University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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S P E C I A L   C O L L E C T I O N
COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

This page collects cases that address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing, etc. (We're not able to catalog every single-person request for release, but are presenting the cases affecting multiple persons.)

In addition to cases, in many states there have been court orders directing releases and other COVID-19 responses. To see a catalog of these, check out the Prison Policy Initiative's list of jail/prison-related COVID-19 responses, and the spreadsheet compiled by the UCLA Law School, here.

If you know of a case NOT listed here, please email us: clearinghouse@umich.edu (We'll try to update this page in close-to-real-time.)
The below cases represent a special subset of the full Clearinghouse collection.
Your search returned 156 results Save Search As:       
1 Hallinan v. Scarantino
5:20-hc-02088 (E.D.N.C.)
Filed 05/26/2020 - Case Ongoing
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Prison Conditions
PC-NC-0020
Coding Complete
Summary not yet on record [view]
2 Republican National Committee v. Newsom
2:20-cv-01055 (E.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/24/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of California
Election/Voting Rights
VR-CA-0168
Coding Complete
Summary not yet on record [view]
3 Issa v. Newsom
2:20-cv-01044 (E.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/21/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of California
Election/Voting Rights
VR-CA-0169
Coding Complete
Summary not yet on record [view]
4 Martinez v. Cuomo
1:20-cv-03338 (S.D.N.Y.)
Filed 05/17/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of New York
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
DR-NY-0016
Coding Complete
COVID summary: On April 29, 2020, four individuals with disabilities and Disability Rights New York sued the Governor of New York State for the absence of live televised American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation on the Governor’s daily televised briefings. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the plaintiffs alleged that lack of live ASL accommodations ... [view]
5 Torres v. Milusnic
2:20-cv-04450 (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/16/2020 - Case Ongoing
Warden of Lompoc
Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex
Prison Conditions
PC-CA-0079
Coding Complete
COVID-19 summary: This is a putative class action by five individuals held at Lompoc, a low-security prison facing one of the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 among U.S federal prisons. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants failed to undertake reasonable preventative measures, which allowed the virus to spread to 60% of those in custody. The ... [view]
6 Wilson v. Ponce
2:20-cv-04451 (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/16/2020 - Case Ongoing
Warden of Terminal Island
Federal Correctional Institution, Terminal Island
Prison Conditions
PC-CA-0080
Coding Complete
COVID-19 summary: This is a class action by individuals held at Terminal Island, a Care Level 3 medical facility designed for those with long-term medical needs. The plaintiffs alleged violations of their Eighth Amendment rights and sought declaratory and injunctive relief, and a writ of habeas corpus requiring immediate downsizing of the ... [view]
7 Waddell v. Taylor
3:20-cv-00340-TSL-RHW (S.D. Miss.)
Filed 05/14/2020 - Case Ongoing
Mississippi Department of Corrections
Prison Conditions
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
PC-MS-0011
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of 6,000 incarcerated individuals to challenge the inadequate response to the COVID-19 outbreak at Mississippi's two largest prisons, alleging that the Mississippi Department of Corrections' response to the pandemic violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ... [view]
8 N.H. ex rel J.H. v. Edwards
3:20-cv-00293-JWD-EWD (M.D. La.)
Filed 05/14/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of Louisiana
Juvenile Institution
JI-LA-0013
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a joint class action lawsuit and habeas petition brought on behalf of children confined in four secure care facilities operated by the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice, seeking release and mitigation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiffs alleged that children are at-risk for contracting and transmitting ... [view]
9 Sweeney v. Herrera
2:20-cv-04247-RSWL-JEM (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/11/2020 - Case Ongoing
Residential Relocation Manager of the Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Bureau of Prisons for the District of Los Angeles
Prison Conditions
PC-CA-0078
Coding Complete
COVID-19 summary: This is a pro se emergency action filed by a pro se individual held at Orion Residential Reentry Centre for immediate release. The plaintiff, who is eligible for home confinement, alleged that continued confinement at Orion posed an unconstitutional risk to his life and health. The case is ongoing.
On May 11, an individual ... [view]
10 Lucero-Gonzalez v. Kline
2:20-cv-00901 (D. Ariz.)
Filed 05/08/2020 - Case Ongoing
CoreCivic Warden
CoreCivic
Prison Conditions
Jail Conditions
JC-AZ-0015
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a class-action brought by five prisoners with high-risk medical issues held at the federal Central Arizona Florence Correctional Complex against the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Prisons. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant’s failure to implement basic social distancing and hygiene measures violated ... [view]
11 South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom
3:20-cv-00865 (S.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/08/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of California
Speech and Religious Freedom
FA-CA-0015
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a suit brought by a church against the State of California’s enforcement of stay-at-home orders and prohibition of in-person religious policies. The plaintiffs alleged that California’s four-stage “Reopening Plan,” had relaxed the stay-at-home order for certain retail organizations as part of stage 2 of the ... [view]
12 Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church v. Pritzker
1:20-cv-02782 (N.D. Ill.)
Filed 05/07/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of Illinois
Speech and Religious Freedom
FA-IL-0018
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: On May 7, two churches in Illinois sued the Governor of Illinois, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the Governor’s stay-at-home order and restoration plan, which limited gatherings to 10 or fewer people. The court denied the request for a TRO on May 13, the Seventh Circuit denied the plaintiff's request for an ... [view]
13 Russell v. Wayne County
2:20-cv-11094-MAG-EAS (E.D. Mich.)
Filed 05/04/2020 - Case Ongoing
Wayne County
Jail Conditions
JC-MI-0012
Wayne County
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a class action complaint brought by six detainees in Wayne County Jail, seeking injunctive, declaratory and habeas relief. The petitioners sought the release or transfers to home confinement of medically vulnerable inmates in light of the virus, as well as an injunction requiring COVID-19 mitigation measures. No outcome ... [view]
14 Carranza v. ICE
1:20-cv-00424 (D.N.M.)
Filed 05/04/2020 - Case Ongoing
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-NM-0002
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a class-action habeas petition brought on May 4, 2020, by two individuals in ICE custody, seeking better access to phone calls. No outcome so far. __________________________________________________________________ On May 4, 2020, two individuals in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) brought ... [view]
15 Belton, Jr. v. East Baton Rouge Parish Prison
3:20-cv-00278 (M.D. La.)
Filed 05/04/2020 - Case Ongoing
East Baton Rouge Parish Prison
Prison Conditions
Jail Conditions
JC-LA-0030
Coding Complete
Summary not yet on record [view]
16 Wragg v. Ortiz
1:20-cv-05496 (D.N.J.)
Filed 05/04/2020 - Case Ongoing
Warden at Fort Dix
Prison Conditions
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
PC-NJ-0025
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This class action was brought on behalf of all people confined at Federal Correctional Institution Fort Dix in New Jersey who are vulnerable to COVID-19 because of their age or underlying health conditions. Petitioners sought temporary enlargement of custody for all class members, or if temporary enlargement is insufficient, the ... [view]
17 Middleton v. Andino
3:20-cv-01730 (D.S.C.)
Filed 05/01/2020 - Case Ongoing
South Carolina State Election Commission
Election/Voting Rights
VR-SC-0079
Coding Complete
Summary not yet on record [view]
18 Wilkes v. Lamont
3:20-cv-00594 (D. Conn.)
Filed 04/30/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of Connecticut
Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Public Benefits / Government Services
ID-CT-0007
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This class-action injunctive and habeas case against the State of Connecticut sought release and improved conditions at two inpatient psychiatric facilities. No outcome yet. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- On April 30, 2020, five individuals hospitalized at the ... [view]
19 The Beloved Church v. Pritzker
3:20-cv-50153 (N.D. Ill.)
Filed 04/30/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of Illinois
Speech and Religious Freedom
FA-IL-0017
Coding Complete
COVID 19 Summary: The federal district court denied an injunction blocking application of Illinois Governor Jay Pritzker's stay-at-home order against churches. The plaintiff church has appealed.
In his COVID-19 “stay-at-home” executive orders, J. B. Pritzker, the governor of Illinois, required churches to discontinue all in-person ... [view]
20 Doe #1 v. Hall
1:20-cv-00600 (E.D. Cal.)
Filed 04/28/2020 - Case Ongoing
Fresno County Sheriff
Fresno County Sheriff’s Office
Criminal Justice (Other)
CJ-CA-0026
Fresno County
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: On April 29, 2020, three individuals sued the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and Fresno Police Department, claiming that the defendant’s requirement of in-person registration for sex offenders violates COVID-19 related orders by the Governor of California. __________________________________________________________________ On ... [view]
21 Fernandez-Rodriguez v. Licon-Vitale
1:20-cv-03315 (S.D.N.Y.)
Filed 04/28/2020 - Case Ongoing
Metropolitan Correctional Center Warden
Metropolitan Correctional Center
Jail Conditions
JC-NY-0080
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a class action brought by five detainees at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. The plaintiffs are at special risk from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions, and seek release from detention and enforcement of preventative measures. The case is ongoing.
On April 28, 2020, five individuals detained in the ... [view]
22 Martinez-Brooks v. Easter
3:20-cv-00569 (D. Conn.)
Filed 04/27/2020 - Case Ongoing
Warden of Federal Correctional Institution at Danbury
Federal Correctional Institution at Danbury
Prison Conditions
PC-CT-0021
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: On April 27, 2020, four individuals held at the Federal Correctional Center (FCI) brought this emergency putative class action requesting the immediate release or home confinement of medically vulnerable individuals and implementation of safety measures to lower the risk of COVID-19. The case is ongoing.
On April 27, 2020, ... [view]
23 Cullors v. County of Los Angeles
2:20-cv-03760 (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 04/24/2020 - Case Ongoing
County of Los Angeles
Jail Conditions
JC-CA-0139
Los Angeles County
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: On April 24, 2020, nine detainees at the Los Angeles County detention centers and a coalition of activists filed a class-action seeking adequate safety conditions at the Los Angeles County detention centers. The petitioners sought a writ of habeas corpus, declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as a temporary restraining order ... [view]
24 Women's Health Center of West Virginia v. Morrisey
2:20-cv-00293 (S.D. W. Va.)
Filed 04/24/2020 - Closed 2020
West Virginia
Public Benefits / Government Services
PB-WV-0005
Coding Complete
On March 31, 2020, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued Executive Order (EO) 16-20 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The EO was intended to promote public health and safety by limiting movement throughout the state and conserving limited medical resources and personnel. The Order indefinitely banned all "elective medical procedures". EO 16-20 ... [view]
25 C.G.B. v. Wolf
1:20-cv-01072 (D.D.C.)
Filed 04/23/2020 - Case Ongoing
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-DC-0073
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: A group of transgender people in civil immigration detention requested an injunction ordering supervised release of all transgender people in immigration detention in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of May 9, the court has not yet ruled on the injunction. On April 23, 2020, a group of transgender people in civil immigration ... [view]
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