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Case Name Smith v. Aroostook County JC-ME-0007
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-00352 ( D. Me. )
State/Territory Maine
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On September 6, 2018, a female prisoner at Aroostook County Jail filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Maine. Represented by the ACLU of Maine and by private counsel, the plaintiff sued Aroostook County and its sheriff under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the Americans ... read more >
On September 6, 2018, a female prisoner at Aroostook County Jail filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Maine. Represented by the ACLU of Maine and by private counsel, the plaintiff sued Aroostook County and its sheriff under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The plaintiff suffered from opioid use disorder. For ten years, her doctor treated her disorder with medication-assisted treatment (MAT). After pleading guilty in a criminal case, the plaintiff was sentenced to 40 days in Aroostook County Jail. While detained in Aroostook County Jail, the plaintiff was prohibited from receiving her MAT medications due to the jail’s policy banning prisoners from using MAT. The plaintiff experienced a similar denial of her MAT medications when she was detained in York County Jail. The plaintiff accused the jail of violating her Eighth Amendment rights because of their deliberate indifference to her serious medical need and asserted that the jail’s refusal to make reasonable accommodations for her disability was in violation of the ADA. The plaintiff sought damages and declaratory and injunctive relief requiring the jail to provide her with necessary medical care and prevent further suffering. The case was assigned to Judge Nancy Torresen.

The plaintiff moved for a preliminary injunction to prevent the jail from further denial of the plaintiff’s necessary medical treatment for her opioid use disorder. Both parties submitted additional briefs to support their claims in support and opposition of the plaintiff’s motion, and the case moved on to discovery. On February 7, 2019, the plaintiff filed a motion to conditionally consolidate the preliminary injunction hearing with the trial on the merits. Discovery continued as both parties determined who would testify at trial. On March 27, 2019, the court granted the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction and ordered the jail to provide the plaintiff with the necessary medications for her treatment. 376 F. Supp. 3d 146. But the court denied the plaintiff’s motion to consolidate the preliminary injunction hearing with trial.

The jail appealed. The First Circuit Court of Appeals denied a stay of the district court’s order and affirmed the preliminary injunction on April 30, 2019. 922 F.3d 41. The lawsuit returned to the district court, where a jury trial was scheduled for August 2019. However, the plaintiff moved on June 12, 2019 to dismiss her claims: the county, apparently in an effort to comply with the preliminary injunction without violating its non-MAT policy, had moved in the plaintiff’s sentencing court for a reduction of sentence. The state court reduced her sentence to a $100 fine, entirely eliminating her jail sentence, and thereby rendered her claims in this case moot. In her motion to dismiss, the plaintiff asked the court to retain jurisdiction to rule on a motion for attorneys’ fees.

The court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims on June 18, 2019. The plaintiff filed a motion for attorneys’ fees and costs on June 19, but later retracted the motion after settling with the county for $175,000 in attorneys’ fees.

The case is closed.

Kimberly Goshey - 06/14/2019
Bogyung Lim - 08/09/2020

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Conditions of confinement
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Medical/Mental Health
Medication, administration of
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Aroostook County
Plaintiff Description Detainee at Aroostook County Jail with an opioid use disorder.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
Reduction of Sentence
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filed 09/06/2018
Case Closing Year 2019
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Smith v. Aroostook County
Date: Apr. 30, 2019
By: American Civil Liberties Union
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

1:18-cv-352 (D. Me.)
JC-ME-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/07/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
JC-ME-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/06/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 116] (2019 WL 1387684) (D. Me.)
JC-ME-0007-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/27/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 48] (922 F.3d 41)
JC-ME-0007-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/30/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Withdrawal of Motion Pursuant to Settlement Agreement [ECF# 158 (& 158-1)]
JC-ME-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/19/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Howard, Jeffrey R. (First Circuit) show/hide docs
Kayatta, William Joseph Jr. (First Circuit) show/hide docs
Lynch, Sandra Lea (First Circuit) show/hide docs
Torresen, Nancy (D. Me.) show/hide docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bond, Emma E. (Maine) show/hide docs
JC-ME-0007-0004 | JC-ME-0007-9000
Heiden, Zachary L. (Maine) show/hide docs
JC-ME-0007-0004 | JC-ME-0007-9000
Mancuso, Peter G. (Maine) show/hide docs
JC-ME-0007-0001 | JC-ME-0007-0004 | JC-ME-0007-9000
Monteleone, James G. (Maine) show/hide docs
JC-ME-0007-0004 | JC-ME-0007-9000
Shur, Bernstein (Maine) show/hide docs
Soley, David (Maine) show/hide docs
JC-ME-0007-0004 | JC-ME-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Marchesi, Peter T. (Maine) show/hide docs
Shaffer, Cassandra S. (Maine) show/hide docs
Other Lawyers Axler, Adam W. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Goloskie, Joel K. (Rhode Island) show/hide docs
Herzog, Peter F. (Maine) show/hide docs
Leland, Brett R. (Maine) show/hide docs
McCrone, Colette L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
O'Meara, Richard L. (Maine) show/hide docs
JC-ME-0007-9000 | JC-ME-0007-9000
Sklamberg, Howard R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Thomson, Meagan L. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs

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