Case: Hickox v. Christie

2:15-cv-07647 | U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

Filed Date: Oct. 22, 2015

Closed Date: 2017

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On 10/22/2015, this lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against the Governor of New Jersey and New Jersey Department of Health officials. Plaintiff, a U.S. citizen represented by the ACLU and private counsel, brought claims under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that, upon her return to the United States from a foreign country, Defendants had unlawfully detained and quarantined her in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Sh…

On 10/22/2015, this lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against the Governor of New Jersey and New Jersey Department of Health officials. Plaintiff, a U.S. citizen represented by the ACLU and private counsel, brought claims under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that, upon her return to the United States from a foreign country, Defendants had unlawfully detained and quarantined her in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. She also alleged false imprisonment and invasion of privacy.

Prior to the incidents giving rise to these allegations, Plaintiff, a nurse specializing in public health, spent approximately one month in Sierra Leone supervising the treatment of patients infected with the Ebola virus. During this time, she followed strict protocol to avoid exposure to the disease. Prior to her return to the U.S., New Jersey Governor Christie signed an Executive Order putting into effect an "Ebola Preparedness Plan" for the state. When she arrived in New Jersey, state and CDC officials escorted Plaintiff to a Quarantine Station, where she was examined and questioned and apparently found to be in good health. Nonetheless, New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) officials and Governor Christie decided to quarantine Plaintiff. Without explaining what was happening and without a signed quarantine order, officials transported Plaintiff in an ambulance to an isolation tent. While there, her temperature was checked several times with two different thermometers, one indicating a normal temperature and the other indicating an elevated temperature. Although Plaintiff tested negative for Ebola and had no symptoms, she was kept in quarantine for a total of 80 hours. During this time, no one gave her an explanation for her detention. In the meantime, Governor Christie addressed the situation on public television, describing Plaintiff as "obviously ill."

On January 15, 2016, Defendants moved to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint. The motion to dismiss argued that Plaintiff's constitutional claims should be dismissed because Defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. It also argued that Plaintiff had failed to state a claim for false imprisonment and invasion of privacy.

On September 2, 2016, District Court Judge Kevin McNulty granted the motion to dismiss with respect to Plaintiff's federal claims. Judge McNulty agreed with Defendants' contention that legal precedent at the time of Plaintiff's quarantine did not clearly establish that detaining Plaintiff and placing her in quarantine violated her constitutional rights. Thus, Defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. He also stated that while there is no bright-line rule for detaining those exposed to infectious disease at the border, authorities possess broad discretion with respect to such matters so long as their orders are not overbroad or unreasonable in relation to the public health interests at stake. 205 F.Supp.3d 579.

However, the court denied Defendants' motion to dismiss with respect to Plaintiff's state law claims, finding that Plaintiff had alleged sufficient facts in support of her claims of false imprisonment and invasion of privacy/false light. 205 F.Supp.3d 579.

The parties requested a stay of discovery, and were soon able to negotiate a settlement. They submitted a stipulated order of dismissal on June 27, 2017. The next day, Judge McNulty ordered the case dismissed with prejudice and without costs to either party. The terms of the settlement agreement included the implementation of less restrictive and more transparent quarantine procedures for those suspected or at-risk of Ebola infection. It also required that quarantined individuals be notified of their rights. There apparently was no financial settlement. The text of the agreement can be found here or with the documents below.

Summary Authors

Lauren Latterell Powell (11/19/2017)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4517897/parties/hickox-v-christie/


Judge(s)

Clark, James B. III (New Jersey)

McNulty, Kevin (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barocas, Edward (New Jersey)

Hyman, Steven J. (New York)

LoCicero, Jeanne (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Beck, Matthew Evan (New Jersey)

Chiesa, Jeffrey S. (New Jersey)

Dischley, Lindsay Ann (New Jersey)

Israel, Ronald Lawrence (New Jersey)

Jespersen, Kevin R. (New Jersey)

Judge(s)

Clark, James B. III (New Jersey)

McNulty, Kevin (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barocas, Edward (New Jersey)

Hyman, Steven J. (New York)

LoCicero, Jeanne (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Beck, Matthew Evan (New Jersey)

Chiesa, Jeffrey S. (New Jersey)

Dischley, Lindsay Ann (New Jersey)

Israel, Ronald Lawrence (New Jersey)

Jespersen, Kevin R. (New Jersey)

Zieman, Benjamin Henry (New Jersey)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

July 28, 2017 Docket
1

Verified Complaint

Oct. 22, 2015 Complaint
19

Opinion

Sept. 2, 2016 Order/Opinion

Settlement Agreement

July 17, 2017 Settlement Agreement
46

Stipulation of Dismissal With Prejudice and Without Costs

July 28, 2017 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4517897/hickox-v-christie/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, JANE ROE, JOHN DOE, GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER RINN ( Filing and Admin fee $ 400 receipt number 0312-6712672) with JURY DEMAND, filed by KACI HICKOX. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Civil Cover Sheet)(JB, ) (Entered: 10/22/2015)

1 Exhibit 1

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2 Civil Cover Sheet

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Oct. 22, 2015 PACER
2

SUMMONS ISSUED as to CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER RINN Attached is the official court Summons, please fill out Defendant and Plaintiffs attorney information and serve. Issued By *JACKELINE BARCO* (JB, ) (Entered: 10/22/2015)

Oct. 22, 2015 PACER
3

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by KACI HICKOX. CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE waiver sent on 10/27/2015, answer due 12/28/2015. (BAROCAS, EDWARD) (Entered: 11/05/2015)

Nov. 5, 2015 PACER
4

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by KACI HICKOX. MARY E. O'DOWD waiver sent on 10/27/2015, answer due 12/28/2015. (BAROCAS, EDWARD) (Entered: 11/05/2015)

Nov. 5, 2015 PACER
5

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by KACI HICKOX. GARY LUDWIG waiver sent on 10/27/2015, answer due 12/28/2015. (BAROCAS, EDWARD) (Entered: 11/05/2015)

Nov. 5, 2015 PACER
6

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by KACI HICKOX. CHRISTOPHER RINN waiver sent on 10/27/2015, answer due 12/28/2015. (BAROCAS, EDWARD) (Entered: 11/05/2015)

Nov. 5, 2015 PACER
7

NOTICE of Appearance by KEVIN R. JESPERSEN on behalf of CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER RINN (JESPERSEN, KEVIN) (Entered: 11/23/2015)

Nov. 23, 2015 PACER
8

Letter from Kevin R. Jespersen. (JESPERSEN, KEVIN) (Entered: 11/24/2015)

Nov. 24, 2015 PACER
9

ORDER granting Defendants request for an extension of the motion schedule. Signed by Magistrate Judge James B. Clark on 12/1/2015. (anr) (Entered: 12/01/2015)

Dec. 1, 2015 RECAP
10

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice (with consent of all parties) by KACI HICKOX. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Certification of Edward Barocas, # 3 Certification of Steven J. Hyman, # 4 Certification of Kate Fletcher, # 5 Certification of Norman H. Siegel)(BAROCAS, EDWARD) (Entered: 12/04/2015)

1 Text of Proposed Order

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2 Certification of Edward Barocas

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3 Certification of Steven J. Hyman

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4 Certification of Kate Fletcher

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5 Certification of Norman H. Siegel

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Dec. 4, 2015 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines as to 10 MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice (with consent of all parties). Motion set for 1/4/2016 before Judge Kevin McNulty. The motion will be decided on the papers. No appearances required unless notified by the court. (anr)

Dec. 6, 2015 PACER
11

ORDER granting 10 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice as to Steven J. Hyman, Kate Fletcher, Norman H. Siegel. Signed by Magistrate Judge James B. Clark on 12/7/2015. (anr) (Entered: 12/07/2015)

Dec. 7, 2015 PACER

Pro Hac Vice fee of $ 300 received as to Kate Fletcher, Esq. and Norman H. Siegel, Esq., receipt number TRE064918 (mps)

Jan. 5, 2016 PACER
12

MOTION to Dismiss by CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, JANE ROE, JOHN DOE, GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER RINN. Responses due by 3/15/2016 (Attachments: # 1 Brief, # 2 Text of Proposed Order, # 3 Certificate of Service)(ZIEMAN, BENJAMIN) (Entered: 01/15/2016)

1 Brief

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2 Text of Proposed Order

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3 Certificate of Service

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Jan. 15, 2016 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines as to 12 MOTION to Dismiss . Motion set for 2/16/2016 before Judge Kevin McNulty. Unless otherwise directed by the Court, this motion will be decided on the papers and no appearances are required. Note that this is an automatically generated message from the Clerk`s Office and does not supersede any previous or subsequent orders from the Court. (anr)

Jan. 15, 2016 PACER
13

TEXT ORDER - The Parties are advised that the Motion Return date is 5/16/2016. The parties are directed to follow the Order entered on 12/1/2015.. So Ordered by Magistrate Judge James B. Clark on 1/20/2016. (mw, ) (Entered: 01/20/2016)

Jan. 20, 2016 PACER
14

NOTICE of Appearance by JEANNE LOCICERO on behalf of KACI HICKOX (LOCICERO, JEANNE) (Entered: 01/22/2016)

Jan. 22, 2016 PACER

Pro Hac Vice fee of $ 150 received as to Steven J. Hyman, Esq., receipt number TRE065737 (mps)

Jan. 29, 2016 PACER
15

BRIEF in Opposition filed by KACI HICKOX re 12 MOTION to Dismiss (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit of Edward Barocas (with Exhibits), # 2 Certificate of Service)(BAROCAS, EDWARD) (Entered: 03/15/2016)

1 Affidavit of Edward Barocas (with Exhibits)

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2 Certificate of Service

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March 15, 2016 PACER
16

REPLY BRIEF to Opposition to Motion filed by CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER RINN re 12 MOTION to Dismiss (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service, # 2 Exhibit)(ZIEMAN, BENJAMIN) (Entered: 04/14/2016)

1 Certificate of Service

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2 Exhibit

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April 14, 2016 PACER
17

Letter from Plaintiff requesting permission to file Sur-reply Brief re 12 MOTION to Dismiss . (Attachments: # 1 Brief Proposed Sur-reply Brief, # 2 Certificate of Service)(BAROCAS, EDWARD) (Entered: 04/25/2016)

1 Brief Proposed Sur-reply Brief

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2 Certificate of Service

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April 25, 2016 PACER
18

Letter from Kevin Jesperen. (Attachments: # 1 Supplement, # 2 Certificate of Service)(JESPERSEN, KEVIN) (Entered: 05/02/2016)

1 Supplement

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2 Certificate of Service

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May 2, 2016 PACER
19

OPINION. Signed by Judge Kevin McNulty on 9/2/16. (nic, ) (Entered: 09/07/2016)

Sept. 2, 2016 RECAP
20

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 12 Motion to Dismiss. Signed by Judge Kevin McNulty on 9/2/2016. (nic, ) (Entered: 09/07/2016)

Sept. 2, 2016 PACER
21

Application and Proposed Order for Clerk's Order to extend time to answer as to Christopher James Christie, Mary E. ODowd, Christopher Rinn, and Gary Ludwig.. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(ZIEMAN, BENJAMIN) (Entered: 09/16/2016)

1 Certificate of Service

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Sept. 16, 2016 PACER

Clerk`s Text Order - The document 21 Application for Clerk's Order to Ext Answer/Proposed Order submitted by GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, CHRISTOPHER RINN has been GRANTED. The answer due date has been set for 9/30/2016. (seb)

Sept. 19, 2016 PACER
22

Letter from DAG Benjamin H. Zieman seeking a 30-day extension to answer Plaintiff''s Complaint. (ZIEMAN, BENJAMIN) (Entered: 09/27/2016)

Sept. 27, 2016 PACER
23

ORDER granting Defendants Christopher James Christie, Mary E. ODowd, Christopher Rinn, and Gary Ludwig an additional 30 thirty (30) days, or until October 31, 2016, to file an answer to Plaintiff's Complaint. Signed by Magistrate Judge James B. Clark on 9/28/2016. (seb) (Entered: 09/28/2016)

Sept. 28, 2016 PACER

Answer Due Deadline Update - The document 22 Letter submitted by GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, CHRISTOPHER RINN has been GRANTED. The answer due date has been set for 10/31/2016. (seb)

Sept. 28, 2016 PACER
24

NOTICE of Appearance by JEFFREY SCOTT CHIESA on behalf of CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER RINN (CHIESA, JEFFREY) (Entered: 10/05/2016)

Oct. 5, 2016 PACER
25

NOTICE of Appearance by RONALD LAWRENCE ISRAEL on behalf of CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER RINN (ISRAEL, RONALD) (Entered: 10/05/2016)

Oct. 5, 2016 PACER
26

NOTICE of Appearance by MATTHEW EVAN BECK on behalf of CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER RINN (BECK, MATTHEW) (Entered: 10/14/2016)

Oct. 14, 2016 PACER
27

NOTICE of Appearance by LINDSAY ANN DISCHLEY on behalf of CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER RINN (DISCHLEY, LINDSAY) (Entered: 10/14/2016)

Oct. 14, 2016 PACER
28

ANSWER to Complaint with JURY DEMAND by CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER RINN.(CHIESA, JEFFREY) (Entered: 10/31/2016)

Oct. 31, 2016 PACER
29

Notice of Request by Pro Hac Vice Kate Fletcher to receive Notices of Electronic Filings. (BAROCAS, EDWARD) (Entered: 11/03/2016)

Nov. 3, 2016 PACER
30

Notice of Request by Pro Hac Vice Steven J. Hyman to receive Notices of Electronic Filings. (BAROCAS, EDWARD) (Entered: 11/03/2016)

Nov. 3, 2016 PACER
31

Notice of Request by Pro Hac Vice Norman H. Siegel to receive Notices of Electronic Filings. (BAROCAS, EDWARD) (Entered: 11/03/2016)

Nov. 3, 2016 PACER

Pro Hac Vice counsel, KATE FLETCHER, ESQ., NORMAN H. SIEGEL, ESQ. and STEVEN J. HYMAN, ESQ., have been added to receive Notices of Electronic Filing. Pursuant to L.Civ.R. 101.1, only local counsel are entitled to sign and file papers, enter appearances and receive payments on judgments, decrees or orders. (seb)

Nov. 4, 2016 PACER
32

LETTER ORDER - Scheduling an Initial Conference for 1/9/2017 at 11:00 AM before Magistrate Judge James B. Clark. Signed by Magistrate Judge James B. Clark on 11/14/2016. (mw, ) (Entered: 11/14/2016)

Nov. 14, 2016 PACER
33

Letter from Ronald Israel. Esq. requesting guidance re: filing of motion. (ISRAEL, RONALD) (Entered: 12/06/2016)

Dec. 6, 2016 PACER
34

ORDER: It is ORDERED that the Court will discuss Defendants' request to file a 12(c) motion during the initial R16 conference. Signed by Magistrate Judge James B. Clark on 12/7/2016. (seb) (Entered: 12/08/2016)

Dec. 7, 2016 PACER
35

PRETRIAL SCHEDULING ORDER: Telephone Status Conference set for 4/26/2017 10:00 AM before Magistrate Judge James B. Clark. Amended Pleadings due by 4/7/2017. Fact Discovery due by 7/21/2017. Joinder of Parties due by 4/7/2017, etc. Signed by Magistrate Judge James B. Clark on 01/09/2017. (ek) (Entered: 01/10/2017)

Jan. 9, 2017 PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge James B. Clark: Scheduling Conference held on 1/10/2017. (mw, )

Jan. 10, 2017 PACER
36

AFFIDAVIT/Certification in support of discovery confidentiality order by CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER RINN. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(ISRAEL, RONALD) (Entered: 02/14/2017)

1 Text of Proposed Order

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Feb. 14, 2017 PACER
37

Discovery Confidentiality Order. Signed by Magistrate Judge James B. Clark on 02/15/2017. (ek) (Entered: 02/15/2017)

Feb. 15, 2017 PACER
38

Letter from Ronald L. Israel, Esq. re 35 Scheduling Order,. (ISRAEL, RONALD) (Entered: 02/22/2017)

Feb. 22, 2017 PACER
39

ORDER granting Defendants' 38 Letter requesting extension of time to complete responses to the initial interrogatories and document requests for one month, until April 3, 2017. All other deadlines in the January 9, 2017 Pretrial Scheduling Order be moved back by 30 days, etc. Telephone Conference set for 4/26/2017 10:00 AM before Magistrate Judge James B. Clark. Signed by Magistrate Judge James B. Clark on 02/24/2017. (ek) (Entered: 02/24/2017)

Feb. 24, 2017 PACER
40

ORDER that the Discovery shall be stayed pending the Telephone Conference adjourned to 5/4/2017 02:30 PM before Magistrate Judge James B. Clark. Signed by Magistrate Judge James B. Clark on 03/28/2017. (ek) (Entered: 03/28/2017)

March 28, 2017 PACER
41

Letter to Judge Clark from Alan Sash, Esq.. (ld, ) (Entered: 04/13/2017)

March 29, 2017 PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge James B. Clark: Telephone Conference held on 5/4/2017. (mw, )

May 4, 2017 PACER
42

ORDER setting telephone conference for 6/2/2017 at 02:30 PM with Magistrate Judge James B. Clark. Discovery is stayed pending the call. Signed by Magistrate Judge James B. Clark on 5/5/17. (jr) (Entered: 05/05/2017)

May 5, 2017 PACER
43

Letter from Ronald L. Israel, Esq. to Hon. James B. Clark, III, U.S.M.J. requesting 6/2/17 telephone conference be adjourned re 42 Order, Set Hearings. (ISRAEL, RONALD) (Entered: 06/01/2017)

June 1, 2017 PACER
44

Order Administratively Terminating Action - 60 Day, Pending Consummation of Settlement. Administrative Termination deadline set for 8/15/2017. Signed by Judge Kevin McNulty on 6/16/17. (nic, ) (Entered: 06/16/2017)

June 16, 2017 PACER
45

STIPULATION of Dismissal by CHRISTOPHER JAMES CHRISTIE, GARY LUDWIG, MARY E. O'DOWD, CHRISTOPHER RINN. (ISRAEL, RONALD) (Entered: 07/27/2017)

July 27, 2017 RECAP
46

STIPULATION AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE AND WITHOUT COSTS, etc. Signed by Judge Kevin McNulty on 07/28/2017. (ek) (Entered: 07/28/2017)

July 28, 2017 PACER

State / Territory: New Jersey

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 22, 2015

Closing Date: 2017

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Private citizen held and quarantined at the U.S. border.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

State of New Jersey, State

New Jersey Department of Health, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Content of Injunction:

Required disclosure

Issues

General:

Confinement/isolation

Over/Unlawful Detention