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Case Name DeVooght v. City of Warren EE-MI-0201
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-10812-GCS-DRG ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: Female dispatchers are seeking a temporary restraining order banning their employer's (the City of Warren) policy that requires female dispatcher to conduct pat downs, and occasionally strip search, female arrestees without adequate protective gear. The plaintiffs alleged that ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: Female dispatchers are seeking a temporary restraining order banning their employer's (the City of Warren) policy that requires female dispatcher to conduct pat downs, and occasionally strip search, female arrestees without adequate protective gear. The plaintiffs alleged that they are being exposed to a heightened risk of COVID-19 solely because of their sex. No outcome yet.


On March 27, 2020, the six female dispatchers filed this lawsuit against their employer, the City of Warren, in the U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Michigan. The plaintiffs alleged that the City of Warren Police Department requires them, but not their male counterparts, to pat-down, and occasionally strip search, female arrestees without adequate protective gear. By requiring the plaintiffs to conduct these activities without adequate protective gear, the plaintiffs claimed that they were being exposed to to the risk of the COVID-19 virus at a considerable risk to their health. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs sued under § 1983 for violations of their 14th Amendment Equal Protection rights and under Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. They alleged that the unlawfully adverse conditions of employment have now placed them in dire and immediate danger. The plaintiffs also filed a claim with the EEOC alleging discrimination in violation of Title VII and anticipate amending the complaint once the EEOC has conducted its responsibility.

Immediately, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order that would require the defendants to end their policy of directing female dispatchers to perform custodial searches of female prisoners. They also sought protection from retaliation, and a detailed report showing Defendant's steps to ensure that no female dispatchers are required to conduct these searches again.

On April 1, the plaintiffs filed a supplemental notice of facts, informing the court that a City of Warren police officer had tested positive for COVID-19 and that nine other employees were in quarantine for possible exposure. They also documented their attempts to contact the defendants to secure protective measures themselves, which the defendants failed to respond to. The plaintiffs argued that this change of facts further demonstrated their need for the court to enter an order granting their emergency temporary restraining order and to provide injunctive relief.

The plaintiffs submitted an amended complaint on April 10, adding additional plaintiffs. On April 15, two of the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the complaints. On May 1, the defendants filed an answer to the amended complaint and the case is ongoing in the discovery process.

This case is ongoing.

Caitlin Kierum - 07/30/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Corrections
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-area
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) City of Warren
Plaintiff Description 6 female dispatchers employed by the City of Warren Police Department
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief Litigation
None yet
Filed 03/27/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
2:20-cv-10812 (E.D. Mich.)
EE-MI-0201-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/01/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Verified Complaint for Damages, Declaratory Judgment, Injunctive Relief and Jury Demand [ECF# 1]
EE-MI-0201-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief and Temporary Restraining Order and Brief in Support of Motion [ECF# 2 & 2-1]
EE-MI-0201-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Exhibit 1 of Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief and Temporary Restraining Order and Brief in Support of Motion [ECF# 2-2]
EE-MI-0201-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Exhibits 2 and 3 of Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief and Temporary Restraining Order and Brief in Support of Motion [ECF# 2-3, 2-4]
EE-MI-0201-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Exhibit 5 of Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief and Temporary Restraining Order and Brief in Support of Motion [ECF# 2-6]
EE-MI-0201-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Part 1/2 of Exhibit 4 of Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief and Temporary Restraining Order and Brief in Support of Motion [ECF# 2-5]
EE-MI-0201-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Part 2/2 of Exhibit 4 of Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief and Temporary Restraining Order and Brief in Support of Motion [ECF# 2-5]
EE-MI-0201-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supplemental Notice of Facts Supporting Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 9 & 9-1 to 9-4]
EE-MI-0201-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/01/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order Regarding DK#2 and Scheduling [ECF# 10] (E.D. Mich.)
EE-MI-0201-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/06/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Verified Complaint for Damages, Declaratory Judgment, Injunctive Relief and Jury Demand [ECF# 12]
EE-MI-0201-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant City of Warren's Answer to First Amended Verified Complaint (DK #12) [ECF# 15]
EE-MI-0201-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/01/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Grand, David R. (E.D. Mich.) show/hide docs
EE-MI-0201-9000
Steeh, George Caram III (E.D. Mich.) show/hide docs
EE-MI-0201-0009 | EE-MI-0201-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Carlson, Kevin M. (Michigan) show/hide docs
EE-MI-0201-0001 | EE-MI-0201-0002 | EE-MI-0201-0008 | EE-MI-0201-0010 | EE-MI-0201-9000
Pitt, Michael L. (Michigan) show/hide docs
EE-MI-0201-0001 | EE-MI-0201-0002 | EE-MI-0201-0008 | EE-MI-0201-0010 | EE-MI-0201-9000
Wagner, Robin Beth (Michigan) show/hide docs
EE-MI-0201-0001 | EE-MI-0201-0002 | EE-MI-0201-0008 | EE-MI-0201-0010 | EE-MI-0201-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Badalamenti, Raechel M. (Michigan) show/hide docs
EE-MI-0201-0011 | EE-MI-0201-9000
Roberts, Elizabeth P. (Michigan) show/hide docs
EE-MI-0201-9000

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