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Case Name Cameron v. Bouchard JC-MI-0011
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-10949-LVP-MJH ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU of Michigan
Advancement Project
Civil Rights Corps
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a habeas action brought on behalf of classes of pre-trial and post-trial detainees at the Oakland County Jail, seeking release in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiffs also sought an injunction that would require the defendants to take concrete steps towards ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a habeas action brought on behalf of classes of pre-trial and post-trial detainees at the Oakland County Jail, seeking release in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiffs also sought an injunction that would require the defendants to take concrete steps towards protecting those in the jail from COVID-19. On May 21, the judge conditionally certified the class and granted the preliminary injunction, requiring the jail to take certain safety and hygiene measures. This was reversed by the Sixth Circuit on July 9. The district court denied defendants' subsequent motion to dismiss the case and set discovery and settlement deadlines for summer 2021.


On April 17, 2020, classes of pre-trial and post-trial detainees filed this lawsuit against the sheriff of Oakland County and the Commander of Corrective Services of Oakland County. Represented by private counsel, the ACLU of Michigan, the Advancement Project, and the Civil Rights Corps, the petitioners sought writs of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Specifically, they alleged that defendants were violating their Eighth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights by continuing to confine them in the Oakland County Jail, exposing them to COVID-19.

Immediately, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and a motion to certify the class. The plaintiffs defined the class as all detainees of the Oakland County Jail during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was broken into three subclasses: (1) pre-trial subclass: detainees who had not been convicted, (2) post-conviction subclass: sentenced detainees, and (3) medically-vulnerable subclass: detainees over the age of fifty who also have underlying medical conditions that placed them at a particular risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19. The motion for a Temporary Restraining Order requested the release of the members of the medically-vulnerable subclass and asked for certain measures to improve the hygiene and safety at the jail.

That same day, Judge Linda V. Parker, who had been assigned to the case, entered an order granting the plaintiffs' motion for a Temporary Restraining Order only as to the request to improve hygiene and safety. 2020 WL 1929876. The order required:
  • provision, at no cost, of hand soap, paper towels, and disinfectant wipes or products;
  • access to hand sanitizer;
  • access to showers and clean laundry at a minimum weekly basis;
  • jail staff wear personal protective equipment when interacting with detainees or touching surfaces in cells or common areas;
  • establish a protocol to self-report COVID-19 symptoms;
  • conduct immediate testing for those displaying symptoms;
  • provide adequate spacing of six feet for social distancing;
  • ensure adequate medical care for individuals with symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 and quarantine those individuals in a non-punitive setting;
  • respond to COVID-19 related emergencies within an hour;
  • waive charges for medical grievances;
  • train all staff on COVID-19 detection and prevention;
  • cease and desist from punitive transfers or threats of transfers to areas of the jail with higher infection rates, and all other retaliation against concerns raised about the health and safety conditions in the jail.
The defendants filed a motion to dismiss on April 23, arguing that the plaintiffs had failed to exhaust available state remedies, that the PLRA precluded the release of inmates from the jail, and that the plaintiffs could not establish an underlying constitutional violation. The defendants also argued that the claims against Bouchard and Childs, in their official capacity, were redundant because the complaint made the same substantive claims against the county, and should be dismissed.

On May 1, Judge Parker extended the temporary restraining order for an additional fourteen days.

On May 21, Judge Parker entered an order granting the plaintiffs' motion for class certification, conditionally certifying the class as well as the three subclasses. 2020 WL 2569868. The order denied the defendants' motion to dismiss in all respects except that the Bouchard and Childs were dismissed as parties, and granted the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. The preliminary injunction required the defendants to provide access to cleaning products and access to masks, to establish better cleaning and sanitization protocols, to produce a plan for continued testing of all inmates for COVID-19, to allow for social distancing and proper quarantine measures for those with the virus, establish a policy suspending the use of multi-person cells wherever possible, and to provide a list of members in the medically-vulnerable subclass so that the court could implement a system for considering release.

The defendants appealed to Sixth Circuit and filed an emergency motion to stay on May 21. Simultaneously, the plaintiffs filed a motion for partial reconsideration, regarding the dismissal of Sheriff Bouchard. The court granted the motion for reconsideration, reinstating defendant Bouchard, on May 22. 2020 WL 2615740.

The district court began orchestrating the process for granting bail for members of the medically vulnerable subclass. In response, the defendants filed a renewed motion to stay, in light of the Sixth Circuit's decision to vacate a similar preliminary injunction in Wilson v. Williams.

On June 4, Judge Parker denied the defendants motion to stay the case pending appeal. 2020 WL 2988921. But on June 11, the Sixth Circuit granted the renewed emergency motion to stay pending resolution of the appeal. 2020 WL 3100187. The change, the court explained, was because of the intervening precedent in Wilson v. Williams, 2020 WL 3056217 (6th Cir. 2020).

On July 9, the Sixth Circuit vacated the May 21 preliminary injunction, finding that the plaintiffs' evidence was insufficient to prove "reckless disregard to the serious risk COVID-19 poses;" a showing which would be required for a preliminary injunction. 815 Fed. Appx. 978.

On August 19, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that the plaintiffs' claims were moot and lacked standing, and that the court lacked jurisdiction.

On December 3, the plaintiffs moved to enforce the stipulated agreement. Following a hearing on December 14, 2020, the court issued an opinion and order denying the defendants' motion to vacate and motion to dismiss. The court stated that the Sixth Circuit's vacatur of the preliminary injunction did not preclude a permanent injunction and thus did not require vacatur of the orders, and that the court retained jurisdiction during the pendency of the litigation. 2020 WL 7353472.

On December 30, the court issued an order setting a deadline of August 6, 2021 for discovery and a deadline of September 20, 2021 to file a dispositive motion. A settlement conference was scheduled for August 17, 2021 with Magistrate Judge Patricia T. Morris.

The case remains ongoing.

Caitlin Kierum - 10/26/2020
Zofia Peach - 02/07/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
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
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
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) Oakland County
Plaintiff Description Detainees in the Oakland County Jail, on behalf of pre-trial and post-trial detainees at the jail
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU of Michigan
Advancement Project
Civil Rights Corps
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Granted
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 04/17/2020
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)
  Oakland County, Michigan: COVID-19 & Jails
http://www.civilrightscorps.org/
Date: Apr. 17, 2020
By: Civil Rights Corps
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
E.D. Mich.
01/26/2021
2:20-cv-10949-LVP-MJH
JC-MI-0011-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
E.D. Mich.
04/17/2020
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief (with Exhibits 1-5) [ECF# 1 (& 1-1 to 1-6)]
JC-MI-0011-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
04/17/2020
Exhibits 6 to 15 of Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1-7 to 1-16]
JC-MI-0011-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
04/17/2020
Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 5 (& 5-1 to 5-11)]
JC-MI-0011-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
04/17/2020
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification and Brief in Support [ECF# 6 (& 6-1 to 6-5)]
JC-MI-0011-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
04/17/2020
Opinion and Order [ECF# 12] (2020 WL 1929876)
JC-MI-0011-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
04/17/2020
Amended Opinion and Order [ECF# 21] (2020 WL 1929876)
JC-MI-0011-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
04/20/2020
Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration [ECF# 17 (& 17-1 to 17-13)]
JC-MI-0011-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
04/22/2020
Inspection Order [ECF# 27]
JC-MI-0011-0008.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
04/23/2020
Opinion and Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration [ECF# 29] (2020 WL 1952836)
JC-MI-0011-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
04/23/2020
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Petition for Habeas Corpus, Claims Against Bouchard and Childs (in Lieu of Answer to Complaint) and Response to Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 30]
JC-MI-0011-0010.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
04/27/2020
Plaintiffs' Combined Brief in Response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and in Reply to Defendants' Response to Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 33 (& 33-1 to 33-5)]
JC-MI-0011-0009.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
05/01/2020
Order Extending Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 45]
JC-MI-0011-0012.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
05/12/2020
Defendants' Response to Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 82 (& 82-1 to 82-4)]
JC-MI-0011-0018.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
05/13/2020
Defendants' Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [ECF# 85]
JC-MI-0011-0013.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
05/15/2020
Defendants' Answer to Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief and Affirmative Defenses [ECF# 88]
JC-MI-0011-0014.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
05/18/2020
Plaintiffs' Reply Brief in Support of Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 90, 90-1, 90-2]
JC-MI-0011-0017.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
05/21/2020
Opinion [ECF# 93] (2020 WL 2569868)
JC-MI-0011-0015.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
05/21/2020
Order [ECF# 94]
JC-MI-0011-0016.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
05/21/2020
Defendants' Emergency Motion to Stay Proceedings Pending Determination of Appeal and Request for Immediate Consideration [ECF# 97]
JC-MI-0011-0019.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
05/21/2020
Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Reconsideration [ECF# 98]
JC-MI-0011-0020.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
05/22/2020
Opinion and Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration [ECF# 99] (2020 WL 2615740)
JC-MI-0011-0021.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
05/26/2020
Order [Ct. of App. ECF# 103]
JC-MI-0011-0022.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
06/11/2020
Order [Ct. of App. ECF# 139] (2020 WL 3100187)
JC-MI-0011-0023.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
07/09/2020
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 73-1 & 73-2] (815 Fed.Appx. 978)
JC-MI-0011-0024.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
08/19/2020
Defendants' 12(B)(1) Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 149]
JC-MI-0011-0025.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
12/15/2020
Opinion and Order Denying Defendants' Motions to Vacate (ECF No. 148) and Dismiss (ECF No. 149) [ECF# 169] (2020 WL 7353472)
JC-MI-0011-0026.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Bush, John Kenneth (Sixth Circuit) show/hide docs
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Cole, Ransey Guy Jr. (Sixth Circuit) show/hide docs
JC-MI-0011-0022 | JC-MI-0011-0023 | JC-MI-0011-0024
Guy, Ralph B. Jr. (FISCR, E.D. Mich., Sixth Circuit) show/hide docs
JC-MI-0011-0022
Larsen, Joan Louise (Sixth Circuit) show/hide docs
JC-MI-0011-0023 | JC-MI-0011-0024
Morris, Patricia T Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
JC-MI-0011-9000
Parker, Linda Vivienne (E.D. Mich.) show/hide docs
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Plaintiff's Lawyers Bennett, Jennifer (California) show/hide docs
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Carlson, Kevin M. (Michigan) show/hide docs
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Davidson, Syeda F (Michigan) show/hide docs
JC-MI-0011-9000
Gupta, Deepak (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Korobkin, Daniel S. (Michigan) show/hide docs
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Kriger, Allison (Michigan) show/hide docs
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Mayor, Philip Edwin (Michigan) show/hide docs
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McGehee, Cary S. (Michigan) show/hide docs
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Santhanam, Krithika (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Twinem, Alexandria (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Wessler, Nathan Freed (New York) show/hide docs
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Defendant's Lawyers Clark, Robert C. (Michigan) show/hide docs
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DeAgostino, Thomas M. (Michigan) show/hide docs
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Menna, Peter L. (Michigan) show/hide docs
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JC-MI-0011-9000
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Potter, Trevor S (Michigan) show/hide docs
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Other Lawyers Baiardi, Kristen Lara (Michigan) show/hide docs
JC-MI-0011-0023
Beetem, Jon E (Missouri) show/hide docs
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Cook, Steven H. (Tennessee) show/hide docs
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Goetz, Andrew (Michigan) show/hide docs
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