5111
Orlando Office

Orlando Office

23 South Osceola Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801
Office: 407-705-2626
Fax: 407-705-2625
Miami Office

Boston Office

6 Beacon Street, Suite 510
Boston, MA 02108
Office: 800-588-BAEZ
Orlando Office

Massachusetts Office

66 North 2nd Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
Office: 800-588-BAEZ

Email Us

Fields Marked * Are required

Captcha Image

DISCLAIMER: Completing and submitting this form or otherwise merely contacting The Baez Law Firm or any individual at the firm will not establish an attorney/client relationship. Our firm cannot represent you until we determine that there would be no conflict of interest and that we are otherwise able to accept representation of your case. Please do not send any information or documents until a formal attorney/client relationship has been established through an interview with an attorney and you have been given authorization in the form of an engagement letter with The Baez Law Firm. Any information or documents sent via this form or otherwise prior to your receipt of an engagement letter will not be treated as confidences, secrets, or protected information of any nature. Submitting information regarding your potential case will not bar The Baez Law Firm from representing or continuing to represent a person or entity whose interest are adverse to your in condition with your case.

DISCLAIMER: This website contains information about The Baez Law Firm that includes testimonial statements from persons who are familiar with the firm's services. The testimonials shown are not necessarily representative of every person's experience with us. Testimonials from every client are not provided. As no two situations or persons are identical, the facts and circumstances of your situation may differ from those for which testimonials are shown. This website also includes information about some of the past results that we have obtained for our clients. Not all results are provided, and the results shown are not necessarily representative of all results obtained by us. No two situation are exactly alike; every person's situation is unique and the outcome for each person depends on the individual facts.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2015 - 2017 Baez Law Firm. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab