Case: Thompson v. Moss Point, Mississippi

1:15-cv-00182 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi

Filed Date: June 12, 2015

Closed Date: 2015

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On June 12, 2015, this lawsuit was brought by an indigent person arrested by the City of Moss Point, Mississippi (the City), who was jailed for a prolonged period after she was unable to pay the fee demanded for release under the city’s “secured bail” schedule. Under that policy, persons arrested by the city were required to post a bail ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars, based on the offense committed, without any consideration of the person’s ability to pay. The plaintif…

On June 12, 2015, this lawsuit was brought by an indigent person arrested by the City of Moss Point, Mississippi (the City), who was jailed for a prolonged period after she was unable to pay the fee demanded for release under the city’s “secured bail” schedule. Under that policy, persons arrested by the city were required to post a bail ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars, based on the offense committed, without any consideration of the person’s ability to pay. The plaintiff argued that the City’s policy violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Represented by public-interest legal groups Equal Justice Under Law and the MacArthur Justice Center, along with private counsel, the plaintiff brought suit in the U.S. federal Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, under § 1983 and the Declaratory Judgment Act. The plaintiff requested class certification to represent other similarly situated individuals, a declaration that the City had violated the constitutional rights of arrestees who were unable to pay the City’s secured bail, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief requiring the City to stop jailing arrestees for their inability to pay the City’s secured bail, damages to the named plaintiff to compensate for her period of confinement, and legal costs and attorneys’ fees.

On October 14, 2015, the parties notified the court that they had reached a settlement. That same day, the judge assigned to the case, District Judge Louis Guirola Jr., found the plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunctive relief and plaintiff’s motion for class certification moot in light of the settlement. Under the agreement, the City would abandon its secured bail requirement for persons seeking release from jail after a warrantless arrest or after an initial warrant arrest. Instead, it would release those persons if they agreed to provide an unsecured bond (under which persons only pay the court if they fail to adhere to the conditions of their bail) or a recognizance (a promise to comply with the conditions of bail). The City also agreed to improve its procedures for notifying arrestees of court dates.

On November 6, 2015, Judge Guirola entered a declaratory judgment holding that the City's use of secured bail against the plaintiff was a violation of the 14th Amendment right to equal protection. 2015 WL 10322003. On November 12, 2015, Judge Guirola entered a final judgment, ordering the parties to abide by the terms of the settlement agreement. The plaintiff's counsel agreed to notify defendants of any perceived breach, and to give defendants a reasonable amount of time to resolve the breach before seeking enforcement of the agreement in court. The City also agreed to notify the plaintiff and counsel if it find that any of its employees or agents had violated the agreement. The case was dismissed and is now closed.

Summary Authors

Ryan Berry (7/14/2016)

Nathaniel Flack (11/26/2018)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5258343/parties/thompson-v-moss-point-mississippi/


Judge(s)

Guirola, Louis Jr. (Mississippi)

Walker, Robert H. (Mississippi)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Howard, Jacob W. (Mississippi)

Johnson, J. Clifton II (Mississippi)

Karakatsanis, Alec (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Guirola, Louis Jr. (Mississippi)

Walker, Robert H. (Mississippi)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Howard, Jacob W. (Mississippi)

Johnson, J. Clifton II (Mississippi)

Karakatsanis, Alec (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Nov. 12, 2015 Docket
1

Class Action Complaint

June 12, 2015 Complaint
18

Declaratory Judgment

2015 WL 10322003

Nov. 6, 2015 Order/Opinion
19

Final Judgment

Nov. 12, 2015 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5258343/thompson-v-moss-point-mississippi/

Last updated May 20, 2022, 4:09 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against Moss Point, Mississippi (Filing fee $ 400; receipt number 14643007013), filed by Chevon Elizabeth Thompson. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Exhibit 1 − Declaration of Chevon Thompson, # 3 Exhibit 2 − secured bail schedule)(JCH) (Entered: 06/12/2015)

June 12, 2015
19

FINAL JUDGMENT: This matter has settled and is dismissed. Signed by Chief District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. on 11/12/15 (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - Agreement to Settle all Equitable Claims) (RLW)

Nov. 12, 2015 RECAP
3

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order by Chevon Elizabeth Thompson (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2)(Johnson, J.). Added MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order on 6/12/2015 (JCH). (Entered: 06/12/2015)

June 12, 2015

DOCKET ANNOTATION as to # 2 and # 3. 1.) Pursuant to Fed.R.Cr.P. Rule 49(d) and Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 84, appendix form 2 states that date, signature, address, e−mail address and telephone number are used at the conclusion of pleadings and other papers that require a signature. Documents are undated (on respectfully submitted portion), but the date will be construed as the date of electronic filing. Attorney is advised to follow this rule in future filings. DOCKET ANNOTATION as to # 3. This document requests several motion reliefs. Every motion relief should be selected from the list of motion titles or each relief docketed separately. The same PDF document may be used for all motion filing entries. It is not necessary to refile as court staff has made the necessary correction. Attorney is advised to follow this procedure in future filings. (JCH) (Entered: 06/12/2015)

June 12, 2015
4

Summons Issued as to Moss Point, Mississippi. (JCH) (Entered: 06/12/2015)

June 12, 2015
5

MOTION for Alec Karakatsanis to Appear Pro Hac Vice by Chevon Elizabeth Thompson. (Attachments: # 1 − Certificates of Good Standing)(JCH) (Entered: 06/12/2015)

June 12, 2015

Pro Hac Vice fee paid by Alec Karakatsanis $ 100, receipt number 14643007014. (JCH) (Entered: 06/12/2015)

June 12, 2015

DOCKET ANNOTATION as to #2 and #3: L.U.Civ.R. 7(b)(2) requires that all supporting exhibits to a document be denominated by an exhibit letter or number and a meaningful description. Attorney is advised to follow this rule in future filings. (RLW) (Entered: 06/15/2015)

June 15, 2015
6

ORDER granting 5 Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Alec Karakatsanis shall be admitted pro hac vice to serve as co−counsel for the plaintiff Chevon Elizabeth Thompson. Signed by Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker on June 15, 2015. (Joffe, Scherry) (Entered: 06/15/2015)

June 15, 2015
7

NOTICE of Withdrawal of Motions by Chevon Elizabeth Thompson re 3 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order, 2 MOTION to Certify Class (Johnson, J.) (Entered: 06/15/2015)

June 15, 2015
8

MOTION to Certify Class by Chevon Elizabeth Thompson (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 − Declaration of Alec Karakatsanis)(Johnson, J.) (Entered: 06/15/2015)

June 15, 2015
9

MEMORANDUM in Support re 8 MOTION to Certify Class filed by Chevon Elizabeth Thompson (Johnson, J.) (Entered: 06/15/2015)

June 15, 2015
10

MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order or in the Alternative , MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Chevon Elizabeth Thompson (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 − Statement of Interest of the United States, # 2 Exhibit 2 − Order in Pierce v. Velda City)(Johnson, J.) (Entered: 06/15/2015)

June 15, 2015
11

MEMORANDUM in Support re 10 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order or in the Alternative MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by Chevon Elizabeth Thompson (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 − Statement of Interest of the United States, # 2 Exhibit 2 − Order in Pierce v. Velda City)(Johnson, J.) (Entered: 06/15/2015)

June 15, 2015
12

ATTACHMENT re 9 Memorandum in Support of Motion Exhibit 1 − Declaration of Alec Karakatsanis by Chevon Elizabeth Thompson (Johnson, J.) (Entered: 06/15/2015)

June 15, 2015

TEXT ONLY ORDER finding as moot 2 Motion to Certify Class. The Motion has been withdrawn. (See ECF No. 7). NO FURTHER WRITTEN ORDER WILL ISSUE FROM THE COURT. Signed by Chief District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr on 6/16/2015 (JSM) (Entered: 06/16/2015)

June 16, 2015

DOCKET ANNOTATION as to #7 thru #12: There is only one plaintiff in this lawsuit, therefore, et al. should not be listed on pleadings (RLW) Modified on 6/16/2015 to delete extra verbiage (RLW). (Entered: 06/16/2015)

June 16, 2015

DOCKET ANNOTATION as to #3, #8, #10 and #12: Pleadings or exhibits should not be filed with the old blue headings at the top of the page(s). (RLW) (Entered: 06/16/2015)

June 16, 2015
13

NOTICE of Appearance by Jacob W. Howard on behalf of Chevon Elizabeth Thompson (Howard, Jacob) (Entered: 06/19/2015)

June 19, 2015
14

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Chevon Elizabeth Thompson Moss Point, Mississippi served on 6/18/2015, answer due 7/9/2015. (Johnson, J.) (Entered: 07/13/2015)

July 13, 2015
15

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, by Moss Point, Mississippi (St. Pe', Amy) (Entered: 07/21/2015)

July 21, 2015

TEXT ONLY ORDER granting 15 unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to Answer. Moss Point, Mississippi answer due 8/31/2015. NO FURTHER WRITTEN ORDER WILL ISSUE. Signed by Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker on July 21, 2015. (Joffe, Scherry) (Entered: 07/21/2015)

July 21, 2015
16

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, by Moss Point, Mississippi (St. Pe', Amy) (Entered: 08/31/2015)

Aug. 31, 2015

TEXT ONLY ORDER granting 16 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer. Moss Point, Mississippi answer due 9/30/2015. NO FURTHER WRITTEN ORDER WILL ISSUE. Signed by Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker on September 1, 2015. (Joffe, Scherry) (Entered: 09/01/2015)

Sept. 1, 2015
17

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, by Moss Point, Mississippi (St. Pe', Amy) (Entered: 09/29/2015)

Sept. 29, 2015

TEXT ONLY ORDER granting 17 unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to Answer. Moss Point, Mississippi answer due 10/14/2015. NO FURTHER WRITTEN ORDER WILL ISSUE. Signed by Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker on September 30, 2015. (Joffe, Scherry) (Entered: 09/30/2015)

Sept. 30, 2015

TEXT ONLY ORDER finding as moot 8 Motion to Certify Class in light of the correspondence from counsel received this date advising the Court that the parties have reached a settlement. NO FURTHER WRITTEN ORDER WILL ISSUE FROM THE COURT. Signed by Chief District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr on 10/14/2015 (JSM) (Entered: 10/14/2015)

Oct. 14, 2015

NOTICE of Settlement by All Parties per email notification from defense counsel Amy St. Pe' who advised that the case settled. The attorneys are to submit a proposed agreed Order of Dismissal to Judge Guirola no later than November 9, 2015. (SR) (Entered: 10/14/2015)

Oct. 14, 2015

TEXT ONLY ORDER finding as moot 10 Motion for TRO; finding as moot 10 Motion for Preliminary Injunction in light of the correspondence from counsel received this date advising the Court that the parties have reached a settlement. NO FURTHER WRITTEN ORDER WILL ISSUE FROM THE COURT. Signed by Chief District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr on 10/14/2015 (JSM) (Entered: 10/14/2015)

Oct. 14, 2015

NOTICE of Hearing: Telephonic Status Conference set for 11/16/2015 03:00 PM before Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker. Plaintiff will place the telephone call to Judge Walker's chambers with all necessary counsel on the line. (SR) (Entered: 10/14/2015)

Oct. 14, 2015
18

DECLARATORY JUDGMENT. Signed by Chief District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr on 11/6/2015. (JCH) (Entered: 11/06/2015)

Nov. 6, 2015

State / Territory: Mississippi

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Special Collection(s):

Fines/Fees/Bail Reform (Criminalization of Poverty)

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 12, 2015

Closing Date: 2015

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Person jailed for prolonged period of time due to inability to pay secured bail

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Equal Justice Under Law

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Mooted before ruling

Defendants

City of Moss Point , City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Law-enforcement

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

Order Duration: 2015 - None

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Reporting

Required disclosure

Issues

General:

Commitment procedure

Disparate Impact

Disparate Treatment

Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond

Over/Unlawful Detention

Poverty/homelessness