University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Ravitz, on behalf of Kevin Merritt v. Whetsel JC-OK-0002
Docket / Court CV-2006-0011 ( State Court )
State/Territory Oklahoma
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On August 3, 2006, Oklahoma County Public Defender Robert A. Ravitz, filed a Petition for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief in the State District Court of Oklahoma County on behalf Oklahoma County Detention Center (OCDC) inmates. Petitioner sought to challenge overcrowding and other conditions of ... read more >
On August 3, 2006, Oklahoma County Public Defender Robert A. Ravitz, filed a Petition for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief in the State District Court of Oklahoma County on behalf Oklahoma County Detention Center (OCDC) inmates. Petitioner sought to challenge overcrowding and other conditions of inmate detention.

The court (Judge Ray C. Elliot) conducted a hearing on August 23 and 24, 2006. Following the hearing, Judge Elliot issued his order making findings of fact and conclusions of law. Judge Elliot rejected petitioner's overcrowding claim, but found that OCDC inmates were subjected to being triple celled, in violation of the Health Code. He ordered that OCDC discontinue that practice. Judge Elliot further found that OCDC inmates sentenced to the state prison system were being denied timely transfer to the state prison processing center, such that they were denied statutorily mandated opportunities to earn time credits to reduce their state prison sentences and also denied additional clothing provided by the state system. To rectify the situation, Judge Elliot ordered that the OCDC transport and transfer inmates to the custody of the Department of Corrections no later than 45 days after completion of the Judgment and Sentence(s) by the District Court.

The defendants appealed Judge Elliot's ruling to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, which stayed the trial court's order on October 23, 2006. However, on February 1, 2007, in an apparently unpublished opinion the appeals court issued an opinion affirming Judge Elliot's ruling and lifting the stay. It found that Oklahoma law required the defendants to deliver prisoners to the state department of corrections within a "reasonable" period of time and that Judge Elliot's order only required the them to comply with this law.

Back in the trial court, Judge Elliot reissued his earlier order that the defendants transfer sentenced prisoners to state custody on February 8, 2007.

It appears from the docket sheet that Judge Elliot held a hearing on March 20, 2007 where he found that the defendants were in compliance with some portions of the order. However, after that point, there is no meaningful action.

There have been no new docket entries since early 2008, so the case is presumably closed.

Dan Dalton - 02/10/2007
Jonah Hudson-Erdman - 09/04/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Director
Sheriff
Plaintiff Description All persons who, pursuant to valid judgments and sentences, have been ordered incarcerated in the Department of Corrections but who are currently being held in the Oklahoma County Detention Center awaiting transfer to D.O.C.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2006 - n/a
Filed 08/03/2006
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Court Docket(s)
State Trial Court
01/25/2008
CV-2006-11
JC-OK-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
State Trial Court
08/03/2006
Petition for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief to Correct Overcrowding in the Oklahoma County Detention Center
JC-OK-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
State Trial Court
09/29/2006
Order
JC-OK-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
State Court of Appeals
02/01/2007
Order Denying Application for Writ of Prohibition and Lifting Stay
JC-OK-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: State Court Website
State Trial Court
02/08/2007
Order Scheduling the Transport and Transfer of Current and Future Oklahoma County Detention Center Inmates Sentenced to the Custody of the Department of Corrections
JC-OK-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: State Court Website
show all people docs
Judges Chapel, Charles S. Court not on record show/hide docs
JC-OK-0002-0003
Elliott, Ray C. (State Trial Court) show/hide docs
JC-OK-0002-0002 | JC-OK-0002-0004
Johnson, Charles A. Court not on record show/hide docs
JC-OK-0002-0003
Johnson, Arlene Court not on record show/hide docs
JC-OK-0002-0003
Lewis, David B. Court not on record show/hide docs
JC-OK-0002-0003
Lumpkin, Gary L. Court not on record show/hide docs
JC-OK-0002-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ravitz, Robert (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
JC-OK-0002-0001 | JC-OK-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Anderson, Ronald A. (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
JC-OK-0002-9000
Kirby, Richard W (Oklahoma) show/hide docs
JC-OK-0002-9000
Metcalfe, Gregory Thomas (Minnesota) show/hide docs
JC-OK-0002-9000

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