University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Snow v. Lambert CJ-LA-0002
Docket / Court Civ. 15-567-SDD-RLB ( M.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Special Collection Criminalization of poverty
Attorney Organization Equal Justice Under Law
Case Summary
On August 25, 2015, a woman jailed for her failure to pay an automatically set bail filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Middle District of Louisiana. The plaintiff sued Ascension Parish under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. § 2201. The plaintiff, represented by attorneys ... read more >
On August 25, 2015, a woman jailed for her failure to pay an automatically set bail filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Middle District of Louisiana. The plaintiff sued Ascension Parish under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. § 2201. The plaintiff, represented by attorneys from the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center and Equal Justice Under Law, asked the court for injunctive and declaratory relief. Those who cannot pay an automatic bail amount are kept in jail for up to three days before a judicial hearing in which they can have a individually tailored bail set. In some cases, including this case, the court does not allow the defendant to obtain an individualized bail.

On August 25, 2015, the plaintiff filed for class certification. While referred to as a class action lawsuit in other documents, the motion was never acted on before the close of the case.

On August 26, 2015, the plaintiff filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the defendant. On August 27, 2015, the District Court (Judge Shelly D. Dick) granted the motion, ordering the release of the plaintiff from jail subject to a non-monetary, unsecured bond.

On September 2, 2015, both parties filed a joint motion for a settlement agreement and dismissal. The defendant agreed to create a new policy to handle misdemeanor arrestees. The defendant agreed to not hold misdemeanor arrestees in jail due to an unaffordable monetary bond. On September 3, 2015, the Court approved the settlement.

Carolyn Weltman - 09/27/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Poverty/homelessness
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Ascension Parish
Plaintiff Description A woman jailed for her failure to pay an automatically set bail
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Equal Justice Under Law
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Links Philadelphia Forfeiture
http://ij.org/case/philadelphia-forfeiture/
By: Institute for Justice (Institute for Justice)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
3:15-cv-567 (M.D. La.) 09/03/2015
CJ-LA-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/25/2015
CJ-LA-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Ruling and Order on Motion for Temporary Restraining Order 08/27/2015 (2015 WL 5071981) (M.D. La.)
CJ-LA-0002-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 09/03/2015
CJ-LA-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Dick, Shelly Deckert (M.D. La.)
CJ-LA-0002-0002 | CJ-LA-0002-0003 | CJ-LA-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Foley, Eric Andrew (Louisiana)
CJ-LA-0002-0001 | CJ-LA-0002-0003 | CJ-LA-0002-9000
Karakatsanis, Alec (District of Columbia)
CJ-LA-0002-0001 | CJ-LA-0002-0003 | CJ-LA-0002-9000
Quigley, William Patrick (Louisiana)
CJ-LA-0002-0001 | CJ-LA-0002-0003 | CJ-LA-0002-9000
Schwartzmann, Katie M (Louisiana)
CJ-LA-0002-0001 | CJ-LA-0002-0003 | CJ-LA-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Sanders, David Glen (Louisiana)
CJ-LA-0002-0003 | CJ-LA-0002-9000
Schroeder, Lloyd Frederick II (Louisiana)
CJ-LA-0002-0003 | CJ-LA-0002-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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