University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Dorn v. Michigan Department of Corrections PC-MI-0037
Docket / Court 1:15-cv-00359-PLM ( W.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Solitary confinement
Attorney Organization Lambda Legal
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On April 2, 2015, a HIV positive prisoner filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. The plaintiff sued under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988 against the ... read more >
On April 2, 2015, a HIV positive prisoner filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. The plaintiff sued under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988 against the Michigan Department of Corrections. The plaintiff, represented by Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service and by Lambda Legal, asked the court for declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant's enforced a policy regarding HIV-positive prisoners that disproportionately and unlawfully discriminated against prisoners living with HIV.

Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant's policy subjected him to drastically more severe punishment after allegedly engaging in sexual conduct with another prisoner. This punishment included an indefinite period of administrative segregation that ultimately lasted nearly one year; a heightened security classification; transfer to remote facilities in the Upper Peninsula; loss of a paid work assignment where he had substantial freedom and responsibility; loss of access to the law library, despite having an active pending appeal that he was pursuing pro se; loss of educational and religious programming, some of which factored into his parole determination; inability to access the telephone on a daily basis; and removal of personal property within his cell.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss. In response, on May 27, 2015, the plaintiff amended the complaint, so on June 1, 2015, Judge Paul L. Maloney denied the motion to dismiss as moot.

As of November 18, 2015, the case is ongoing.

Lakshmi Gopal - 10/06/2015
- 11/18/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Administrative segregation
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Law library access
Prison Rape Elimination Act
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Medical/Mental Health
HIV/AIDS
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Michigan Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description An HIV positive prisoner
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Lambda Legal
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
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)
1:15-cv-00359-PLM (W.D. Mich.) 07/22/2015
PC-MI-0037-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 04/02/2015
PC-MI-0037-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Money Damages 05/27/2015
PC-MI-0037-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order dismissing as moot defendant's (13) motion to dismiss 06/01/2015 (W.D. Mich.)
PC-MI-0037-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Maloney, Paul Lewis (W.D. Mich.)
PC-MI-0037-0002 | PC-MI-0037-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Davis, Chris E. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0037-0001 | PC-MI-0037-0003 | PC-MI-0037-9000
Palazzolo, Kyle A. (Illinois)
PC-MI-0037-0001 | PC-MI-0037-0003 | PC-MI-0037-9000
Schoettes, Scott A. (Illinois)
PC-MI-0037-0001 | PC-MI-0037-0003 | PC-MI-0037-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Schneider, Clifton B. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0037-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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