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Case Name Martinez v. City of Dodge City CJ-KS-0002
Docket / Court 2:15-cv-09344 ( D. Kan. )
State/Territory Kansas
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Special Collection Fines/Fees/Bail Reform (Criminalization of poverty)
Attorney Organization Equal Justice Under Law
Case Summary
On October 21, 2015, an arrestee filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. The plaintiff sued Dodge City and Ford County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff alleged that the Dodge City's wealth-based post-arrest detention scheme violated the Due ... read more >
On October 21, 2015, an arrestee filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. The plaintiff sued Dodge City and Ford County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff alleged that the Dodge City's wealth-based post-arrest detention scheme violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiff sought injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and a declaratory judgment that the City's wealth-based detention practices were unlawful.

The plaintiff, a Native American citizen of Dodge City, was arrested and held at the Ford County Jail because he could not pay $250 to the City of Dodge City. In Dodge City, arrestees faced two different outcomes depending on their wealth status: Wealthy arrestees paid an amount set by the bail schedule and were not held in jail, while poor arrestees were put in jail for 48 hours because they could not afford to pay the City's pre-determined bail for their offense. Bail amounts ranged from $250-$2500. Under the City's scheme, the sole criterion for determining whether a pretrial arrestee walked free or sat in jail was the amount of money that he had. The plaintiff alleged that this policy and practice of using a fixed "bail schedule" to determine the amount of money necessary to secure post-arrest release and the practice of requiring cash up-front to avoid post-arrest detention violated the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses.

The plaintiff sought to certify a class on behalf of himself and all other arrestees unable to pay for their release pursuant to Dodge City's fixed bail schedule who were, are, or who will become in the custody of Dodge City. On November 25, 2015 and on February 24, 2016, the court (Judge Teresa J. James) granted motions to stay all proceedings to allow the parties to explore a non-litigation resolution.

On April 22, 2016, the parties submitted a joint motion for entry of final declaratory and injunctive relief and joint stipulation of dismissal with prejudice. On April 26, 2016, the court (Judge Daniel D. Crabtree) issued a declaratory judgment, stating that persons cannot, consistently with the Equal Protection Clause, be held in custody after a non-warrant arrest because they are too poor to post a monetary bond. It also entered an injunction, ordering the release of individuals arrested for non-warrant arrests in Dodge City for violation of municipal ordinances on Own Recognizance Bonds without further conditions of release and without requiring posting any monetary bond. The court dismissed the plaintiff’s motion for class certification, motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, and remaining claims with prejudice. The court retained jurisdiction to enforce the injunction, but the case appears closed otherwise. 2016 WL 9051913.

Rachel June-Graber - 11/02/2015
Julie Singer - 02/27/2017
Keagan Potts - 03/19/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Bail/Bond
Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Poverty/homelessness
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) City of Dodge City
Ford County
Plaintiff Description The plaintiff is a private citizen of Dodge City, Kansas.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Equal Justice Under Law
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2016 - n/a
Filing Year 2015
Case Closing Year 2016
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Docket(s)
2:15−cv−09344−DDC−TJJ (D. Kan.)
CJ-KS-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/26/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
CJ-KS-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/21/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreement to Settle all Equitable Claims [ECF# 23]
CJ-KS-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/22/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Judgment [ECF# 24] (2016 WL 9051913) (D. Kan.)
CJ-KS-0002-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/26/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Crabtree, Daniel Dale (D. Kan.) show/hide docs
CJ-KS-0002-0003 | CJ-KS-0002-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Antosh, Peter J. (Kansas) show/hide docs
CJ-KS-0002-0001 | CJ-KS-0002-0002 | CJ-KS-0002-9000
Hubbard, Katherine (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
CJ-KS-0002-0001 | CJ-KS-0002-0002 | CJ-KS-0002-9000
Telfeyan, Phil (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
CJ-KS-0002-0001 | CJ-KS-0002-0002 | CJ-KS-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Crouse, Toby (Kansas) show/hide docs
CJ-KS-0002-9000
Henson, D. Keith (Missouri) show/hide docs
CJ-KS-0002-0002 | CJ-KS-0002-9000
Pigg, J. Steven (Kansas) show/hide docs
CJ-KS-0002-0002 | CJ-KS-0002-9000

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