Case: Weatherspoon v. Oldham; Tennessee v. Weatherspoon

2:17-cv-02535 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee

Filed Date: Jan. 1, 2017

Closed Date: Dec. 13, 2018

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In this case, a Memphis criminal defendant challenged the constitutionality of Tennessee’s cash bail system. In early of 2017, the defendant and, later, petitioner, was charged with attempted first degree murder. The Tennessee trial court set bail at $200,000, which he could not pay, leading to his incarceration while his criminal case was pending. The defendant was initially represented by the Shelby County Public Defender. He claimed that the trial court set a high bail amount with the goal o…

In this case, a Memphis criminal defendant challenged the constitutionality of Tennessee’s cash bail system. In early of 2017, the defendant and, later, petitioner, was charged with attempted first degree murder. The Tennessee trial court set bail at $200,000, which he could not pay, leading to his incarceration while his criminal case was pending. The defendant was initially represented by the Shelby County Public Defender. He claimed that the trial court set a high bail amount with the goal of detaining him, causing him to be incarcerated because of his poverty. This, he said, was a

violation of his Fourteenth Amendment Due Process and Equal Protection rights, as well as his rights under the Tennessee Constitution and state statutes.

The defendant initially had his bail set in the Shelby County General Sessions Court on January 1, 2017. He appealed that bail determination to the Tennessee Criminal Court on March 22, 2017, where the case was docketed as P43279. In both courts, he argued that he was entitled to a bail determination based on his risk of flight or dangerousness to the community, the standard used in federal court. However, as was the common practice in Tennessee, the court made no determination on these issues, but set a high bail that it knew the defendant would be unable to afford with the express goal of having him detained before trial. Both the General Sessions Court and the Criminal Court rejected these arguments and the defendant was detained.

In response, the defendant filed a motion raising the same arguments under Rule 8 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, which allows defendant to appeal bail decisions to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals on April 19, 2017. That case was docketed as W2017-00779-SC-R8-CO. In a May 11, 2017, the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the Criminal Court’s bail determination, noting that Tennessee trial courts have “very wide latitude in setting bail.”

The defendant filed a similar motion in Tennessee Supreme Court on May 30, 2017, where the case was again docketed as W2017-00779-SC-R8-CO. Civil Rights Corp and the ACLU of Tennessee both filed an amicus brief in support of his release. However, on June 8, 2017 the Tennessee Supreme Court denied that motion in a two sentence order, affirming the trial court again.

Though the defendant had exhausted all of his state appeals, he continued to challenge his pretrial detention. Joined by Civil Rights Corps, the MacArthur Justice Center, and private counsel, he filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on July 25, 2017. There, the case was docketed as Weatherspoon v. Oldham, 2:17-cv-02535 and assigned to U.S. District Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr.

On February 26, 2018, Judge Mays granted the defendant’s petition. 2018 WL 1053548. He found that the defendant was deprived of his liberty without Due Process by Tennessee’s cash bail scheme because the proceedings did not consider the defendant’s risk of flight or danger to the community. However, he did not reach the defendant’s Equal Protection argument. Judge Mays granted the defendant a conditional writ of habeas corpus, ordering him released unless the Criminal Court held a bail hearing that comported with the requirements of the Due Process clause within 30 days.

However, the defendant filed a motion for reconsideration of Judge Mays’ order on March 2, 2018 asking the court to require a clear and convincing standard in his state bail hearing. On April 19, 2018, the court denied this motion, finding no reason to reconsider his prior decision. 2018 WL 1884825.

The state court later reduced the defendants bail to $100,000 and ordered that he be subject to GPS monitoring if released. However, it does not appear that he was released. The defendant then filed an emergency motion alleging the Tennessee court on March 29, 2018, alleging that the state trial court violated his Due Process rights by not finding that no condition of non-monetary conditions could ensure his return to court or the safety of the community. Judge Mayes disagreed with that assessment in a May 1, 2018 order, which found that the state court's decision comported with the requirements of the Due Process clause.

Judgement was entered in the federal case on May 1, 2018 and there has no been no activity since that date. Tennessee Department of Corrections show that the defendant was eventually convicted and sentenced in his criminal case, thus mooting the question of his pretrial incarceration. Thus, the case is closed.

Summary Authors

Jonah Hudson-Erdman (7/20/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6317272/parties/weatherspoon-v-oldham/


Judge(s)

Claxton, Charmiane G. (Tennessee)

Glenn, Alan E. (Tennessee)

Mays, Samuel H. Jr. (Tennessee)

McMullen, Camille R. (Tennessee)

Williams, John Everett (Tennessee)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ali, Amir H. (District of Columbia)

Bush, Stephen C (Tennessee)

Davis Redden, Emma J (Tennessee)

Dharia, Premal T. (District of Columbia)

Gerstein, Charles L. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Claxton, Charmiane G. (Tennessee)

Glenn, Alan E. (Tennessee)

Mays, Samuel H. Jr. (Tennessee)

McMullen, Camille R. (Tennessee)

Williams, John Everett (Tennessee)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ali, Amir H. (District of Columbia)

Bush, Stephen C (Tennessee)

Davis Redden, Emma J (Tennessee)

Dharia, Premal T. (District of Columbia)

Gerstein, Charles L. (District of Columbia)

Stanton, Joshua (Tennessee)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Jones, John Marshall (Tennessee)

Stigger, Bridgett L (Tennessee)

Other Attorney(s)

Castelli, Thomas H. (Tennessee)

Roberts, Kristine L. (Tennessee)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Weatherspoon v. Oldham

May 1, 2018 Docket

Brief of Amici Curiae Civil Rights Corps and ACLU of Tennessee

State of Tennessee v. Weatherspoon

Tennessee state supreme court

June 1, 2017 Pleading / Motion / Brief
1-4

Order

State of Tennessee v. Weatherspoon

Tennessee state supreme court

July 25, 2017 Order/Opinion
1-2

Order

State of Tennessee v. Weatherspoon

Tennessee state appellate court

July 25, 2017 Order/Opinion
1 & 1-7

Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241

Weatherspoon v. Oldham

July 25, 2017 Complaint
1-3

Motion for Reconsideration of Financial Conditions of Release

State of Tennessee v. Weatherspoon

Tennessee state supreme court

July 25, 2017 Pleading / Motion / Brief
31

Order

Weatherspoon v. Oldham

2018 WL 1053548

Feb. 26, 2018 Order/Opinion
40

Order

Weatherspoon v. Oldham

2018 WL 1884825

April 19, 2018 Order/Opinion
45

Order

Weatherspoon v. Oldham

May 1, 2018 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6317272/weatherspoon-v-oldham/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

PETITION for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Filing fee $ 5 receipt number 0651-2593884), filed by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Transcript of Criminal Court hearing, # 2 Exhibit B - Court of Appeals Order, # 3 Exhibit C - Supreme Court Motion, # 4 Exhibit D -TN Supreme Court Order, # 5 Exhibit E - Ransom, # 6 Exhibit F - Hyperlinks, # 7 Memorandum in Support of Petition, # 8 Civil Cover Sheet)(Redden, Emma) (Entered: 07/25/2017)

1

View on RECAP

2

View on RECAP

3

View on RECAP

4

View on RECAP

5

View on RECAP

6

View on RECAP

7

View on RECAP

8

View on RECAP

July 25, 2017 RECAP
2

Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr and Magistrate Judge Charmiane G. Claxton added. (jae) (Entered: 07/26/2017)

July 25, 2017 PACER
3

NOTICE OF CASE TRACKING ASSIGNMENT PURSUANT TO LOCAL RULE 16.2: Pursuant to Local Rule 16.2, this case has been assigned to the Administrative track. http://www.tnwd.uscourts.gov/pdf/content/LocalRules.pdf (jae) (Entered: 07/26/2017)

July 26, 2017 PACER
4

NOTICE of Summons by Emma Janine Redden on behalf of Delchon Weatherspoon. (Redden, Emma) (Entered: 07/27/2017)

July 27, 2017 PACER
5

Summons Issued as to Bill Oldham. The filer has been notified electronically that the summons has been issued, and the new docket entry reflects this. Upon notification of the new docket entry, the filer is to print the issued summons in order to effect service. (jld) (Entered: 07/27/2017)

July 27, 2017 PACER
6

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice proposed order submitted (Filing fee $ 150 receipt number 0651-2595888) by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Gerstein, Charles) (Entered: 07/27/2017)

July 27, 2017 PACER
7

ORDER GRANTING MOTION 6 TO APPEAR PRO HAC VICE, signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr. on 07/28/2017. Attorney Charles Lewis Gerstein is admitted to participate in this action as counsel for plaintiff. (Mays, Samuel) (Entered: 07/28/2017)

July 28, 2017 PACER
8

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Delchon Weatherspoon as to Bill Oldham. (Redden, Emma) (Entered: 07/28/2017)

July 28, 2017 PACER
9

MOTION to Expedite proposed order submitted by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum of law)(Gerstein, Charles) (Entered: 08/01/2017)

1 Memorandum of law

View on PACER

Aug. 1, 2017 RECAP
10

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice proposed order submitted (Filing fee $ 150 receipt number 0651-2599358) by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Ali, Amir) (Entered: 08/02/2017)

Aug. 2, 2017 PACER
11

ORDER GRANTING MOTION 10 TO APPEAR PRO HAC VICE, signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr. on 08/03/2017. Attorney Amir H. Ali is admitted to participate in this action as counsel for petitioner. (Mays, Samuel) (Entered: 08/03/2017)

Aug. 3, 2017 PACER
12

Emergency MOTION for Order to Show Cause proposed order submitted by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Gerstein, Charles) (Entered: 10/02/2017)

Oct. 2, 2017 PACER
13

NOTICE by Delchon Weatherspoon of Supplemental Authority (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Brief of Amicus Curiae Conference of Chief Justices in ODonnell v. Harris County, Tex.)(Gerstein, Charles) (Entered: 10/02/2017)

Oct. 2, 2017 PACER
14

ORDER DIRECTING UNITED STATES TO RESPOND re 12 Emergency MOTION for Order to Show Cause, signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr on 10/10/2017. (Mays, Samuel) (Entered: 10/10/2017)

Oct. 10, 2017 PACER
15

AMENDED ORDER DIRECTING RESPONDENT TO RESPOND. Signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr on 10/16/2017. (Mays, Samuel) (Entered: 10/16/2017)

Oct. 16, 2017 PACER
16

NOTICE of Appearance by Bridgett L. Stigger on behalf of Bill Oldham (Stigger, Bridgett) (Entered: 10/16/2017)

Oct. 16, 2017 PACER
17

NOTICE of Appearance by John Marshall Jones on behalf of Bill Oldham (Jones, John) (Entered: 10/16/2017)

Oct. 16, 2017 PACER
18

RESPONSE TO ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE by Bill Oldham. (Stigger, Bridgett) (Entered: 10/16/2017)

Oct. 16, 2017 PACER
19

Consent MOTION for Leave to File Reply proposed order submitted by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Proposed Reply in Support of Petitioner's Motion for an Order to Show Cause)(Gerstein, Charles) (Entered: 10/20/2017)

Oct. 20, 2017 PACER
20

ORDER granting 9 Motion to Expedite; denying 12 Motion for Order to Show Cause; granting 19 Motion for Leave to File. Respondent is ordered to file his response to Weatherspoon's petition by November 6, 2017. Any reply must be filed by November 13, 2017. Signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr on 10/23/2017. (Mays, Samuel) (Entered: 10/23/2017)

Oct. 23, 2017 PACER
21

RESPONSE to 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Answer by Bill Oldham. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum Memorandum of Law in Support of Answer)(Stigger, Bridgett) (Entered: 11/06/2017)

Nov. 6, 2017 PACER
22

REPLY to Response to Habeas Petition re 21 Response to Habeas Petition filed by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Gerstein, Charles) (Entered: 11/13/2017)

Nov. 13, 2017 PACER
23

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice proposed order submitted (Filing fee $ 150 receipt number 0651-2677480) by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Attachments: # 1 Certificates of Good Standing)(Gerstein, Charles) Modified on 12/5/2017 (jld). (Entered: 11/29/2017)

Nov. 29, 2017 PACER
24

NOTICE by Delchon Weatherspoon of Supplemental Authority (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibit A Order of U.S. District Court Northern District of California)(Gerstein, Charles) (Entered: 11/30/2017)

Nov. 30, 2017 PACER
25

DEFICIENCY NOTICE: Pursuant to Rule 5 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, document 23 MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice proposed order submitted (Filing fee $ 150 receipt number 0651-2677480) filed by Delchon Weatherspoon has been filed. However, the following deficiency has been found: The Attorney filing a motion must use their log in and password. A mismatch between the login account and the electronic signature (s/name) will be grounds for rejecting that filing. Please refer to the ECF User Manual and ECF Policies and Procedures. The filer has one business day to correct the deficiency. (jld) (Entered: 12/05/2017)

Dec. 5, 2017 PACER
26

Second MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice Proposed Order Submitted (Fee paid as part of previous filing) by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Certificate of Good Standing DC, # 2 Exhibit Certificate of Good Standing DDC)(Dharia, Premal) (Entered: 12/08/2017)

Dec. 8, 2017 PACER
27

ORDER GRANTING MOTION 26 TO APPEAR PRO HAC VICE, signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr. on 12/08/2017. Attorney Premal Dharia is admitted to participate in this action as counsel for petitioner. (Mays, Samuel) (Entered: 12/11/2017)

Dec. 11, 2017 PACER
28

NOTICE by Delchon Weatherspoon of Intention to Seek a Writ of Mandamus (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A State Court Case Summary)(Gerstein, Charles) (Entered: 02/07/2018)

Feb. 7, 2018 PACER
29

NOTICE by Delchon Weatherspoon of Filing of Petition for a Writ of Mandamus (Gerstein, Charles) (Entered: 02/15/2018)

Feb. 15, 2018 PACER
30

NOTICE from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Petition for Writ of Mandamus filed as case number 18-5162. Petition filed by Petitioner Delchon Weatherspoon. (agj) (Entered: 02/16/2018)

Feb. 15, 2018 PACER
31

ORDER granting a condition writ of habeas corpus. Weatherspoon is GRANTED a conditional writ of habeas corpus, releasing him, unless the state trial court holds a bail hearing that comports with Due Process within 30 days of the issuance of the writ to determine whether continued detention is justified. Signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr on 2/26/2018. (Mays, Samuel) (Entered: 02/26/2018)

Feb. 26, 2018 RECAP
32

ORDER filed GRANTING motion to dismiss USCA case number 18-5162 - voluntarily filed by Mr. Charles Lewis Gerstein and Amir H. Ali. (jrs) (Entered: 03/02/2018)

March 2, 2018 PACER
33

MOTION for Reconsideration re 31 Order, by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum of Law)(Gerstein, Charles) (Entered: 03/02/2018)

March 2, 2018 PACER
34

RESPONSE in Opposition re 33 MOTION for Reconsideration re 31 Order, (RESPONSE TO PETITIONERS MOTION FOR PARTIAL RECONSIDERATION) filed by Bill Oldham. (Stigger, Bridgett) (Entered: 03/14/2018)

March 14, 2018 PACER
35

REPLY to Response to Motion re 34 Response in Opposition to Motion filed by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Gerstein, Charles) (Entered: 03/16/2018)

March 16, 2018 PACER
36

Emergency MOTION for Writ Compliance with Conditional Writ by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A Declaration of Joshua Stanton)(Gerstein, Charles) (Entered: 03/29/2018)

1 Exhibit A Declaration of Joshua Stanton

View on PACER

March 29, 2018 PACER
37

First MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 36 Emergency MOTION for Writ Compliance with Conditional Writ (Proposed Order Submitted) by Bill Oldham. (Stigger, Bridgett) (Entered: 04/06/2018)

April 6, 2018 PACER
38

ORDER GRANTING MOTION 37 FOR EXTENSION TO RESPOND to petitioner's emergency motion for compliance with conditional writ, signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr. on 04/09/2018. Respondent shall have fourteen (14) days after the filing of the transcript of the bail hearing in which to file a response. (Mays, Samuel) (Entered: 04/09/2018)

April 9, 2018 PACER
39

NOTICE by Delchon Weatherspoon re 36 Emergency MOTION for Writ Compliance with Conditional Writ Filing of Official Transcript (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit B Official Transcript)(Gerstein, Charles) (Entered: 04/09/2018)

April 9, 2018 PACER
40

ORDER denying 33 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr on 4/16/2018. (Mays, Samuel) (Entered: 04/19/2018)

April 19, 2018 RECAP
41

RESPONSE in Opposition re 36 Emergency MOTION for Writ Compliance with Conditional Writ filed by Bill Oldham. (Stigger, Bridgett) (Entered: 04/23/2018)

April 23, 2018 RECAP
42

MOTION for Leave to File Reply in Support of Emergency Motion for Compliance with Conditional Writ by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum)(Ali, Amir) (Entered: 04/30/2018)

April 30, 2018 PACER
43

ORDER GRANTING MOTION 42 FOR LEAVE TO FILE REPLY in support of emergency motion for compliance with this Court's conditional writ, signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr. on 05/01/2018. Petitioner may file the reply that is attached to his motion. (Mays, Samuel) (Entered: 05/01/2018)

May 1, 2018 PACER
44

REPLY to Response to Motion re 41 Response in Opposition to Motion for Writ Compliance with Conditional Writ filed by Delchon Weatherspoon. (Ali, Amir) (Entered: 05/01/2018)

May 1, 2018 PACER
45

ORDER denying 36 Weatherspoons Emergency Motion and his ยง 2241 Petition. Signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr on 5/1/2018. (Mays, Samuel) (Entered: 05/01/2018)

May 1, 2018 RECAP
46

JUDGMENT. Signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr on 5/1/2018. (Mays, Samuel) (Entered: 05/01/2018)

May 1, 2018 RECAP

State / Territory: Tennessee

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Special Collection(s):

Fines/Fees/Bail Reform (Criminalization of Poverty)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 1, 2017

Closing Date: Dec. 13, 2018

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

a criminal defendant detained under Tennessee's cash bail scheme

Attorney Organizations:

MacArthur Justice Center

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Civil Rights Corps

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

State of Tennessee (Memphis, Shelby), State

Sheriff (Memphis, Shelby), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255

Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process: Procedural Due Process

Equal Protection

Special Case Type(s):

Criminal

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Habeas relief

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond

Poverty/homelessness