Case: United States v. State of Tennessee

2:24-cv-02101 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee

Filed Date: Feb. 15, 2024

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On February 15, 2024, the United States filed a lawsuit against the State of Tennessee and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee to enforce Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, and its implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35. The federal government alleged that Tennessee unlawfully discriminates against people with HIV in their maintenance and enforcement of their aggravated …

On February 15, 2024, the United States filed a lawsuit against the State of Tennessee and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee to enforce Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, and its implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35. The federal government alleged that Tennessee unlawfully discriminates against people with HIV in their maintenance and enforcement of their aggravated prostitution statute, Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-13-516. Upon conviction, people living with HIV are required to register as sex offenders and are subject to higher criminal penalties, while people without HIV status—engaging in the same conduct but charged under the misdemeanor version of the offense—are not. As the United States claimed, this violates the ADA because HIV is a disability under the statute, and the disparity in penalties does not reflect the current scientific understanding of the risk of harm and treatment availability for HIV. The United States sought a declaration that the Tennessee law violates the ADA, and to enjoin the State from enforcing the aggravated prostitution statute and accompanying sex offender registration requirements. It also asked the court to order Tennessee to remove individuals from the sex offender registry who are listed solely for convictions under the aggravated prostitution statute, to expunge these records, and alert other law enforcement agencies that this information is no longer valid. Lastly, the United States sought compensatory damages on behalf of the named complainant and other aggrieved individuals. 

The case was assigned to Chief Judge Sheryl H. Lipman and Chief Magistrate Judge Tu M. Pham. On March 25, defendants moved unopposed to consolidate this case with OUTMemphis v. Bill Lee, Case No. 2:23-cv-2670-SHL-CGC, another case challenging the aggravated prostitution statute, in which the United States Department of Justice sued the state of Tennessee and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Defendants also filed a motion to stay proceedings until July 15, 2024, “in light of the General Assembly’s recent amendment of many of the statutes that are at the core of the federal government’s claims.” In response, the United States claimed that the new statute does not cure the discriminatory effect of the aggravated prostitution law, and fails to address the harm done to those previously convicted and added to the sex offender registry. 

The parties met for a scheduling conference on April 3, 2024. Following the conference, the Court consolidated this case with OUTMemphis v. Bill Lee, and set the trial date for January 20, 2026. 

On April 10, 2024, the State of Tennessee and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the U.S. Department of Justice had no cause of action to sue in this case. Defendants further argued that the state had a "prerogative to superintend public health," and that to interpret the ADA as prohibiting Tennessee's aggravated prostitution statute would improperly invade that prerogative.

As of May 11, 2024, defendants' motion to stay and motion to dismiss are pending before the Court. This case is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Grayson Metzger (4/4/2024)

Sarah Portwood (5/11/2024)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/68253391/parties/united-states-v-state-of-tennessee/


Judge(s)
Attorney for Plaintiff

Agathocleous, Alexis (Tennessee)

Alvarez, Alexis (Tennessee)

Berger, Stephanie Meta (Tennessee)

Bobrow, Anna (Tennessee)

Attorney for Defendant

Brandon, Cody Nash (Tennessee)

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

2:24-cv-02101

Complaint

Feb. 15, 2024

Feb. 15, 2024

Complaint

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/68253391/united-states-v-state-of-tennessee/

Last updated May 11, 2024, 9:35 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against All Defendants, filed by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons)(Berger, Stephanie) (Entered: 02/15/2024)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

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2 Summons

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3 Summons

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Feb. 15, 2024

Feb. 15, 2024

Clearinghouse

Notice LR 72.1 - Right to Consent to Jurisdiction by Magistrate Judge

Feb. 15, 2024

Feb. 15, 2024

PACER

Notice LR 16.2

Feb. 15, 2024

Feb. 15, 2024

PACER

ADR Compliance

Feb. 15, 2024

Feb. 15, 2024

PACER
2

Chief Judge Sheryl H. Lipman and Chief Magistrate Judge Tu M. Pham added. (jae) (Entered: 02/15/2024)

Feb. 15, 2024

Feb. 15, 2024

RECAP
3

NOTICE TO COMPLY WITH PLAN FOR ALTERNATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR): Pursuant to Section to 2.1 of the ADR Plan, all civil cases filed on or after Sept. 1, 2014, shall be referred automatically for ADR. For compliance requirements, refer to the ADR Plan at: http://www.tnwd.uscourts.gov/pdf/content/ADRPlan.pdf (jae) (Entered: 02/15/2024)

Feb. 15, 2024

Feb. 15, 2024

PACER
4

NOTICE OF CASE TRACKING ASSIGNMENT PURSUANT TO LOCAL RULE 16.2: Pursuant to Local Rule 16.2, this case has been assigned to the Standard track. http://www.tnwd.uscourts.gov/pdf/content/LocalRules.pdf (jae) (Entered: 02/15/2024)

Feb. 15, 2024

Feb. 15, 2024

PACER
5

NOTICE OF RIGHT TO CONSENT TO THE EXERCISE OF CIVIL JURISDICTION BY A MAGISTRATE JUDGE Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 636(c), Fed.R.Civ.P.73, and Local Rule 72.1, this Court has designated the Magistrate Judges of this District to conduct trials and otherwise dispose of any civil case that is filed in this Court. Your decision to consent, or not consent, to the referral of your case to a United States Magistrate Judge for trial and entry of a final judgment must be entirely voluntary. The judge or magistrate judge to whom the case has been assigned will not be informed of your decision unless all parties agree that the case may be referred to a magistrate judge for these specific purposes. A less than unanimous decision will not be communicated by this office to either the judge or magistrate judge. The consent form is available on the courts website at https://www.tnwd.uscourts.gov/forms-and-applications.php (jae) (Entered: 02/15/2024)

Feb. 15, 2024

Feb. 15, 2024

PACER
6

Summons Issued as to State of Tennessee, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. 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. (Attachments: # 1 summons)(jae) (Entered: 02/15/2024)

1 summons

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Feb. 15, 2024

Feb. 15, 2024

RECAP
7

NOTICE of Appearance by John Ross Glover on behalf of State of Tennessee, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (Glover, John) (Entered: 02/29/2024)

Feb. 29, 2024

Feb. 29, 2024

RECAP
8

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 1 Complaint Proposed order submitted by State of Tennessee, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. (Glover, John) (Entered: 02/29/2024)

Feb. 29, 2024

Feb. 29, 2024

RECAP
9

NOTICE of Appearance by Ali Szemanski on behalf of United States of America (Szemanski, Ali) (Entered: 02/29/2024)

Feb. 29, 2024

Feb. 29, 2024

RECAP
10

ORDER GRANTING 8 DEFENDANTS' UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO RESPOND TO COMPLAINT. Signed by Chief Judge Sheryl H. Lipman on February 29, 2024. (shl) (Entered: 02/29/2024)

Feb. 29, 2024

Feb. 29, 2024

RECAP
11

SUMMONS Returned Executed by United States of America as to State of Tennessee. (Szemanski, Ali) (Entered: 02/29/2024)

Feb. 29, 2024

Feb. 29, 2024

RECAP
12

SUMMONS Returned Executed by United States of America as to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. (Szemanski, Ali) (Entered: 02/29/2024)

Feb. 29, 2024

Feb. 29, 2024

RECAP
13

SETTING LETTER: A SCHEDULING CONFERENCE pursuant to Rule 16(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure has been SET for WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3, 2024 at 9:30 A.M. (CDT) before Chief Judge Sheryl H. Lipman. The conference will be held via Microsoft Teams Video. A link to the video conference will be emailed to the attorneys prior to the setting.If the parties consent to have the case heard by the magistrate, please file your consent and this conference will be cancelled.Counsel should be prepared to discuss all pending motions.PLEASE REVIEW THE ATTACHED INSTRUCTIONS.The public may also access the video proceeding. If the public and/or media wish to attend in the video proceeding, please click on the following link to request access information: https://www.tnwd.uscourts.gov/videohearings The access information will be delivered via email to the email address from which the request originated.Parties should consult the instructions for Joining a Meeting in Teams or Joining a Meeting Without a Teams Account. (jpw) (Entered: 03/01/2024)

March 1, 2024

March 1, 2024

RECAP
14

NOTICE of Appearance by Cody Nash Brandon on behalf of State of Tennessee, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (Brandon, Cody) (Entered: 03/25/2024)

March 25, 2024

March 25, 2024

RECAP
15

MOTION to Consolidate Cases Unopposed- proposed order submitted by State of Tennessee, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support of Unopposed Motion to Consolidate)(Brandon, Cody) (Entered: 03/25/2024)

1 Memorandum in Support of Unopposed Motion to Consolidate

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March 25, 2024

March 25, 2024

RECAP
16

NOTICE of Appearance by David M. Rudolph on behalf of All Defendants (Rudolph, David) (Entered: 03/25/2024)

March 25, 2024

March 25, 2024

RECAP
17

REPORT of Rule 26(f) Planning Meeting . (Berger, Stephanie) (Entered: 03/27/2024)

March 27, 2024

March 27, 2024

RECAP
18

TEXT SETTING LETTER: At the Scheduling Conference set for 4/3/2024 via Teams at 9:30 AM before Chief Judge Sheryl H. Lipman, the Attorneys will participate in a Status Conference with the parties in case number 23-cv-2670. (mmm) (Entered: 03/28/2024)

March 28, 2024

March 28, 2024

PACER

Setting Letter

March 28, 2024

March 28, 2024

PACER
19

MOTION to Stay proposed order submitted by All Defendants. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support of Motion to Stay, # 2 Exhibit 1--Public Chapter 545, # 3 Exhibit 2--Proposed Scheduling Order, # 4 Exhibit 3--Private Plaintiffs' First Requests for Production)(Brandon, Cody) (Entered: 03/29/2024)

1 Memorandum in Support of Motion to Stay

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2 Exhibit 1--Public Chapter 545

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3 Exhibit 2--Proposed Scheduling Order

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4 Exhibit 3--Private Plaintiffs' First Requests for Production

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March 29, 2024

March 29, 2024

RECAP
20

RESPONSE in Opposition re 19 MOTION to Stay proposed order submitted filed by United States of America. (Szemanski, Ali) (Entered: 04/02/2024)

April 2, 2024

April 2, 2024

RECAP
21

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Chief Judge Sheryl H. Lipman: Status Conference held via Microsoft Teams Video on 4/3/2024. Alexis Agathocleous, Milo Inglehart, Rachel Anne Meeropol, Jeff L Preptit, and Jon Warren Davidson appeared for plaintiffs. Cody Nash Brandon, John Ross Glover, and David M. Rudolph appeared for defendants. Status of the case discussed. ECF 79 Motion for Leave to File Reply GRANTED and defendants' reply is due within 3 days of today. ECF 76 Motion to Consolidate for scheduling purposes is GRANTED. (Court Reporter: Candace Covey) Associated Cases: 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc, 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp(mmm) (Entered: 04/03/2024)

April 3, 2024

April 3, 2024

PACER

Scheduling Conference

April 3, 2024

April 3, 2024

PACER

Status Conference AND ~Util - Terminate Motions

April 3, 2024

April 3, 2024

PACER
22

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Chief Judge Sheryl H. Lipman: Microsoft Teams Video Scheduling Conference held on 4/3/2024. Ali Szemanski and Stephanie Meta Berger appeared for the Plaintiff. Cody Nash Brandon, John Ross Glover, and David M. Rudolph appeared for defendants. The Court granted an oral motion to file reply brief within 3 days of today. ECF 15 Motion to Consolidate Cases for scheduling purposes GRANTED. Non-Jury Trial set for Tuesday, 1/20/2026 at 9:30 AM in Courtroom 1 - Memphis before Chief Judge Sheryl H. Lipman. Trial is estimated to last 2 weeks. Pretrial Conference set for Friday, 1/9/2026 at 9:00 AM in Courtroom 1 - Memphis before Chief Judge Sheryl H. Lipman. Proposed Joint Pretrial Order due by 1/2/2026. Scheduling Order to be entered. (Court Reporter: Candace Covey) Associated Cases: 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp, 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc(mmm) (Entered: 04/03/2024)

April 3, 2024

April 3, 2024

PACER
23

SETTING LETTER: A NON-JURY TRIAL has been SET before Chief Judge Sheryl H. Lipman on TUESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2026 at 9:30 A.M. in Courtroom No. 1, 11th floor of the Federal Building, Memphis, Tennessee.A PRETRIAL CONFERENCE will be held on FRIDAY, JANUARY 9, 2026 at 9:00 A.M. in Courtroom No. 1, 11th floor of the Federal Building, Memphis, Tennessee.A PROPOSED JOINT PRETRIAL ORDER must be furnished to the Court by JANUARY 2, 2026.PLEASE SEE ATTACHED INSTRUCTIONS. Associated Cases: 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp, 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc(mmm) (Entered: 04/03/2024)

April 3, 2024

April 3, 2024

RECAP
24

REPLY to Response to Motion re (78 in 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc) Response in Opposition to Motion to Stay filed by Bill Lee, David Rausch, Jonathan Skrmetti, Frank Strada. Associated Cases: 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc, 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp(Brandon, Cody) (Entered: 04/03/2024)

April 3, 2024

April 3, 2024

RECAP
25

SCHEDULING ORDER. Signed by Chief Judge Sheryl H. Lipman on 4/3/2024. (shl) (Entered: 04/03/2024)

April 3, 2024

April 3, 2024

RECAP
26

REPLY to Response to Motion re (20 in 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp) Response in Opposition to Motion to Stay filed by State of Tennessee, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Associated Cases: 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp, 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc(Brandon, Cody) (Entered: 04/05/2024)

April 5, 2024

April 5, 2024

RECAP
27

MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages Proposed order submitted by State of Tennessee, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Associated Cases: 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp, 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc(Brandon, Cody) (Entered: 04/10/2024)

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

RECAP
28

MOTION to Dismiss by State of Tennessee, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum Memorandum in Support of State Entities' Motion to Dismiss)Associated Cases: 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp, 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc(Glover, John) (Entered: 04/10/2024)

1 Memorandum Memorandum in Support of State Entities' Motion to Dismiss

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April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

RECAP
29

REPLY to Response to Motion re (67 in 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc) Response in Opposition to Motion filed by Bill Lee, David Rausch, Jonathan Skrmetti, Frank Strada. Associated Cases: 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc, 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp(Glover, John) (Entered: 04/11/2024)

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

RECAP
30

ORDER GRANTING 27 DEFENDANTS' UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE EXCESS PAGES. Signed by Chief Judge Sheryl H. Lipman on 4/11/2024. (shl) (Entered: 04/11/2024)

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

RECAP
31

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to (28 in 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp) MOTION to Dismiss, MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages Proposed order submitted by United States of America. Associated Cases: 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp, 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc(Berger, Stephanie) (Entered: 04/18/2024)

April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024

RECAP
32

ORDER GRANTING 31 PLAINTIFF'S UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME AND FOR LEAVE TO FILE EXCESS PAGES. Signed by Chief Judge Sheryl H. Lipman on April 19, 2024. (shl) (Entered: 04/19/2024)

April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024

RECAP
33

NOTICE OF FILING OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings held on 4-3-24 before Judge Sheryl H. Lipman. Court Reporter Candace S. Covey, Telephone number 901-495-1216. Notice is hereby given that an official transcript of a proceeding has been filed by the court reporter in this matter. The parties have seven (7) calendar days to file with the court a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction of this transcript, and twenty-one (21) calendar days to file a Request for Redaction. Redaction is the responsibility of the attorneys and pro se litigants who attended the hearing to which the transcription applies. Each party is responsible for reviewing and requesting redaction of testimony of witnesses that were called for the party and for that party's own statements. Any party needing a copy of the transcript to review for redaction purposes may purchase a copy from the court reporter or view the document at the clerk's office public terminal.. Notice of Intent to Request Redaction due 4/24/2024. Redaction Request due 5/10/2024. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 7/18/2024. Associated Cases: 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc, 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp(Covey, Candace) (Entered: 04/19/2024)

April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024

PACER
34

NOTICE of Appearance by Anna Bobrow on behalf of United States of America Associated Cases: 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp, 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc(Bobrow, Anna) (Entered: 04/19/2024)

April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024

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35

MOTION to Compel (proposed order submitted) by All Plaintiffs. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum of Law, # 2 Declaration of Alexis Alvarez)Associated Cases: 2:23-cv-02670-SHL-cgc, 2:24-cv-02101-SHL-tmp(Alvarez, Alexis) (Entered: 05/06/2024)

1 Memorandum of Law

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2 Declaration of Alexis Alvarez

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May 6, 2024

May 6, 2024

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36

Notice (Other)

May 9, 2024

May 9, 2024

PACER
37

Withdraw

May 10, 2024

May 10, 2024

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Tennessee

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Disability Rights

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 15, 2024

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The United States, on behalf of individuals living with HIV who were charged under Tennessee's aggravated prostitution

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

State of Tennessee, State

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General/Misc.:

Record-keeping

Sex offender regulation

Disability and Disability Rights:

disability, unspecified

Discrimination Basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Discrimination Area:

Disparate Treatment

Medical Exam / Inquiry

Medical/Mental Health Care:

HIV/AIDS