University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name In Re: J.B., L.H., L.S., R.P. JI-MD-0005
Docket / Court COA-MISC-0019-2019 ( State Court )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a suit filed to obtain the release of as many juvenile detainees in Maryland as possible, due to COVID-19. The court denied to enter all the requested relief on April 4, 2020, but stated that each judge needed to communicate with juvenile justice stakeholders to make ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a suit filed to obtain the release of as many juvenile detainees in Maryland as possible, due to COVID-19. The court denied to enter all the requested relief on April 4, 2020, but stated that each judge needed to communicate with juvenile justice stakeholders to make individualized release determinations. The case is now closed.


On April 2, 2020, four juvenile detainees filed this petition for immediate and extraordinary relief in the Appeals Court of Maryland. They were represented by the public defender's office. Petitioners requested that the court take action to release as many juvenile detainees as possible in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. Petitioners argued that because the only known method of arresting the spread of the illness was by increasing physical distances between people, it was imperative to lower the population of inmates in juvenile detention centers to stop the spread. By lowering the population, detention centers could therefore create more space within the centers to allow for increased social distancing. Petitioners requested that the court create a system by which they would automatically release some detainees based on age, offense, co-morbidities, and expression of symptoms. All other inmates would have an individualized assessment that examined flight risk and threat to the community. They also requested that courts adopt new rules that would lower the number of new inmates sent to juvenile detention centers.

Two days later the Appeals Court issued an order denying to enter all the relief requested, stating that an order from the Chief Judge would follow soon thereafter. Later that day, Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera did issue an order. While Judge Barbera's order was less robust than what petitioners had asked for, she instructed other judges to "communicate with juvenile justice system stakeholders" in order to figure out who should be released on an individualized basis. Factors to be considered included co-morbidities, expressions of symptoms, whether release posed a risk to the juvenile or others, and whether the inmate's release was "in the interest of justice."

The case is now closed.

Jack Hibbard - 07/13/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Juveniles
Sanitation / living conditions
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Mitigation Granted
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Appellate Court is initial court
Habeas
Causes of Action State law
Plaintiff Description Four inmates in Maryland juvenile detention centers
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Habeas relief
Filed 04/02/2020
Case Closing Year 2020
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
COA-MISC-0019-2019 (State Court of Appeals)
JI-MD-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/28/2020
General Documents
Application For Immediate And Extraordinary Relief: Brief of Petitioners
JI-MD-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/02/2020
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Corrected Order (2020 WL 1846895)
JI-MD-0005-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | External Link | Detail
Date: 04/10/2020
Source: State Court Website
Administrative Order Guiding the Response of the Circuit Courts Sitting as Juvenile Courts to the COVID-19 Emergency as it Relates to Those Juveniles who are Detained, Committed Pending Placement or in Commitments
JI-MD-0005-0003.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 04/13/2020
Source: State Court Website
show all people docs
Judges Barbera, Mary Ellen (State Appellate Court) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-0002 | JI-MD-0005-0003
Biran, Jonathan Court not on record show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-0002
Booth, Brynja M Court not on record show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-0002
Getty, Joseph M Court not on record show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-0002
Hotten, Michele D. Court not on record show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-0002
McDonald, Robert N Court not on record show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-0002
Watts, Shirley M Court not on record show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers DeWolfe, Paul (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-0001 | JI-MD-0005-9000
Egan, Jennifer L. (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-0001 | JI-MD-0005-9000
Pal, Nabanita (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-0001 | JI-MD-0005-9000
Saccenti, Brian Matthew (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
St. Jean, Deborah (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-0001 | JI-MD-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dudek, Joseph (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
McDonald, Michele Joan (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Stone, Victor D. (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Wolfgang, Kurt William (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Other Lawyers Bernhardt, Julia Doyle (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Curry, Timothy Michael (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Fraser, John W. (New York) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Gardner, Debra (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Jones, William Hambler (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Margulies, Adam Z. (New York) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Nathan, Stuart M. (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Pothier, Karl Aram (Maryland) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Scali, Mary Ann (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Shnider, Sherika Joy (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Stempel, Adam Lindbeck (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000
Yeung, Christopher (New York) show/hide docs
JI-MD-0005-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -