University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Preterm-Cleveland v. Attorney General of Ohio PB-OH-0013
Docket / Court 1:19-cv-00360 ( S.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Planned Parenthood Litigation
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is an ongoing lawsuit regarding Ohio state legislation that would criminalize certain abortions that was amended to include a request for relief in light of COVID-19. The plaintiffs sought a temporary restraining order against the Department of Health's order which had banned ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is an ongoing lawsuit regarding Ohio state legislation that would criminalize certain abortions that was amended to include a request for relief in light of COVID-19. The plaintiffs sought a temporary restraining order against the Department of Health's order which had banned all "non-essential surgeries and procedures" starting on March 18. The judge granted the temporary restraining order for a period of 14 days, which was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit on April 6. The judge granted a preliminary injunction on April 23, allowing abortions in situations where a medical provider determined that a delay would not be possible.


On May 15, 2019 the plaintiffs, for-profit and non-profit providers of medical and surgical abortions in Ohio and their doctors, filed an initial complaint in the District Court for the Southern District of Ohio against the Ohio State Department of Health, the State Medical Board of Ohio, and various county prosecutors. They contested the Ohio State Legislature's 6-week abortion ban, passed on April 10 of that year. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio and the Planned Parenthood Foundation, sought a temporary restraining order, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, and costs under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 28 U.S.C. 2201.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Ohio S.B. 23 1, which would criminalize all abortions where a fetal heartbeat can be detected (six weeks) except in cases that would jeopardize the health of the mother, would practically eliminate abortion in Ohio, because it often takes women longer than six weeks to certify that they are pregnant. They claimed that this violated the substantive due process precedent outlined in Roe v. Wade.

Judge Michael R. Barrett granted the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction on July 3, 2019 (394 F.Supp.3d 796), in advance of the statute's effective date of July 11. He stated that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits and enacting the ban would cause irreparable harm to Ohio women. Following this, the plaintiffs filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings on August 20, 2019.

Both parties filed motions and answers surrounding the motion for judgment on the pleadings until the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on March 30, 2020, in response to the Ohio Department of Health's March 17 order banning all "non-essential surgeries and procedures" to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) starting on March 18 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiffs alleged that surgical abortions do not use a significant amount of PPE and that surgical abortions might be the only option for patients that are allergic to medical abortion pills. They also claimed that waiting until the pandemic passed, estimated to be about eight weeks at minimum, though the order banning elective procedures was expected to last up to a year, would not be sufficient, since abortion is a time-sensitive procedure. This complaint also added an equal protection claim that abortion providers were unfairly being singled out in comparison to other businesses. The plaintiffs moved for a temporary restraining order on the Department of Health order, and they sought the same relief requested in the initial complaint.

Judge Barrett granted the plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order against the Department of Health order on the same day (2020 WL 1932851). This temporary restraining order lasted for 14 days and was limited to situations where a medical provider decided that delaying a surgical abortion until after the pandemic subsided would not be possible. He denied a motion to stay the temporary restraining order filed by the defendants on April 2 (2020 WL 1932492).

The defendants filed an interlocutory appeal contesting the temporary restraining order on April 1. A Sixth Circuit panel, composed of Chief Judge R. Guy Cole and Judges Ralph B. Guy and John K. Bush declined to reverse the temporary restraining order on April 6 (2020 WL 1673310), saying that the narrow tailoring of the restraining order meant that not many abortions would be performed and PPE supplies would not be diminished. They stressed the time sensitive nature of abortions necessitated this protection.

In order to preserve the status quo before ruling on the preliminary injunction, Judge Barrett extended the temporary restraining order for an additional two weeks on April 10, 2020 (2020 WL 1932540). Judge Barrett granted the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction on April 23, 2020 (2020 WL 1957173). He noted that, while he did not want unnecessary medical procedures being performed in Ohio, waiting to have an abortion was not an option in certain circumstances, and, given the right to an abortion is protected in the Fourteenth Amendment, it needs to be protected. He limited the bounds of the preliminary injunction to situations where a medical provider determined that a delay would not be possible.

The case is ongoing.

Ellen Aldin - 06/20/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Abortion
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Mitigation Granted
COVID-19 Mitigation Requested
Reproductive health care (including birth control, abortion, and others)
Plaintiff Type
Closely-held (for profit) corporation
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Cuyahoga County Prosecutor
Franklin County Prosecutor
Hamilton County Prosecutor
Lucas County Prosecutor
Mahoning County Prosecutor
Montgomery County Prosecutor
Ohio Department of Health
Richland County Prosecutor
State Medical Board of Ohio
Plaintiff Description Non-profit corporations and corporations that provide abortions after six weeks in Ohio, and the several doctors that work at the facilities.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
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 05/15/2019
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)
  Reproductive Freedom on the Docket
American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio
Date: May 15, 2019 - ongoing
By: ACLU Ohio
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:19-cv-00360-MRB (S.D. Ohio)
PB-OH-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/07/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 29] (394 F.Supp.3d 796) (S.D. Ohio)
PB-OH-0013-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/03/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Expedited Motion to File Supplemental Complaint [ECF# 39 (& 39-1 to 39-4)]
PB-OH-0013-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/30/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for and Brief in Support of Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 42 (& 42-1 to 42-6)]
PB-OH-0013-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/30/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 43] (2020 WL 1932851) (S.D. Ohio)
PB-OH-0013-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/30/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supplement to Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 48 (& 48-1 to 48-3)]
PB-OH-0013-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/31/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 52] (2020 WL 1932492) (S.D. Ohio)
PB-OH-0013-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Ct. of App. ECF# 57] (2020 WL 1673310)
PB-OH-0013-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/07/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 63] (2020 WL 1932540) (S.D. Ohio)
PB-OH-0013-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 78] (2020 WL 1957173) (S.D. Ohio)
PB-OH-0013-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/23/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1 (& 1-1 to 1-2)]
PB-OH-0013-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/15/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Barrett, Michael Ryan (S.D. Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0002 | PB-OH-0013-0005 | PB-OH-0013-0007 | PB-OH-0013-0009 | PB-OH-0013-0010 | PB-OH-0013-9000
Bush, John Kenneth (Sixth Circuit) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0008
Cole, Ransey Guy Jr. (Sixth Circuit) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0008
Guy, Ralph B. Jr. (FISCR, E.D. Mich., Sixth Circuit) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0008
Plaintiff's Lawyers Amiri, Brigitte A. (New York) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0001 | PB-OH-0013-0003 | PB-OH-0013-0004 | PB-OH-0013-0006 | PB-OH-0013-9000
Bajramovic, Hana (New York) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0003 | PB-OH-0013-0004 | PB-OH-0013-0006
Branch, Jennifer L. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0001 | PB-OH-0013-0003 | PB-OH-0013-0004 | PB-OH-0013-0006 | PB-OH-0013-9000
Cohen, Melissa A. (New York) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0001 | PB-OH-0013-9000
Flaxman, Carrie Y. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0003 | PB-OH-0013-0004 | PB-OH-0013-0006 | PB-OH-0013-9000
Gerhardstein, Alphonse A. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0001 | PB-OH-0013-0003 | PB-OH-0013-0004 | PB-OH-0013-0006 | PB-OH-0013-9000
Hill, Beatrice Jessie (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0001 | PB-OH-0013-0003 | PB-OH-0013-0004 | PB-OH-0013-0006 | PB-OH-0013-9000
Levenson, Freda J. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0001 | PB-OH-0013-0003 | PB-OH-0013-0004 | PB-OH-0013-0006 | PB-OH-0013-9000
Muniz, Richard (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0001 | PB-OH-0013-0003 | PB-OH-0013-0004 | PB-OH-0013-0006 | PB-OH-0013-9000
Reeves, Rachel M. (New York) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0001 | PB-OH-0013-0003 | PB-OH-0013-0004 | PB-OH-0013-0006 | PB-OH-0013-9000
Watson, Elizabeth Karin (New York) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-0001 | PB-OH-0013-0003 | PB-OH-0013-0004 | PB-OH-0013-0006 | PB-OH-0013-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Barbiere, James J. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Barrentine, Ward Coker (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Borell, John A. Sr. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Buchanan, Heather L. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Coontz, Bridget C (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Florez, Michael Gerard (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Marziale, Arthur James Jr. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Pituch, Kevin A. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Sears, Pamela J. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Walton, Michael Allan (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Other Lawyers Besser, Matthew D. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Brown, Joshua James (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Citak, Rachel R. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Condit, Thomas W. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000
Williamson, Philip D. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PB-OH-0013-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -