Case: Mason v. Granholm

5:05-cv-73943 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Filed Date: Oct. 13, 2005

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 13, 2005, current and former female prisoners filed a class-action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). Plaintiffs were originally members of a certified class-action suit pending in Michigan state court, Neal v. MDOC, LC No. 96-006986-CZ. [See PC-MI-0021 of this collection for a summary of the Neal case]. The Neal plaintiffs alleged violations …

On October 13, 2005, current and former female prisoners filed a class-action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC).

Plaintiffs were originally members of a certified class-action suit pending in Michigan state court, Neal v. MDOC, LC No. 96-006986-CZ. [See PC-MI-0021 of this collection for a summary of the Neal case]. The Neal plaintiffs alleged violations of their state civil rights under the Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act ("ELCRA") for sexual abuse, discrimination and other gender-based degrading treatment by MDOC staff.

During the Neal litigation, an amendment to ELCRA was passed that excluded prisoners from the Act's protection against discrimination. M.C.L. §37.2102(1). On February 10, 2005, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the claims of the Neal plaintiffs that arose after the effective date of the ELCRA amendment were no longer viable, as the amendment excluded prisoner claims from the Act's protection. Plaintiffs filed this action to challenge the constitutionality of the ELCRA amendment and to reassert their claims, now under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983. Plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief, monetary damages and class certification.

Following the filing of a first amended complaint, defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim and for a more definite statement. The District Court (John Corbett O'Meara) denied those motions on May 15, 2006. On July 14, 2006, plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment, on the issue of the constitutionality of the ELCRA amendment. Defendants countered by filing a cross-motion for summary judgment. On January 23, 2007, the District Court granted plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment, holding that the ELCRA amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment was denied. Mason v. Granholm, 2007 WL 201008. The Court denied a stay pending appeal, 2007 WL 734990 (Mar. 07, 2007).

The Defendants filed a notice of appeal, however, on July 26, 2007 the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dismissed the appeal, because the District Court had only granted partial, and not total, summary judgment.

On August 31, 2007, the District Court denied class certification, holding that both liability and damages were too individuated to be appropriate for class resolution. 2007 WL 2541769. The same day, the Court also granted two individual Defendants' motions for summary judgment, and dismissed them from the case, one because no named plaintiff had been housed at the facility he worked for, and another on statute of limitations grounds. 2007 WL 2541431. (The Court denied reconsideration two months later, 2007 WL 3121570 (Oct. 23, 2007).) On June 20, 2008, the court dismissed several other Defendants because the claims against them were barred by the statute of limitations. 2008 WL 2513904. In a similar ruling on September 25, 2008, the Court dismissed several plaintiffs for the same reason. 2008 WL 4387940.

On Defendants' motion, the Plaintiffs's claims under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Punishment (CAT), were both dismissed on August 12, 2008: the District Court held that since neither was self-executing, and no implementing statute had been enacted, neither was "binding on this court." 2008 WL 3538981.

The case was set for trial in early 2009, but then that date was shifted to October 2009. Before that trial could be held, the matter settled. The settlement was entered in Neal v. Mich. Department of Corrections--it was for $100 million. In this case, on September 28, 2009, the parties agreed that the District Court's January 23, 2007 Opinion and Order declaring the amendment to ELCRA unconstitutional would be the final declaratory judgment, and that the parties would bear their own costs.

Summary Authors

Joshua Arocho (7/16/2012)

Related Cases

Nunn v. Michigan Department of Corrections, Eastern District of Michigan (1996)

Neal v. Michigan Department of Corrections, Michigan state trial court (1996)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4799398/parties/mason-v-caruso/


Judge(s)

O'Meara, John Corbett (Michigan)

Scheer, Donald A. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

James, Dennis D. (Michigan)

Labelle, Deborah A. (Michigan)

McGehee, Cary S. (Michigan)

Pitt, Michael L. (Michigan)

Reno, Molly H. (Michigan)

Reosti, Ronald J. (Michigan)

Sirlin, Ralph J. (Michigan)

Sobel, Richard A. (Michigan)

Judge(s)

O'Meara, John Corbett (Michigan)

Scheer, Donald A. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

James, Dennis D. (Michigan)

Labelle, Deborah A. (Michigan)

McGehee, Cary S. (Michigan)

Pitt, Michael L. (Michigan)

Reno, Molly H. (Michigan)

Reosti, Ronald J. (Michigan)

Sirlin, Ralph J. (Michigan)

Sobel, Richard A. (Michigan)

Streeter, Patricia A. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barkman, Cori E. (Michigan)

Colbeck, J. Richard (Michigan)

Jack, Dawn C.M. (Michigan)

Kotwicki, David A. (Michigan)

Smith, Diane M. (Michigan)

Stearns, Robert R. (Michigan)

Thurber, John L. (Michigan)

Other Attorney(s)

Anderson, Bryan J. (Michigan)

Turner, Brenda E. (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

5:05-cv-73943

Docket (PACER)

Mason v. Caruso

Sept. 28, 2009

Sept. 28, 2009

Docket
1-1

5:05-cv-73943

Complaint

Oct. 13, 2005

Oct. 13, 2005

Complaint
2-1

5:05-cv-73943

First Amended Complaint

Oct. 20, 2005

Oct. 20, 2005

Complaint
96

5:05-cv-73943

Order Denying Defendants Granholm, Caruso, Zang, Stovall, Davis, Yukins, Desantis, Howell, Talley, Tollzein, Madden and Langley’s Rule 12(B)(6) Motions For Dismissal

May 15, 2006

May 15, 2006

Order/Opinion
171

5:05-cv-73943

Opinion and Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Denying Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment

Mason v. Granholm

2007 WL 201008

Jan. 23, 2007

Jan. 23, 2007

Order/Opinion
195

5:05-cv-73943

Order Denying State Defendant's Motion for Stay

2007 WL 734990

March 7, 2007

March 7, 2007

Order/Opinion
236

5:05-cv-73943

Order

July 23, 2007

July 23, 2007

Order/Opinion
240

5:05-cv-73943

Opinion and Order Denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification

2007 WL 2541769

Aug. 31, 2007

Aug. 31, 2007

Order/Opinion
239

5:05-cv-73943

Order Granting Defendant Howell and Defendant Langley's Motions for Summary Judgment

2007 WL 2541431

Aug. 31, 2007

Aug. 31, 2007

Order/Opinion
251

5:05-cv-73943

Order Denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration

2007 WL 3121570

Oct. 23, 2007

Oct. 23, 2007

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4799398/mason-v-caruso/

Last updated Aug. 14, 2022, 3:10 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
95

ORDER DENYING re 87 MOTION for More Definite Statement filed by Willis Chapman,. Signed by Honorable John Corbett O'Meara. (DGoo, )

May 15, 2006

May 15, 2006

RECAP
96

ORDER DENYING re 24 MOTION to Dismiss with Brief in Support and Certificate of Service thereon filed by Crosby Talley,, Kirk Tollzein,, 10 MOTION to Dismiss with Brief in Support and Certificate of Service filed by Clarice Stovall,, Joan Yukins,, Patricia Caruso,, Thomas Desantis,, Jennifer Granholm,, Susan Davis,, Jerry Howell,, Nancy Zang,, 67 MOTION to Dismiss with Brief in Support and Proof of Service thereon filed by Sally Langley,, 34 MOTION to Dismiss with Brief in Support and Certificate of Service filed by Rodney Madden,. Signed by Honorable John Corbett O'Meara. (DGoo, )

May 15, 2006

May 15, 2006

RECAP
110

ORDER denying 99 Motion for Certificate of Appealability, denying 103 Motion to Hold Scheduling Order in Abeyance- Signed by Honorable John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar, )

June 29, 2006

June 29, 2006

RECAP
171

OPINION AND ORDER granting 113 Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, denying 116 Motion for Summary Judgment- Signed by Honorable John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar, )

Jan. 23, 2007

Jan. 23, 2007

RECAP
195

ORDER denying 180 Motion to Stay. Signed by Honorable John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

March 7, 2007

March 7, 2007

RECAP
212

ORDER Overruling 197 Plaintiffs' Objections to Magistrate's Order, Signed by Honorable John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

May 14, 2007

May 14, 2007

RECAP
239

ORDER granting 203 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting 205 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Honorable John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

Aug. 31, 2007

Aug. 31, 2007

RECAP
240

OPINION AND ORDER denying 158 Motion to Certify Class. Signed by Honorable John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

Aug. 31, 2007

Aug. 31, 2007

RECAP
251

ORDER denying 241 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by Honorable John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

Oct. 23, 2007

Oct. 23, 2007

RECAP
254

ORDER re: in camera inspection 215 regarding MOTION to Compel filed by Plaintiffs. Signed by Honorable Donald A Scheer. (MLan)

Nov. 19, 2007

Nov. 19, 2007

RECAP
288

ORDER Denying 269 Petition for Default, 270 Petition for Default, ( Answer to amended complaint due by 6/27/2008. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

June 19, 2008

June 19, 2008

RECAP
291

ORDER granting 277 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

June 20, 2008

June 20, 2008

RECAP
300

ORDER denying 242 Motion for Costs; denying 243 Motion for Costs. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

July 2, 2008

July 2, 2008

RECAP
303

ORDER denying 299 Motion for Costs. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

July 15, 2008

July 15, 2008

RECAP
311

ORDER granting 298 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

Aug. 12, 2008

Aug. 12, 2008

RECAP
347

OPINION AND ORDER granting 307 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting 313 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting 314 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting 315 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 317 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting [319 ] Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 320 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 323 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 324 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting 325 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting 326 Motion for Summary Judgment; gr anting 327 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 328 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 329 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting 331 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting 332 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

Sept. 25, 2008

Sept. 25, 2008

RECAP
368

ORDER Regarding Defendants' Witnesses for Trial. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

Nov. 17, 2008

Nov. 17, 2008

RECAP
370

ORDER Denying 369 MOTION for Voluntary Dismissal, and Adjusting Scheduling Order; Bench Trial reset for 1/20/2009 09:00 AM before District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

Nov. 20, 2008

Nov. 20, 2008

RECAP
407

ORDER granting 401 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

March 5, 2009

March 5, 2009

RECAP
428

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 382 Motion to Compel. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

May 18, 2009

May 18, 2009

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 13, 2005

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All current and future female prisoners subjected to discrimination, sexual abuse or degrading treatment by male prison staff at MDOC.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Denied

Defendants

Michigan Department of Corrections, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

42 U.S.C. § 1981

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Issues

General:

Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff

Affected Gender:

Female

Type of Facility:

Government-run