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Case Name White v. Hesse CJ-OK-0005
Docket / Court 5:19-cv-01145-R ( W.D. Okla. )
State/Territory Oklahoma
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Special Collection Fines/Fees/Bail Reform (Criminalization of poverty)
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
On December 10, 2019, a group of arrestees detained by Canadian County who have a financial condition of release that they cannot afford and was set without the presence of counsel and the NAACP of Oklahoma, on behalf of its members, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western ... read more >
On December 10, 2019, a group of arrestees detained by Canadian County who have a financial condition of release that they cannot afford and was set without the presence of counsel and the NAACP of Oklahoma, on behalf of its members, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. The plaintiffs sued the Canadian County District Court 26th Judicial District and the Special District Judges who oversee and implement the Bail Setting Policy under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 42 U.S.C. § 12131, et seq., and 29 U.S.C. § 794.

The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU Disability Rights Program, the ACLU of Oklahoma, and private counsel sought declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, they claimed that the Bail Setting Policy—which imposed bail without making any inquiry into an arrestee’s ability to pay and solely based decisions on amounts set forth in a published bail schedule—constituted wealth-based discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses, a failure to provide counsel at a critical stage in violation of the Sixth Amendment, and violated both procedural and substantive due process. Additionally, the plaintiffs claimed that the policy violated the First Amendment by failing to provide the public with access to bail determinations. The plaintiffs with disabilities also alleged that by administering a bail policy that does not take into consideration an individual’s disability and does not provide the modifications or effective communication services the defendants discriminated on the basis of disability in violation of Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The same day, plaintiffs requested to certify a class and a subclass for arrestees with a disability who were subject to the same bail policy.

The case was originally assigned to Judge David L. Russell, but was reassigned to the newly commissioned Judge Jodi W. Dishman on December 24, 2019.

On January 22, 2020, defendant Canadian County District Court moved to dismiss all claims arguing that it is not an entity capable of being sued because it is not a political subdivision and is not a “person” for purposes of § 1983, and even if it were, the plaintiffs failed to allege enough facts to state a claim under the ADA or Rehabilitation Act. The same day, the District Judge and Special Judge defendants also moved to dismiss the plaintiffs' complaint because it failed to state a claim and because the judges are entitled to absolute judicial and legislative immunity. Additionally, they argued that Younger abstention counsels against the court hearing the case because of the potential interference with state court proceedings.

The plaintiffs filed their responses to the defendants' motions to dismiss on February 12, and defendants filed their replies on February 19. The case is ongoing.

Claire Shimberg - 05/02/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Assistance of counsel (6th Amendment)
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Equal Protection
Excessive bail/fines
Freedom of speech/association
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Bail/Bond
Courts
Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond
Reasonable Modifications
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Canadian County District Court 26th Judicial District
Canadian County State Judges
Plaintiff Description Arrestees who are detained by Canadian County, for whom a secured financial condition of release has been set, without the presence of counsel, and who cannot afford the amount necessary for release on the secured money bail.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
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
Filed 12/10/2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
5:19-cv-1145 (W.D. Okla.)
CJ-OK-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/04/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1 (& 1-1 to 1-3)]
CJ-OK-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/10/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Dishman, Jodi Warmbrod (W.D. Okla.) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Box, Tyler C. (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-9000
Brennan-Krohn, Zoe (California) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-0001 | CJ-OK-0005-9000
Buskey, Brandon (New York) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-0001 | CJ-OK-0005-9000
Carter, Twyla (New York) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-0001 | CJ-OK-0005-9000
Cohen, Laura B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-0001 | CJ-OK-0005-9000
Cook, Marta P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-0001 | CJ-OK-0005-9000
Curtis, Clayburn T. (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-9000
Johnson, J. Blake (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-9000
Kiesel, Ryan (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-0001 | CJ-OK-0005-9000
Lambert, Megan E. (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-0001 | CJ-OK-0005-9000
Lewis, Aaron M. (California) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-0001 | CJ-OK-0005-9000
Redman, Michael C. (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-0001 | CJ-OK-0005-9000
Trigg, Amia L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-0001 | CJ-OK-0005-9000
Watts, Weston O. (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-9000
Williams, Justin R. (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Lawson, Stefanie E. (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-9000
Moore, Erin (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-9000
Pederson, Devan (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
CJ-OK-0005-9000

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