University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Brown v. Madison County PN-MS-0001
Docket / Court 3:17-cv-00347-WHB-LRA ( S.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On May 8, 2017, ten residents of Madison County filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiffs sued Madison County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, filing both class action-based and individual-based claims. The plaintiffs, represented by ... read more >
On May 8, 2017, ten residents of Madison County filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiffs sued Madison County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, filing both class action-based and individual-based claims. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center, sought declaratory and injunctive relief as well as monetary relief and attorneys’ fees. The case was assigned to District Judge William H. Barbour, Jr.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs pointed out that, although only 38% of Madison County residents were black, approximately 73% of arrests in Madison County between May and September 2016 were of black individuals. In essence, black individuals are nearly five times more likely to be arrested compared to white individuals. The plaintiffs claimed that, in implementing a coordinated top-down program of methodically targeting black individuals for suspicionless searches and seizures while they are driving their cars, walking in their neighborhoods, and even just spending time in their own homes, the defendants had violated the plaintiffs’ Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. This program included discriminatory practices in the use of vehicular roadblocks, pedestrian checkpoints, and warrantless and consentless searches of the homes of Black residents. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the defendants used excessive force, made unreasonable searches and seizures, and violated the plaintiffs’ right to equal protection.

In July 2017, the parties began discovery. In February 2018, the defendants filed two motions to dismiss the claims of two specific defendants for failure to prosecute, arguing that the two plaintiffs failed to respond to interrogatories, prejudicing the defendants.

In March and April 2018, the defendants filed seven different motions for summary judgment. These motions targeted the various claims of individual plaintiffs and some class action claims. In all of these motions, the defendants argued that none of the plaintiffs had evidence to support their claims of intentional racial discrimination. The defendants further alleged that some of the claims were time barred by the applicable statute of limitations.

On March 14, 2018, the plaintiffs filed a motion to certify three classes. The first, the targeting class, was defined as all black persons who presently or in the future will reside in or travel through Madison County. The second, the roadblock subclass, was defined as all black persons who travel or will travel by car through majority-black areas of Madison County. The third, the pedestrian stop subclass, was defined as all black persons who travel or will travel by foot in Madison County’s majority-black neighborhoods.

As of June 2018, the case is ongoing. The court has not yet ruled on any motions for summary judgment or the motion to certify class.

Jake Parker - 06/06/2018


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Excessive force
False arrest
Pattern or Practice
Racial profiling
Search policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1985
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Madison County
Plaintiff Description All Black persons who presently or in the future will reside in or travel through Madison County.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Southern Poverty Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
3:17-cv-00347-WHB-LRA (S.D. Miss.)
PN-MS-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/12/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Individual Damages [ECF# 1]
PN-MS-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Anderson, Linda Randle (S.D. Miss.) [Magistrate]
PN-MS-0001-9000
Barbour, William Henry Jr. (S.D. Miss.)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chan, Yukiu (New York)
PN-MS-0001-0001 | PN-MS-0001-9000
Choudhri, Nihara Karim (New York)
PN-MS-0001-0001 | PN-MS-0001-9000
Edwards, Flora (New York)
PN-MS-0001-0001
Edwards, Ezekiel (New York)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Gochman, Janet (New York)
PN-MS-0001-0001 | PN-MS-0001-9000
Jarrett, Brooke (New York)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Lee, Jumin (New York)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Rethy, Isaac (New York)
PN-MS-0001-0001 | PN-MS-0001-9000
Robinson, Jeffery (New York)
PN-MS-0001-0001
Shields, Christopher K. (New York)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Sivashanker, Kavitha Satya (New York)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Thomas, Landon P. (Mississippi)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Tom, Joshua F. (Mississippi)
PN-MS-0001-0001 | PN-MS-0001-9000
Wu, Paloma (Mississippi)
PN-MS-0001-0001 | PN-MS-0001-9000
Youngwood, Jonathan K. (New York)
PN-MS-0001-0001 | PN-MS-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cowan, Charles E. (Mississippi)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Cowan, Rebecca Barge (Mississippi)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Dare, Jason Edward (Mississippi)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Graves, James Earl Jr. (Mississippi)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Hester, J. Lawson (Mississippi)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Nobile, T. Russell (Mississippi)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Ross, Charles E. (Mississippi)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Snell, Katherine Bryant (Mississippi)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Wallace, Michael B. (Mississippi)
PN-MS-0001-9000
Other Lawyers Gault, William I. Jr. (Mississippi)
PN-MS-0001-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -