Georgia Court Apologizes to Sikh Man for Denying Entrance

April 20, 2006

Source: Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund

On April 20, 2006 Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund reported, "The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) thanks Judge Helen Harper of Laurens County, Georgia, for offering an apology to Tarun Singh Kataria, a Sikh American male, who was denied entry to the court due to its 'no hats' policy. Additionally, the court instituted a formal written change to its security policy regarding religious head coverings which explicitly mentions Sikh Americans. SALDEF intervened in the case on behalf of Mr. Kataria when in August 2005 he arrived at the Lauren’s County Probate Court to contest a traffic violation, and was asked by the court security to remove his turban due to the court’s 'no-hat' policy. Mr. Kataria refused to remove his religiously mandated turban and was prevented from entering the court building, and thus denied his constitutional right to defend himself in a court of law."