Case: Pierce v. City of Velda City

4:15-cv-00570 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

Filed Date: April 2, 2015

Closed Date: 2015

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On April 2, 2015, a pretrial detainee imprisoned in Velda City, Missouri because she could not afford to post bail filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The plaintiff sued Velda City under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff, represented by Equal Justice Under Law and ArchCity Defenders, sought declaratory, injunctive, and compensatory relief. The plaintiff claimed that the City's fixed “bail schedule” was unconstitutional. Specifically, th…

On April 2, 2015, a pretrial detainee imprisoned in Velda City, Missouri because she could not afford to post bail filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The plaintiff sued Velda City under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff, represented by Equal Justice Under Law and ArchCity Defenders, sought declaratory, injunctive, and compensatory relief. The plaintiff claimed that the City's fixed “bail schedule” was unconstitutional. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the City's policy and practice of detaining arrestees for at least three days unless they paid a generically set bond amount violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. This case was assigned to Judge Henry Edward Autrey.

That same day, the plaintiff sought a preliminary order enjoining the City from keeping her and those similarly situated in jail without offering release on unsecured bond or recognizance. The plaintiff also moved to certify a class of all arrestees unable to pay for their release pursuant to Velda City's fixed bail schedule who were or would become in the custody of the City.

Within two months, the parties entered into a settlement agreement. Under the agreement, the City agreed to end the use of the challenged cash bond system. Instead, the City agreed to release from its custody any arrestee on personal recognizance or on an unsecured bond as long as that person was not deemed a danger to the community. The City also agreed to release on unsecured bond any person arrested for failing to appear in court two times in a row. After the third nonappearance, the City was allowed to hold someone for up to 48 hours without bond. The City was also prohibited from holding an arrestee charged with ordinance violations in another municipality for more than four hours.

The parties asked the court to issue an injunction effectuating the terms of the agreement. The parties also asked the court to enter a declaratory judgment affirming that holding an arrestee in custody because that person is too poor to post a monetary bond violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court signed the proposed order on June 3, 2015. 2015 WL 10013006. The court retained jurisdiction to enforce the injunction.

This case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Robert Lake (10/13/2015)

Hannah Greenhouse (3/15/2019)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/18131650/parties/donya-pierce-v-velda-city-city-of/


Judge(s)

Autrey, Henry Edward (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Harvey, Thomas B. (Missouri)

Karakatsanis, Alec (District of Columbia)

Voss, Michael-John (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Garrett, Steven W. (Missouri)

Judge(s)

Autrey, Henry Edward (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Harvey, Thomas B. (Missouri)

Karakatsanis, Alec (District of Columbia)

Voss, Michael-John (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Garrett, Steven W. (Missouri)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

4:15-cv-00570

Docket

Pierce v. Velda City

June 3, 2015

June 3, 2015

Docket
2

4:15-cv-00570

Class Action Complaint

April 2, 2015

April 2, 2015

Complaint
16

4:15-cv-00570

Order

June 3, 2015

June 3, 2015

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/18131650/donya-pierce-v-velda-city-city-of/

Last updated Aug. 11, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

NOTICE OF PROCESS SERVER by Plaintiff Pierce Donya Process Server: William Stage (Harvey, Thomas) (Entered: 04/02/2015)

April 2, 2015

April 2, 2015

RECAP
2

COMPLAINT against defendant City of Velda City Jury Demand,0865-4803418 receipt $400.00 for case opening, filed by Pierce Donya. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Original Filing Form, # 3 Summons)(Harvey, Thomas) Modified on 4/6/2015 (DLT). (Entered: 04/02/2015)

April 2, 2015

April 2, 2015

PACER
3

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Plaintiff Pierce Donya. (Attachments: # 1 Attachment Department of Justice Statement of Interest)(Harvey, Thomas) (Entered: 04/02/2015)

April 2, 2015

April 2, 2015

PACER
4

MOTION to Certify Class by Plaintiff Pierce Donya. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Affidavit of Alec Karakatsanis of Equal Justice Under Law)(Harvey, Thomas) (Entered: 04/02/2015)

April 2, 2015

April 2, 2015

PACER
5

MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order by Plaintiff Pierce Donya. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Temporary Restraining Order, # 2 Attachment Notice of Proposed Time and Date for Hearing, # 3 Attachment Memo in Support of Temporary Restraining Order)(Harvey, Thomas) (Entered: 04/03/2015)

April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015

PACER
6

MOTION for Bond Motion to Waive Bond Requirement for TRO by Plaintiff Pierce Donya. (Harvey, Thomas) (Entered: 04/03/2015)

April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015

RECAP

Case Opening Notification: 1 Summons(es) issued. The summons was emailed to tbh1910@gmail.com. Judge Assigned: U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey. (DLT)

April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015

PACER
7

ENTRY of Appearance by Alexander G. Karakatsanis for Plaintiff Pierce Donya. (Karakatsanis, Alexander) (Entered: 04/03/2015)

April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015

PACER
8

Consent MOTION to Withdraw Motion for Temporary Restraining Order by Plaintiff Donya Pierce. (Karakatsanis, Alexander) (Entered: 04/08/2015)

April 8, 2015

April 8, 2015

RECAP
9

ENTRY of Appearance by Steven W. Garrett for Defendant Velda City, City of. (Garrett, Steven) (Entered: 04/09/2015)

April 9, 2015

April 9, 2015

PACER
10

Docket Text ORDER: Re: 5 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order by Plaintiff Pierce Donya; WITHDRAWN - SO ORDERED. 8 Consent MOTION to Withdraw Motion for Temporary Restraining Order by Plaintiff Donya Pierce; GRANTED - SO ORDERED. Signed by District Judge Henry Edward Autrey on 4/9/15. (KJS) (Entered: 04/10/2015)

April 9, 2015

April 9, 2015

PACER
11

First MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 2 Complaint, by Defendant Velda City, City of. (Garrett, Steven) (Entered: 04/30/2015)

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

PACER
12

Docket Text ORDER: Re: 11 First MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 2 Complaint, by Defendant Velda City, City of. (Garrett, Steven) filed by Velda City, City of; GRANTED HEA. Signed by District Judge Henry Edward Autrey on 5/4/15. (CLA) (Entered: 05/04/2015)

May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015

PACER
13

Second MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 2 Complaint, by Defendant Velda City, City of. (Garrett, Steven) (Entered: 05/29/2015)

May 29, 2015

May 29, 2015

PACER
14

Docket Text ORDER: Re: 13 Second MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 2 Complaint, by Defendant Velda City, City of. (Garrett, Steven) filed by Velda City, City of ; ORDERED GRANTED HEA. Signed by District Judge Henry Edward Autrey on 06/01/2015. (CLK) (Entered: 06/01/2015)

June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

PACER
15

MOTION to Approve Consent Judgment Joint Motion for Entry of Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Stipulation of Dismissal by Plaintiff Donya Pierce. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Settlement Agreement, # 2 Exhibit Proposed Order)(Karakatsanis, Alexander) (Entered: 06/02/2015)

June 2, 2015

June 2, 2015

PACER
16

ORDER(SETTLEMENT): GRANTED SO ORDERED 15 Motion to Approve Consent Judgment. Signed by District Judge Henry Edward Autrey on 06/03/2015. (Attachments: # 1 Settlement Agreement) (CLK) (Entered: 06/03/2015)

June 3, 2015

June 3, 2015

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Missouri

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Special Collection(s):

Fines/Fees/Bail Reform (Criminalization of Poverty)

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 2, 2015

Closing Date: 2015

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Pretrial detainee in Velda City, MO jail, individually and on behalf of a putative class of those similarly-situated

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ArchCity Defenders

Equal Justice Under Law

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Mooted before ruling

Defendants

The City of Velda City, City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Content of Injunction:

Monitoring

Issues

General:

Courts

Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond

Over/Unlawful Detention

Poverty/homelessness