University of Michigan Law School. Specifically, they stated that conditions such as double-bunking, lack of quarantine for sick individuals, insufficient protective equipment, lack of access to medical care, and failure to facilitate social distancing led to high infection rates.
Title ix policies, procedures, and investigations
On May 28,the plaintiffs filed a motion for a temporary restraining order TRO and preliminary injunction. The panel exclaimed that "the conscience of the court is not merely chocked, it is outraged" and entered detailed findings of fact along with an order that specified how to return the Jail to a suitable condition. As a result, the Wayne County Jail's population skyrocketed from an average of per day in to about 1, per day inmost of whom were detained because they could not afford bail.
The plaintiffs sought an immediate appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court with the support of several amici criminal justice organizations in Michigan and infectious disease and correctional health experts. The plaintiffs sought relief on behalf of a class of all those who had been, were, laws would be detained in the Wayne County Jail. The dating is ongoing as of October Issues and Causes of Action. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged overcrowded, unsanitary, and unsafe cell conditions, improper isolation cells, insufficient mental health wards, a lack of due process in jail discipline, especially when sending detainees to maximum security areas, a lack of recreational, educational, and training facilities, poor medical facilities and care, inadequate food services, and unconstitutional censorship.
Problems 65 [ Detail ] [ External Link ]. Case Details. Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse. Wayne County Sheriff. The court entered an order on June 17, that extended the stipulated temporary amendment provisions until September 30, On June 19,the court denied the plaintiffs' motion for a TRO Wayne preliminary injunction.
So far, the detainees have secured amendments to the longstanding consent decree that require the Jail to combat COVID, but the detainees' efforts to obtain a temporary restraining order as well have failed.
For example, the Inner-City Voice compared the Jail's cells to "tiger cages" used to hold prisoners in the Vietnam War. Eventually, detainees turned to the courts. The defendants, while not disputing the trial court's findings, argued that the trial court had exceeded its authority because the order violated the principle of the separation of powers. These included: A pregnant detainee suffering from shotgun wounds was ased a top bunk that she could not safely climb to, denied medical treatment when she fell, confined in a "hole" with no mattress, blanket, or water as punishment for setting a fire, and given only tranquilizers after she miscarried in the hole; and A detainee with a prosthetic leg that broke was denied medical attention and forced to repair it herself.
Lean on the side of caution
Complaint JC-MI Opinion and Order N. Order N. Anderson, Khary J. Applin, Amy S. The plaintiffs pointed to specific examples to illustrate the Jail's poor conditions.
But conditions remained poor. On July 26,the Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Walter Cynar found that the Circuit Court had the authority to appoint a receiver, that such appointment was appropriate, and that the judges did not err by not disqualifying themselves.
Kavanagh found that the trial court was authorized to enact such a specific order once it had been shown that the defendants had failed to meet their statutory duties. The Historical Case This case arose amid a backdrop of increasing public opposition to poor conditions at the Wayne County Jail.
The court Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny found that the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on the merits of their constitutional claims because the jail had ificantly reduced its population and its COVID policies were reasonable. Constitutional Clause. Detainees in the Wayne County Jail on behalf of a class of all past, present, and future detainees. Wayne County Jail Inmates v.
They sought a TRO, injunctive relief, and a writ of habeas corpus requiring the defendants to immediately release or transfer to home confinement all medically vulnerable detainees. On June 2, the court issued an order mandating that all new detainees be tested for COVID, both via nasal swab and antibodies at the time of booking.
Stipulated Temporary Amendment to the Consent Order. The panel also appointed a monitor to oversee the execution of its order. Inafter 15 years of monitoring and noncompliance, the Wayne County Circuit Court appointed the Wayne County Executive as the receiver of the jail, removing the Sheriff's control. In the s, Detroit implemented tough-on-crime measures including a stop-and-frisk ordinance and aggressive enforcement of loitering and disorderly conduct laws. Represented by Legal Services of Michigan, the plaintiffs alleged violations of the U.
Constitution and the Michigan Constitution, as well as state law. Additional Resources.
The court also held that the appointment of a monitor and the court's sua sponte der of additional defendants were appropriate. The Michigan Court of Appeals then denied the plaintiffs' application for leave to appeal on July The plaintiffs appealed yet again to the Michigan Supreme Court, which denied their application to appeal on August Justice Megan K. Cavanagh ed by Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack noted in a concurrence that the the trial court had already incorporated COVID-mitigation measures into the consent decree and explained that filing a show-cause motion in the circuit court was the proper way to remedy violations of a consent decree.
Opinion Michigan Court of Appeals N. Consolidated Consent Order and Settlement Agreement. Conditions deteriorated sharply. That led the parties to shift their litigation focus to this case; the federal case was stayed. Around the same time, local judges began to set drastically higher bail rates. The Sheriff moved for disqualification of the judge and the entire Wayne County Circuit Court bench, but that motion was denied. But the court rejected the plaintiffs' argument that confining people because they could not afford bail deprived them of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.
But on July 15,the Supreme Court denied a "bypass" an immediate appeal. Case Profile. The federal court suggested that the parties discuss whether relief could be sought in this state court litigation, since the defendants were already parties to the consent decree in this case. For more information on the facts leading to and informing the litigation, see here. First, it describes litigation dating from the s in which Wayne County Jail detainees sought better living conditions.
They also alleged that the Jail's failure to comply with Michigan building code, safety, and sanitation laws violated their substantive due process rights. Eventually, the County addressed some of the overcrowding problems by opening a new jail.
Inthe Sheriff acknowledged that the County had stopped performing maintenance on the jail inand eight detainees committed suicide over a month period between and They alleged that their continued confinement in the Jail exposed them to a serious risk of contracting COVID in violation of their Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Bythe jail population had risen to 1, even though Detroit's population had fallen bysince the lawsuit began.
After 13 months of lengthy hearings, a three-judge Wayne County Circuit Court panel found that the conditions at the jail were deplorable and violated the detainees' rights. A report from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency documented inhumane conditions that harmed detainees' physical and mental health, and local newspapers began to organize opposition to poor conditions in the Jail.