University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name McBride v. Michigan Department of Corrections PC-MI-0036
Docket / Court 2:15-cv-11222 ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
On March 31, 2015, three prisoner-plaintiffs filed this class action lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), alleging that MDOC was discriminating against them and other deaf and hard of hearing prisoners. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District ... read more >
On March 31, 2015, three prisoner-plaintiffs filed this class action lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), alleging that MDOC was discriminating against them and other deaf and hard of hearing prisoners. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and was assigned to Judge Sean Cox. Plaintiffs were represented by Michigan Protection and Advocacy, the Washington Lawyers' Committee and private counsel.

Plaintiffs alleged that MDOC consistently failed to provide them with effective communication, depriving them of full participation in prison programs, services and activities including visitation, religious activities, and disciplinary and parole proceedings. They also alleged that since they couldn't hear the orders given them, they were sometimes unable to obey prison regulations and were then unfairly disciplined. Plaintiffs alleged that this treatment violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. They also alleged that the absence of devices enabling them to communicate with their families and others violated their Free Speech rights under the First Amendment.

Defendants sought summary judgment on May 1, 2015, and that motion is pending as of Sept. 4, 2015.

Sarah Prout - 09/04/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Hearing impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Michigan Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are three deaf or hard of hearing prisoners who allege systemic violation of their civil rights, on their behalf and those similarly situated, for the Michigan Department of Corrections failure to provide necessary assistance to insure deaf prisoners can effectively communicate.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Washington Lawyers' Committee
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
2:15−cv−11222−SFC−DRG (E.D. Mich.) 09/15/2015
PC-MI-0036-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Michigan Department of Corrections Facing Class Action Disability Lawsuit 03/31/2015
PC-MI-0036-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 03/31/2015
PC-MI-0036-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Cox, Sean Francis (E.D. Mich.)
PC-MI-0036-9000
Grand, David R. (E.D. Mich.) [Magistrate]
PC-MI-0036-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bartenstein, Stephen Curtis (District of Columbia)
PC-MI-0036-0002 | PC-MI-0036-9000
Davis, Chris E. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0036-0002 | PC-MI-0036-9000
Golden, Deborah Maxine (District of Columbia)
PC-MI-0036-0002
Hegreness, Matthew J. (District of Columbia)
PC-MI-0036-0002
Lazerow, Andrew D. (District of Columbia)
PC-MI-0036-0002 | PC-MI-0036-9000
Mincberg, Elliot M. (District of Columbia)
PC-MI-0036-0002
Singer, Abraham (Michigan)
PC-MI-0036-0002 | PC-MI-0036-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Govorchin, A. Peter (Michigan)
PC-MI-0036-9000
Grant, Gary L. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0036-9000
Jenkins, Robert J. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0036-9000
Long, James E. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0036-9000
Miller, Jeanmarie (Michigan)
PC-MI-0036-9000
Soros, Allen J. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0036-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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