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Case Name Ayo v. Dunn CJ-LA-0009
Docket / Court 3:17-cv-00526-SDD-EWD ( M.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Special Collection Fines/Fees/Bail Reform (Criminalization of poverty)
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On August 7, 2017, two residents of East Baton Rouge Parish filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs sued East Baton Rouge Parish and Rehabilitation Home Incarceration (RHI) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c), the ... read more >
On August 7, 2017, two residents of East Baton Rouge Parish filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs sued East Baton Rouge Parish and Rehabilitation Home Incarceration (RHI) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c), the Federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO), and state law. The case was assigned to Judge Shelly D. Dick. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center, sought monetary relief and attorneys’ fees and costs. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants had violated federal and state anti-racketeering law, Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment and their Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

According to the plaintiffs, RHI purported to provide pretrial supervision services and profited from individuals in East Baton Rouge Parish by requiring them to pay hundreds of dollars to RHI to be released from jail, effectively holding them for ransom. People awaiting trial before a criminal court were coerced into paying hundreds of dollars to companies before and after they were released from jail, even after paying bail. The complaint alleged that RHI turned pre-trial release into a for-profit concern that fueled wealth-based incarceration, harming low-income people who had not been convicted of a crime.

The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint adding the Sheriff of East Baton Rouge as a defendant on August 8, 2017. A few days later the plaintiffs filed a notice voluntarily dismissing East Baton Rouge Parish as a defendant. On September 27, 2017, the court approved the dismissal.

On October 27, 2017, the Sheriff of East Baton Rouge Parish filed a motion to dismiss all claims against him for failure to state a claim, arguing that even if the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights were violated, the alleged policy of the sheriff was not the “moving force” behind the alleged violations. In February 2018, RHI and its executive director also filed a motion to dismiss with similar arguments.

On June 5, 2018, Judge Dick granted the Sheriff’s motion to dismiss, finding that there was no plausible basis to support the conclusory allegations that the Sheriff was “in agreement” or part of a “scheme” with RHI. 2018 WL 2708752. Judge Dick also dismissed RHI's motion to dismiss on September 12, 2018, claiming, among other things, that Defendants utterly failed to brief the elements of both the federal and state RICO claims and failed to argue how the Complaint fails to state a claim, and the facts asserted in the complaint plausibly plead that RHI was the moving force behind the alleged constitutional violation. 2018 WL 4355199

The plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on June 12, 2019. This complaint replaced an individual plaintiff with another individual plaintiff and removed the Sheriff of East Baton Rouge Parish as a defendant.

On July 2, 2019, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss, claiming, among other things, that the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

The parties reached a settlement agreement-in-principle and notified the court on Dec 5, 2019 that they are currently finalizing the final written settlement agreement to conclude this matter. Upon receiving this notification, the court dismissed the case, stating that upon good cause shown within sixty days, the court will reopen the action if the settlement is not consummated.

The plaintiffs, having reached a confidential settlement agreement with the defendants on this case, moved to dismiss the case with prejudice on February 20, 2020. The court dismissed the case with prejudice on the same day.

Jake Parker - 06/12/2018
Bogyung Lim - 05/29/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Excessive bail/fines
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Bail/Bond
Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond
Funding
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Poverty/homelessness
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961 et seq.
State law
Defendant(s) East Baton Rouge Parish
Rehabilitation Home Incarceration
Plaintiff Description Two individuals in East Baton Rouge Parish who became trapped in a cycle of fees and debt through Rehabilitation Home Incarceration's "pre-trial supervision" services.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Southern Poverty Law Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filed 08/07/2017
Case Closing Year 2020
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Ayo v. Dunn
https://www.aclu.org/
Date: Aug. 7, 2017
By: ACLU
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:17-cv-526 (M.D. La.)
CJ-LA-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/12/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
CJ-LA-0009-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/07/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Last Amended Complaint [ECF# 2]
CJ-LA-0009-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/08/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Ruling [ECF# 61] (2018 WL 2708752) (M.D. La.)
CJ-LA-0009-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/05/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Ruling [ECF# 71] (2018 WL 4355199) (M.D. La.)
CJ-LA-0009-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/12/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint - Class Action Jury Demand [ECF# 100]
CJ-LA-0009-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/12/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Dick, Shelly Deckert (M.D. La.) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0009-0003 | CJ-LA-0009-0004 | CJ-LA-0009-9000
Wilder-Doomes, Erin Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0009-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Buskey, Brandon (New York) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0009-0001 | CJ-LA-0009-0002 | CJ-LA-0009-0005 | CJ-LA-0009-9000
Early, Emily (Georgia) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0009-0001 | CJ-LA-0009-0002 | CJ-LA-0009-0005 | CJ-LA-0009-9000
Hamilton, Bruce Warfield (Louisiana) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0009-0001 | CJ-LA-0009-0002 | CJ-LA-0009-0005 | CJ-LA-0009-9000
Wang, Ivy (Louisiana) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0009-0001 | CJ-LA-0009-0002 | CJ-LA-0009-0005 | CJ-LA-0009-9000
Zampierin, Sara (Alabama) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0009-0001 | CJ-LA-0009-0002 | CJ-LA-0009-0005 | CJ-LA-0009-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Adebamiji, Dele Akintade (Louisiana) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0009-9000
Johnston, Tara Lynn (Louisiana) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0009-9000
Lamothe, Alexandra Marie (Louisiana) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0009-9000

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