On Saturday, December 30, 2023, The Courier reported that former magistrate Kimberly Edelstein had filed a second lawsuit against another county judge. Edelstein has had a long legal battle dating back to 2017 when she first sued Butler County Judge Greg Stephens for religious discrimination and defamation after being fired from her position.
Edelstein, who is Jewish, had requested time off for religious holidays in October 2016 which resulted in her termination just two days later. She alleged that Stephens provided false statements about her to the unemployment agency and made negative comments to sabotage future employment prospects. After years of litigation, a jury in February 2023 sided with Edelstein and awarded her over $1 million in damages for violations of her First Amendment rights.
While the ruling against Judge Stephens provided some relief, Edelstein’s legal issues were not over. The stress of the situation led to the end of her marriage, with her husband abandoning the family in 2022. Unable to find work in Ohio, she relocated with her son to Indianapolis for better access to their Jewish faith. It was then that her ex-husband filed for divorce in Hamilton County.
Edelstein’s new lawsuit alleges that Hamilton County Family Court Judge Anne Flottman overseeing the divorce has also violated her First Amendment rights through some visitation orders falling on Jewish holidays. Edelstein contends her son’s father physically and emotionally abused them. With her son now suddenly taken from her custody by Flottman’s emergency order, Edelstein faces an uncertain future as she awaits a ruling on the case.
Source: The Courier