University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Johnson v. Jessup CJ-NC-0008
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-00467 ( M.D. N.C. )
State/Territory North Carolina
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Special Collection Fines/Fees/Bail Reform (Criminalization of poverty)
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On May 30, 2018, two low-income citizens facing permanent license revocation filed this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The case was assigned to Chief Judge Thomas D. Schroeder. The plaintiffs sued the commissioner of the North Carolina Division of ... read more >
On May 30, 2018, two low-income citizens facing permanent license revocation filed this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The case was assigned to Chief Judge Thomas D. Schroeder. The plaintiffs sued the commissioner of the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) under §1983 for alleged violations of Fourteenth Amendment Due Process. The plaintiff class was represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU of North Carolina.

The parties sought class action status for a statewide class of those whose driver’s licenses had been indefinitely revoked for failure to pay traffic tickets. The state's statute required automatic license revocation after 40 days after a court judgment and nonpayment of the traffic ticket. This affected hundreds of thousands of North Carolina residents. The class claimed the DMV’s enforcement of the statute failed to assess the plaintiffs’ abilities to pay or whether their non-payment was willful, because the DMV revoked licenses before conducting pre-deprivation hearings. The plaintiff class sought declaratory relief stating the North Carolina statute and the DMV’s enforcement was unconstitutional. They also sought to enjoin the DMV from revoking future licenses with a preliminary and permanent injunction, and to mandate the DMV to lift prior revocations. The plaintiffs requested to certify two classes of individuals: first, those in danger of having their licenses indefinitely revoked in the near future, and second, those who already had their licenses indefinitely revoked.

On August 7, 2018, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint that added two plaintiffs to the suit and a second motion for preliminary injunction. On August 21, 2018 the defendant filed an answer to the amended complaint and a motion for judgment on the pleadings.

As of October 2018, the case was ongoing. An initial pretrial conference was scheduled for December 17, 2018.

Hannah Basalone - 10/10/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Commissioner
Plaintiff Description A class of individuals whose driver's licenses will be revoked in the future and a class of individuals whose driver's licenses have been revoked without an inquiry into the individual's ability to pay.
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 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
1:18−cv−00467−TDS−LPA (M.D. N.C.)
CJ-NC-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/03/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
CJ-NC-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/30/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 35]
CJ-NC-0008-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/07/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Second Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 36]
CJ-NC-0008-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/07/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Second Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 38]
CJ-NC-0008-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/07/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Schroeder, Thomas D. (M.D. N.C.)
CJ-NC-0008-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Becker, Cristina M. (North Carolina)
CJ-NC-0008-0001 | CJ-NC-0008-0002 | CJ-NC-0008-0003 | CJ-NC-0008-0004 | CJ-NC-0008-9000
Brook, Christopher (North Carolina)
CJ-NC-0008-0001 | CJ-NC-0008-0002 | CJ-NC-0008-0003 | CJ-NC-0008-0004 | CJ-NC-0008-9000
Brooke, Samuel (Alabama)
CJ-NC-0008-0001 | CJ-NC-0008-0002 | CJ-NC-0008-0003 | CJ-NC-0008-0004 | CJ-NC-0008-9000
Choudhury, Nusrat Jahan (New York)
CJ-NC-0008-0001 | CJ-NC-0008-0002 | CJ-NC-0008-0003 | CJ-NC-0008-0004 | CJ-NC-0008-9000
Danjuma, R. Orion (California)
CJ-NC-0008-0001 | CJ-NC-0008-0002 | CJ-NC-0008-0003 | CJ-NC-0008-0004 | CJ-NC-0008-9000
Davis, Danielle E. (Alabama)
CJ-NC-0008-0001 | CJ-NC-0008-0002 | CJ-NC-0008-0003 | CJ-NC-0008-0004 | CJ-NC-0008-9000
Early, Emily C.R. (Alabama)
CJ-NC-0008-0001 | CJ-NC-0008-0002 | CJ-NC-0008-0003 | CJ-NC-0008-0004 | CJ-NC-0008-9000
Graunke, Kristi L. (Georgia)
CJ-NC-0008-0001 | CJ-NC-0008-0002 | CJ-NC-0008-0003 | CJ-NC-0008-0004 | CJ-NC-0008-9000
Loperfido, Jeffrey (North Carolina)
CJ-NC-0008-0001 | CJ-NC-0008-0002 | CJ-NC-0008-0003 | CJ-NC-0008-0004 | CJ-NC-0008-9000
Shah, Sneha M. (North Carolina)
CJ-NC-0008-0001 | CJ-NC-0008-0002 | CJ-NC-0008-0003 | CJ-NC-0008-0004 | CJ-NC-0008-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dalton, Neil C. (North Carolina)
CJ-NC-0008-9000
Hathcock, Kathryne E. (North Carolina)
CJ-NC-0008-9000
Matthews, Ann W. (North Carolina)
CJ-NC-0008-9000
Peters, Alexander Mcclure (North Carolina)
CJ-NC-0008-9000

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