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Case Name Livas v. Myers PC-LA-0019
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-00422 ( W.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: Prisoners at Oakdale Federal Correctional Institution filed this putative class action lawsuit seeking immediate release of high risk inmates and a plan outlining mitigation efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the prison. On April 26, the court granted the defendants' ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: Prisoners at Oakdale Federal Correctional Institution filed this putative class action lawsuit seeking immediate release of high risk inmates and a plan outlining mitigation efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the prison. On April 26, the court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.


On April 6, 2020, the plaintiffs filed this putative class action lawsuit in United States District Court Western District of Louisiana seeking declaratory and injunctive relief and/or a writ of habeas corpus. The plaintiffs sued the warden of Oakdale Federal Correctional Institution and the Federal Bureau of Prisons Director under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (habeas corpus), 28 U.S.C. § 1651 (All Writs Act), and the Suspension Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiffs sought to certify a class of all current and future people held in post-conviction custody at Federal Correctional Complex-Oakdale (FCC Oakdale), including a subclass of persons who were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. They alleged that continued incarceration violated their Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The plaintiffs sought immediate release of all vulnerable subclass members, creation of a plan outlining mitigation efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for class members not immediately released, housing for any released class members who lacked a place to self isolate, and declaratory relief.

On April 10, 2020, the defendants provided information regarding the inmate review process at FCC Oakdale. They outlined ways in which they were addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, including the deployment of inmate orderlies on a 24-hour basis to disinfect all facilities after use. The defendants also asserted that they were continuing to consider the use of compassionate release for appropriate inmates. The Bureau of Prisons Central Office recommended review for home confinement place for inmates who meet the following criteria:
1) Primary Offense is not violent;
2) Primary Offense is not sex offense;
3) Primary Offense is not terrorism;
4) No detainer;
5) Mental Health Care Level is less than IV;
6) PATTERN (BOP’s new risk and needs assessment tool) score is MIN;
7) BRAVO (BOP’s existing risk evaluation tool) score is LOW or MIN;
8) Completed at least 50% of their sentence; and
9) No Incident Reports in the past 12 months.
The defendants also asserted that they anticipated expanding the criteria for review.

On April 13, 2020, plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for a Temporary Restraining Order including requirements: that the defendant identify all medically vulnerable subclass members and that defendant present evident as to why they are challenging the release of the person; that the court immediately release all members that defendants did not make a required showing as to why they should not be released; that defendant provide all persons with educational resources on COVID-19; that defendants report weekly on the population of persons in Oakdale who are medically vulnerable; and a declaration that Oakdale's policies do not violate the Eighth Amendment.

On April 13, 2020, Magistrate Judge Kathleen Kay issued an order denying as moot the motion for the Temporary Restraining Order and granting the plaintiffs' motion for emergency consideration of their motion for preliminary injunction.

On April 15, 2020, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. The defendants argued that the court was barred from reviewing defendants' decisions regarding classification and placement of inmates, and that plaintiffs had failed to assert sufficient facts to show that their confinement was unlawful or that the defendants had acted with deliberate indifference.

On April 16, 2020, the defendants provided a second update regarding the prisoner review process at FCC Oakdale. They asserted that they continued to review individuals for release, preparing to release six prisoners. As of April 16, 2020, there were 32 active confirmed cases of COVID-19, fourteen prisoners who had recovered, and one death.

On April 17, 2020, defendants moved to stay consideration of class certification pending adjudication of their motion to dismiss, "to preserve resources and advance the interest of judicial economy."

On April 22, 2020, Judge Doughty granted defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, finding that it was outside of the court's purview to direct BOP how to classify its inmates and thus the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction.

As of April 26, the case is closed.

Cedar Hobbs - 07/17/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Suspension Clause
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Sanitation / living conditions
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Mitigation Requested
COVID-19 Release Requested
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Defendant(s) United States
United States
Plaintiff Description Inmates at Oakdale Federal Correctional Institute.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 04/06/2020
Case Closing Year 2020
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Livas v. Myers
www.aclu.org
Date: Apr. 13, 2020
By: ACLU
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:20-cv-00422 (W.D. La.)
PC-LA-0019-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/22/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Injunctive, and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1 (& 1-1 to 1-5)]
PC-LA-0019-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/06/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Minutes of Proceeding [ECF# 5]
PC-LA-0019-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/07/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
BOP’S COVID-19 Inmate Review Update [ECF# 8 (& 8-1 to 8-3)]
PC-LA-0019-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petitioners' Emergency Motion for Release of Vulnerable and Low-Risk Prisoners from Oakdale [ECF# 9 (& 9-1 to 9-16)]
PC-LA-0019-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order [ECF# 10] (W.D. La.)
PC-LA-0019-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Respondents' Motion to Dismiss and Memorandum in Support [ECF# 12, 12-1]
PC-LA-0019-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/15/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Respondents' Memorandum in Opposition to Petitioners' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 13 (& 13-1, 13-2)]
PC-LA-0019-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/15/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
BOP's Second COVID-19 Inmate Review Update [ECF# 14, 14-1]
PC-LA-0019-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/16/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Respondents' Motion to Stay Consideration of Class Certification Pending Adjudication of Respondents' Motion to Dismiss Petition and Emergency Motion and Memorandum in Support [ECF# 17]
PC-LA-0019-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/17/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petitioners' Opposition to Respondents' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject-Matter Jurisdiction [ECF# 19]
PC-LA-0019-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/20/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Ruling [ECF# 30] (2020 WL 1939583) (W.D. La.)
PC-LA-0019-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/22/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Doughty, Terry Alvin (W.D. La.) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0002 | PC-LA-0019-0005 | PC-LA-0019-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Arkles, Gabriel (New York) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0001 | PC-LA-0019-0004 | PC-LA-0019-0010
Brown, Meredith Taylor (New York) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0001 | PC-LA-0019-0004 | PC-LA-0019-0010
Buskey, Brandon (New York) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0001 | PC-LA-0019-0004 | PC-LA-0019-0010
Hamilton, Bruce Warfield (Louisiana) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0001 | PC-LA-0019-0004 | PC-LA-0019-0010 | PC-LA-0019-0011 | PC-LA-0019-9000
Koesterer, Hannah O (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0001 | PC-LA-0019-0004 | PC-LA-0019-0010
Luger, David (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0001 | PC-LA-0019-0004 | PC-LA-0019-0010 | PC-LA-0019-0011 | PC-LA-0019-9000
Meyer, Ryan J (Texas) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0001 | PC-LA-0019-0004
Schwartzmann, Katie M (Louisiana) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0001 | PC-LA-0019-0004 | PC-LA-0019-0010 | PC-LA-0019-0011 | PC-LA-0019-9000
Trivedi, Somil Bharat (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0001 | PC-LA-0019-0004 | PC-LA-0019-0010 | PC-LA-0019-9000
Wedekind, Jennifer A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0001 | PC-LA-0019-0004 | PC-LA-0019-0010 | PC-LA-0019-9000
Woods, Andrea (New York) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0001 | PC-LA-0019-0004 | PC-LA-0019-0010
Defendant's Lawyers Joseph, David C. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0008 | PC-LA-0019-0009
King, Karen J. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0003 | PC-LA-0019-0006 | PC-LA-0019-0007 | PC-LA-0019-0008 | PC-LA-0019-0009 | PC-LA-0019-9000
Vincent, Katherine (Louisiana) show/hide docs
PC-LA-0019-0003 | PC-LA-0019-0006 | PC-LA-0019-0007 | PC-LA-0019-0008 | PC-LA-0019-0009 | PC-LA-0019-9000

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