Case: Jones v. Clark County

5:15-cv-00350 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky

Filed Date: Nov. 30, 2015

Closed Date: 2017

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 30, 2015, a resident of Clark County, Kentucky, who was arrested and admitted to jail filed this putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky against the Clark County Detention Center (Jail). The complaint alleged that the Jail wrongly deprived the plaintiffs of property without due process of law and charged costs of their incarceration absent court order, including for plaintiffs who were subsequently acquitted. The complaint allege…

On November 30, 2015, a resident of Clark County, Kentucky, who was arrested and admitted to jail filed this putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky against the Clark County Detention Center (Jail). The complaint alleged that the Jail wrongly deprived the plaintiffs of property without due process of law and charged costs of their incarceration absent court order, including for plaintiffs who were subsequently acquitted. The complaint alleged that this violated Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) §441.265, and the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiffs were represented by private counsel.

The individual plaintiff who filed the suit had been arrested and admitted to the Jail on October 26, 2013; he remained incarcerated until his release on December 15, 2014. Plaintiff maintained that the criminal charges for which he was incarcerated were dismissed midway on April 2, 2015, because the plaintiff proved he was entirely innocent of such offenses. After release, plaintiff received a written demand from the Jail to pay in excess of $4,000 in fees relating to his incarceration. As of November 30, 2015, the plaintiff paid $20 and refused to pay the remaining balance on the grounds that KRS §441.265 allowed a jail to charge detainees the costs of their confinement only with a court order and consideration of the detainee's financial obligations. Moreover, the plaintiff alleged, the jail could not charge innocent detainees and was required to accounting for the funds collected. The plaintiff further maintained that if KRS §441.265 is interpreted otherwise, then it violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the Kentucky Constitution.

The plaintiff sought both compensatory and punitive damages arising from the conduct of the defendants, and declaratory judgment and permanent injunction of the practice.

On January 14, 2016, the defendants moved to dismiss plaintiff's claims. On March 11, 2016, the court granted the defendants' motion and dismissed all claims alleged in the complaint with prejudice, and all pending motions were denied moot.

In the opinion, district judge Joseph Hood found that the plaintiffs were "prisoners" within the definition of KRS §441.005(3), which allows courts to impose detention fees without the order of a sentencing court and without respect to guilt or innocence. Judge Hood found, moreover, that the facts pleaded did not rise to the level of a substantive due process violation and that the state had a legitimate interest in recouping costs from inmates. Accordingly, on March 11, 2016, the court ordered judgment in favor of the defendants. 2016 WL 1050743.

The plaintiffs appealed. On December 19, 2016, the 6th Circuit affirmed in an unpublished opinion. 2016 WL 7338530. In that opinion, by Judge Rodgers, the Court of Appeals explained that at oral argument, counsel for the defendants "disavowed any further

efforts to obtain the $4,000 beyond the $20 already received." Because the county was no longer trying to collect the bill, the court said, plaintiff didn't have a property interest to assert.

Plaintiff sought rehearing en banc, but the 6th Circuit denied that motion. This case is closed.

Summary Authors

MJ Koo (1/27/2017)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5192534/parties/jones-v-clark-county-kentucky/


Judge(s)

Hood, Joseph Martin (Kentucky)

Kethledge, Raymond M. (Michigan)

Merritt, Gilbert Stroud Jr. (Tennessee)

Rogers, John M. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bathurst, Camille (Kentucky)

Belzley, Gregory A. (Kentucky)

Boyd, Matthew Wayne (Kentucky)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Mando, Jeffrey C. (Kentucky)

Judge(s)

Hood, Joseph Martin (Kentucky)

Kethledge, Raymond M. (Michigan)

Merritt, Gilbert Stroud Jr. (Tennessee)

Rogers, John M. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bathurst, Camille (Kentucky)

Belzley, Gregory A. (Kentucky)

Boyd, Matthew Wayne (Kentucky)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Mando, Jeffrey C. (Kentucky)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Dec. 19, 2016 Docket
1

Class Action Complaint

Nov. 30, 2015 Complaint
11

Memorandum, Opinion, and Order

2016 WL 1050743

March 11, 2016 Order/Opinion
10

Judgment

March 11, 2016 Order/Opinion
34

Order

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

666 Fed.Appx. 483, 2016 WL 7338530

Dec. 19, 2016 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5192534/jones-v-clark-county-kentucky/

Last updated May 13, 2022

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT ( Filing fee $400; receipt number 0643-3361939), filed by David Jones. (Attachments: # 1 Tendered Summons, # 2 Civil Cover Sheet)(LC) Modified filing date on 12/1/2015 (LC). (Entered: 12/01/2015)

1 Tendered Summons

View on PACER

2 Civil Cover Sheet

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Nov. 30, 2015 PACER
3

Summons Issued as to Clark County, Kentucky, Frank Doyle; Summons issued and returned to counsel electronically (LC) (Entered: 12/01/2015)

Nov. 30, 2015 PACER

Conflict Check run. (LC)

Dec. 1, 2015 PACER
4

MOTION to Dismiss for failure to state a claim by Clark County, Kentucky, Frank Doyle (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Mando, Jeffrey) (Entered: 01/14/2016)

1 Proposed Order

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Jan. 14, 2016 PACER
5

RESPONSE in Opposition re 4 MOTION to Dismiss for failure to state a claim by Clark County, Kentucky, Frank Doyle filed by David Jones. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Motion for Discretionary Review in Cole v. Warren County, # 2 Proposed Order)(Belzley, Gregory) (Entered: 01/26/2016)

1 Exhibit Motion for Discretionary Review in Cole v. Warren County

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order

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Jan. 26, 2016 PACER
6

Proposed Agreed Order/Stipulation by Clark County, Kentucky, Frank Doyle. (Mando, Jeffrey) (Entered: 01/27/2016)

Jan. 27, 2016 PACER
7

VIRTUAL ORDER: re 6 Proposed Agreed Order/Stipulation: The time for Defendants to file a Reply Memorandum in Support of their Motion to Dismiss 4 is extended until February 9, 2016. Signed by Judge Joseph M. Hood on 1/27/16.(LC)cc: COR (Entered: 01/27/2016)

Jan. 27, 2016 PACER
8

REPLY to 4 Motion to dismiss filed by Clark County, Kentucky, Frank Doyle. (Mando, Jeffrey) Modified to add description on 2/9/2016 (LC). (Entered: 02/08/2016)

Feb. 8, 2016 PACER

***MOTION SUBMITTED TO CHAMBERS of Judge Hood for review: re 4 MOTION to Dismiss for failure to state a claim by Clark County, Kentucky, Frank Doyle (LC)

Feb. 9, 2016 PACER
9

MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER: 1. Dft's motion to dismiss 4 is GRANTED. 2. All claims alleged in the complaint against dfts are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. 3. All pending motions are DENIED AS MOOT. 4. All deadlines and scheduled proceedings are CONTINUED GENERALLY. 5. The Clerk shall STRIKE THIS MATTER FROM THE ACTIVE DOCKET. 6. This order is a FINAL AND APPEALABLE ORDER and THERE IS NO JUST CAUSE FOR DELAY. Signed by Judge Joseph M. Hood on 3/11/2016.(LC)cc: COR (Entered: 03/11/2016)

March 11, 2016 RECAP
10

JUDGMENT: 1. Judgment is entered in favor of dfts. 2. This action is DISMISSED AND STRICKEN FROM THE ACTIVE DOCKET. 3. All pending motions are DENIED AS MOOT. 4. All scheduled proceedings are CONTINUED GENERALLY. 5. This Order is FINAL AND APPEALABLE and THERE IS NO JUST CAUSE FOR DELAY. Signed by Judge Joseph M. Hood on 3/11/2016.(LC)cc: COR (Entered: 03/11/2016)

March 11, 2016 PACER
11

NOTICE OF APPEAL as to 9 Memorandum Opinion & Order, Terminate Motions,, 10 Judgment, by David Jones. Filing fee $ 505, receipt number 0643-3435081. (Belzley, Gregory) (Entered: 03/13/2016)

March 13, 2016 PACER

USCA Case Number 16-5295 Case Manager Cheryl Borkowski for 11 Notice of Appeal filed by David Jones. (LC)

March 29, 2016 PACER
12

INFORMATION COPY OF ORDER/JUDGMENT of USCA as to 11 Notice of Appeal filed by David Jones Appeal - judgment of the District Court is affirmed - Mandate to issue. (Attachments: # 1 cover ltr)(KJR) (Entered: 12/19/2016)

1 cover ltr

View on PACER

Dec. 19, 2016 RECAP
13

MANDATE of USCA as to 11 Notice of Appeal filed by David Jones - judgment of the District Court is affirmed. (Attachments: # 1 cover ltr)(KJR) (Entered: 01/31/2017)

1 cover ltr

View on PACER

Jan. 31, 2017 PACER

State / Territory: Kentucky

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Special Collection(s):

Fines/Fees/Bail Reform (Criminalization of Poverty)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 30, 2015

Closing Date: 2017

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Individuals who, while incarcerated at the Kentucky Clark County Jail, were wrongly assessed fees for their incarceration without due process of law.

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Denied

Defendants

Clark County, Kentucky (Clark), City

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Placement in detention facilities

Quality of representation