University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Banks v. Booth JC-DC-0015
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-00849 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: 1,600-plus detainees at the D.C. jail and its adjacent custodial treatment facility sought immediate relief due to the risk of COVID-19. The plaintiffs seek the release of nearly 100 individuals sentenced for misdemeanors, immediate appointment of an expert to recommend further ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: 1,600-plus detainees at the D.C. jail and its adjacent custodial treatment facility sought immediate relief due to the risk of COVID-19. The plaintiffs seek the release of nearly 100 individuals sentenced for misdemeanors, immediate appointment of an expert to recommend further releases, and the implementation of 18 precautionary measures in the D.C. Jail. On June 18, the district court granted the preliminary injunction in part but refused to order releases. On July 16, the defendants moved to vacate the preliminary injunction, which the court denied on January 26. The defendants appealed to the D.C. Circuit.


In the final week of March 2020, the District of Columbia Department of Corrections (“DOC”) announced five COVID-19 cases from different units in its facilities. On March 30, 2020, individuals detained in D.C. jails filed this class action lawsuit on behalf of all such individuals in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Represented by the ACLU-DC and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, the plaintiffs challenged the DOC's response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the D.C. jail and sought immediate relief for all 1,600-plus individuals housed there. The plaintiffs filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 2241, and 2201, alleging that these conditions violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on "cruel and unusual punishment," and the plaintiffs' rights under the Fifth Amendment's due process clause. Among other allegations, the plaintiffs claimed that the DOC failed to provide soap or hand sanitizers for residents to clean hands, denied COVID-19 tests to residents with symptoms, and withheld adequate cleaning supplies.

The plaintiffs sought a temporary restraining order, injunctive relief, and/or writs of habeas corpus. In particular, the plaintiffs requested that the Court order the DOC to exercise its authority under the D.C. Council’s COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 to release individuals sentenced for misdemeanors, who number nearly 100. They asked the Court to immediately appoint an expert, require the defendants to immediately implement 18 new procedures that would bring the DOC in compliance with expert guidance, and appoint an independent monitor to ensure such compliance. At the same time as the filing of the complaint, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction.

On April 1, 2020, the court issued a minute order requiring the defendants to provide a list of the names of the approximately 94 persons who had been sentenced to misdemeanors and who defendants were considering for release; the number of people who had been tested for COVID-19 and a break-down of the identities of those individuals (such as inmates, visitors, etc.) and the results of those tests; the date on which defendants began testing people coming into the jails; the number and a breakdown of the results of COVID-19 tests which had been done on those who were incarcerated prior to the date on which defendants began testing all incoming inmates; all relevant written procedures and practices concerning COVID-19; and the process that was or would be put in place to allow legal counsel to communicate with their clients electronically or by other means.

On April 19, 2020, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly granted in part and denied in part the plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order. The court found that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits and suffer irreparable harm, but did not grant the totality of the relief requested. Specifically, the court did not order the release of any persons currently detained in DOC facilities. Instead, it ordered the defendants to ensure that the triage process associated with sick call requests on the non-quarantine units was expedited and reflected appropriate sensitivity to the wide variety of symptoms associated with COVID-19. The court also ordered the defendants to implement additional procedures and safeguards to follow medical recommendations, including social distancing practices, personal protective equipment distribution, and staff training.

During a teleconference on April 22, 2020, Plaintiffs indicated that they requested release of individuals under only the federal habeas statute, not under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

On April 15, 2020, the defendants moved to join the United States as a necessary party to the litigation. The United States also requested joinder, arguing that it had an interest in this case due to the potential for the release of persons who were under the authority of the United States Attorney General’s office. On May 1, 2020, the court granted the defendants' motion for joinder but with a limited interest in issues involving the release of persons under the plaintiffs' claims for writs of habeas corpus.

On May 15, the plaintiffs submitted an amended motion for preliminary injunction, as the number of positive COVID-19 cases increased from 5 to 180 since the initial motion. The plaintiffs claimed that although nearly a month has passed since the court's TRO, conditions remained substantially unchanged.

The Fraternal Order of Police for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections
Labor Committee submitted an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs on June 8.

On June 18, the district court granted the preliminary injunction in part, ordering the defendants to provide a detailed plan for the review and possible reduction of the DOC population by July 1. They further ordered the defendants to implement a medical care system that ensured care within 24 hours, social distancing, proper sanitation, non-punitive isolation, access to confidential legal calls, and increased testing for COVID-19. The court declined to appoint an expert or release detainees.

On July 16, the defendants filed a motion to alter and vacate the preliminary injunction, claiming that injunctive relief was no longer warranted as there had been no positive cases at the facilities since June 15, and conditions had been improved by the DOJ, curtailing the risks of COVID-19. The same day, the defendants appealed the preliminary injunction to the D.C. Circuit Court. The appeal was assigned USCA Case Number 20-5216 and was held in abeyance pending the district court's decision.

The plaintiffs opposed the defendants' motion to alter and vacate the preliminary injunction on August 14, arguing that there are additional positive cases and that expert opinion concludes that it is “gravely misguided and dangerous for the D.C. Jail to claim to have ‘halted’ or ‘stopped’ the spread of COVID-19.”

In September and October, the court ordered for amici curiae to provide oral reports to the judge on November 9 and file by written reports by December 11. In light of amicus curiae to be filed, the plaintiffs moved to file a supplemental brief in response to defendants' motion. The court granted the plaintiffs' motion and ordered both parties to file supplemental briefs by December 18.

On January 26, 2021, the Court denied the defendants' motion to alter and vacate the preliminary injunction. 2021 WL 260112. In its opinion, the court noted appreciation for the defendants' efforts to improve facility conditions, but stated that the defendants "have not established a significant or controlling change" in sick call, social distancing, health and environmental safety procedures, confidential legal calls, and testing procedures. The court further noted that "many of these improvements appear to be in response to the issues raised in earlier TRO and PI proceedings."

On February 3, the defendants filed a second notice of appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court and the appeal was assigned USCA Case Number 21-5033. On February 19, the two appeals (20-5216 and 21-5033) were consolidated. This case is ongoing.

Elena Malik - 05/13/2020
Averyn Lee - 09/22/2020
Chandler Hart-McGonigle - 11/16/2020
Zofia Peach - 02/24/2021


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
COVID-19
Mitigation Granted
Mitigation Requested
Release Denied
Release Requested
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Visiting
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Defendant(s) District of Columbia Department of Corrections
United States
Plaintiff Description All persons confined or to be confined in the D.C. Department of Corrections (“DOC”) Central Detention Facility or Correctional Treatment Facility, including as subclasses: (i) persons confined pre-trial, and (ii) persons confined pursuant to a judgment of conviction.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2020 - n/a
Filed 03/30/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Banks v. Booth - Challenging Life-Threatening Lack of COVID-19 Precautions at the D.C Jail
ACLU of DC
Date: March 30, 2020
By: ACLU
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
D.D.C.
02/22/2021
1:20-cv-00849
JC-DC-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D.D.C.
04/19/2002
Report Submitted by Amicus Curiae Pursuant to April 9, 2020 Consent Order [ECF# 100-1]
JC-DC-0015-0031.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
03/30/2020
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Petition for Writs of Habeas Corpus [ECF# 1 (& 1-1 to 1-4)]
JC-DC-0015-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
03/30/2020
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification and Appointment of Class Counsel [ECF# 3 (& 3-1 to 3-3)]
JC-DC-0015-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
03/30/2020
Application for a Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 5 (& 5-1 to 5-4)]
JC-DC-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
03/30/2020
Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 6 (& 6-1 to 6-3)]
JC-DC-0015-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/01/2020
Notice in Response to the Court's April 1, 2020 Order [ECF# 19 (& 19-1 to 19-6)]
JC-DC-0015-0013.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/02/2020
Notice in Response to the Court's April 1, 2020 Order [ECF# 20, 20-1, 20-2]
JC-DC-0015-0014.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/02/2020
Second Notice in Response to the Court's April 1, 2020 Order [ECF# 21, 21-1, 21-2]
JC-DC-0015-0015.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/02/2020
Motion of the Fraternal Order of Police for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections Labor Committee for Leave to Submit an Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 23 (& 23-1 to 23-11)]
JC-DC-0015-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/03/2020
Emergency Motion to convert April 6, 2020 Status Conference Into Merits Hearing on Plaintiffs' Application for a Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 24, 24-1, 24-2]
JC-DC-0015-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/03/2020
Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Application for a Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 25 (& 25-1 to 25-4)]
JC-DC-0015-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/04/2020
Reply Brief in Support of Application for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 26 (& 26-1 to 26-7)]
JC-DC-0015-0008.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/06/2020
Supplemental Declaration of J. Michael Hannon, Esq. [ECF# 29 (& 29-1 to 29-7)]
JC-DC-0015-0010.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/06/2020
Notice Regarding Additional COVID-19 Cases in DOC Custody [ECF# 31]
JC-DC-0015-0016.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/17/2020
Response by the United States to District of Columbia Defendants' Motion to Join the United States as a Necessary Party [ECF# 46]
JC-DC-0015-0017.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/19/2020
Report Submitted by Amicus Curiae Pursuant to April 9, 2020 Consent Order [ECF# 47, 47-1]
JC-DC-0015-0009.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/19/2020
Order [ECF# 48] (2020 WL 1914896)
JC-DC-0015-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/19/2020
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 49] (2020 WL 1914896)
JC-DC-0015-0012.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/20/2020
Order and Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 50, 51 (& 51-1, 51-2)] (459 F.Supp.3d 143)
JC-DC-0015-0019.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/20/2020
Order [ECF# 50]
JC-DC-0015-0021.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/20/2020
Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Join United States as a Necessary Party [ECF# 52]
JC-DC-0015-0020.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
05/01/2020
Order [ECF# 63]
JC-DC-0015-0024.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
05/01/2020
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 64] (2020 WL 2100978)
JC-DC-0015-0025.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
05/15/2020
Amended Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 70 (incl. 70-1 through 70-38; excl. 70-25 and 70-35)]
JC-DC-0015-0022.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
05/20/2020
Report Submitted by Amicus Curiae Pursuant to April 28, 2020 Consent Order [ECF# 100-4]
JC-DC-0015-0032.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
05/22/2020
Report Submitted by Amicus Curiae Pursuant to April 28, 2020 Consent Order [ECF# 77]
JC-DC-0015-0035.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
05/22/2020
Opposition by the United States to Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 80, 80-1, 80-2, 80-3]
JC-DC-0015-0023.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
05/26/2020
Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Amended Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (Part 1/2) [ECF# 82 (incl. 82-1 to 82-5)]
JC-DC-0015-0026.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
05/26/2020
Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Amended Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (Part 2/2) [ECF# 82-6 to 82-11]
JC-DC-0015-0027.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
05/29/2020
Reply Brief in Support of Amended Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 89 (incl. 89-1 to 89-9)]
JC-DC-0015-0028.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
06/08/2020
Fraternal Order of Police for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections Labor Committee's Memorandum of Points and Authorities as Amicus Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs [ECF# 98]
JC-DC-0015-0029.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
06/18/2020
Order and Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 99, 100, 100-2, 100-3] (2020 WL 3303006)
JC-DC-0015-0030.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
07/16/2020
Defendants' Motion to Alter and Vacate the Court's Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 105 (incl. 105-1 to 105-8)]
JC-DC-0015-0033.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
08/14/2020
Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Alter and Vacate the Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 116]
JC-DC-0015-0034.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
01/26/2021
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 143] (2021 WL 260112)
JC-DC-0015-0036.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
07/06/2021
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 1905090] (2021 WL 2800052)
JC-DC-0015-0037.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
show all people docs
Judges Kollar-Kotelly, Colleen (FISC, D.D.C.) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0011 | JC-DC-0015-0012 | JC-DC-0015-0019 | JC-DC-0015-0021 | JC-DC-0015-0024 | JC-DC-0015-0025 | JC-DC-0015-0030 | JC-DC-0015-0036 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Sentelle, David Bryan (W.D.N.C., D.C. Circuit) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0037
Plaintiff's Lawyers Anderson, Jonathan William (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0001 | JC-DC-0015-0002 | JC-DC-0015-0003 | JC-DC-0015-0004 | JC-DC-0015-0006 | JC-DC-0015-0008 | JC-DC-0015-0016 | JC-DC-0015-0020 | JC-DC-0015-0022 | JC-DC-0015-0028 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Cobb, Jenna Marie (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0001 | JC-DC-0015-0002 | JC-DC-0015-0003 | JC-DC-0015-0004 | JC-DC-0015-0006 | JC-DC-0015-0008 | JC-DC-0015-0016 | JC-DC-0015-0020 | JC-DC-0015-0022 | JC-DC-0015-0028 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Gants, Brendan B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0034 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Kreilkamp, Jacob S. (California) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0028 | JC-DC-0015-0034 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Kreisberg, Jeremy (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0028 | JC-DC-0015-0034 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Marcus, Steven D (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0001 | JC-DC-0015-0002 | JC-DC-0015-0003 | JC-DC-0015-0004 | JC-DC-0015-0006 | JC-DC-0015-0008 | JC-DC-0015-0016 | JC-DC-0015-0020 | JC-DC-0015-0022 | JC-DC-0015-0028 | JC-DC-0015-0034 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Meltzer, Jonathan S (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0028 | JC-DC-0015-0034 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Michelman, Scott (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0001 | JC-DC-0015-0002 | JC-DC-0015-0003 | JC-DC-0015-0004 | JC-DC-0015-0006 | JC-DC-0015-0008 | JC-DC-0015-0016 | JC-DC-0015-0020 | JC-DC-0015-0022 | JC-DC-0015-0028 | JC-DC-0015-0034 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Miller−Ziegler, Rachel G (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0028 | JC-DC-0015-0034 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Nicholas, Lauckland Alexander (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-9000
Perloff, Michael Krevans (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0001 | JC-DC-0015-0002 | JC-DC-0015-0003 | JC-DC-0015-0004 | JC-DC-0015-0006 | JC-DC-0015-0008 | JC-DC-0015-0016 | JC-DC-0015-0020 | JC-DC-0015-0022 | JC-DC-0015-0028 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Spitzer, Arthur (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0001 | JC-DC-0015-0002 | JC-DC-0015-0003 | JC-DC-0015-0004 | JC-DC-0015-0006 | JC-DC-0015-0008 | JC-DC-0015-0016 | JC-DC-0015-0020 | JC-DC-0015-0022 | JC-DC-0015-0028 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Amarillas, Fernando (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0007 | JC-DC-0015-0013 | JC-DC-0015-0014 | JC-DC-0015-0015 | JC-DC-0015-0026 | JC-DC-0015-0027 | JC-DC-0015-0033
Bluming, Micah Ian (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0007 | JC-DC-0015-0013 | JC-DC-0015-0014 | JC-DC-0015-0015 | JC-DC-0015-0026 | JC-DC-0015-0027 | JC-DC-0015-0033 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Disney, Pamela (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0007 | JC-DC-0015-0013 | JC-DC-0015-0014 | JC-DC-0015-0015 | JC-DC-0015-0026 | JC-DC-0015-0027 | JC-DC-0015-0033 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Jackson, Toni Michelle (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0007 | JC-DC-0015-0013 | JC-DC-0015-0014 | JC-DC-0015-0015 | JC-DC-0015-0026 | JC-DC-0015-0027 | JC-DC-0015-0033
Racine, Karl A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0007 | JC-DC-0015-0013 | JC-DC-0015-0014 | JC-DC-0015-0015 | JC-DC-0015-0026 | JC-DC-0015-0027 | JC-DC-0015-0033
Saindon, Andrew J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0007 | JC-DC-0015-0013 | JC-DC-0015-0014 | JC-DC-0015-0015 | JC-DC-0015-0026 | JC-DC-0015-0027 | JC-DC-0015-0033 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Other Lawyers Hannon, J. Michael (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0005 | JC-DC-0015-0010 | JC-DC-0015-0029 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Lopes, Grace Michele (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0009 | JC-DC-0015-0031 | JC-DC-0015-0032 | JC-DC-0015-0035 | JC-DC-0015-9000
Shea, Timothy J (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0017
Sherwin, Michael R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0023
Van Horn, Daniel F (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0017 | JC-DC-0015-0023
Walker, Johnny Hillary III (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-DC-0015-0017 | JC-DC-0015-0023 | JC-DC-0015-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -