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Case Name Meade v. Bonin CJ-LA-0012
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-01455-CJB-DMD ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Attorney Organization Institute for Justice
Case Summary
This is a case about due process violation under the 14th amendment based on a judge potentially steering defendants towards using ankle monitors by a company he has financial and political ties to. On May 14, 2020, two criminal defendants who were ordered to wear ankle monitors in Judge Paul A ... read more >
This is a case about due process violation under the 14th amendment based on a judge potentially steering defendants towards using ankle monitors by a company he has financial and political ties to. On May 14, 2020, two criminal defendants who were ordered to wear ankle monitors in Judge Paul A. Bonin’s court, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs, represented by Institute for Justice, sued Judge Bonin and the ankle monitoring company, ETOH Monitoring, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants violated their right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment by not disclosing his financial and political ties to the ankle monitoring company. The plaintiffs sought class-action certification, attorney fees and costs, and declaratory and injunctive relief that would make Judge Bonin disclose his relationship with ETOH monitoring to defendants when ordering their use, stop ETOH Monitoring from providing services to Judge Bonin without their relationship being disclosed, and to have ETOH disgorge and return or cancel fees collected. The case was assigned to Judge Carl J. Barbier.

The plaintiffs claimed that Judge Bonin unconstitutionally required or steered defendants in his court house into ankle monitoring service agreements and their significant fees with ETOH monitoring service. They claimed that Judge Bonin maintained a private and professional relationship with the two owners of ETOH monitoring. The plaintiffs claimed that the owners of ETOH monitoring donated or loaned $10,000 to Judge Bonin’s various judicial electoral campaigns. According to the plaintiffs, since 2017, Judge Bonin required the use of ETOH monitoring for those ordered to have an ankle monitor, and required fees paid before release from probation or as precondition to not being jailed. They further contend that ETOH regularly sent Judge Bonin a status report highlighting individuals to check in on, not because they violated their probation, but because they were behind on payments.

A 2018 report from Court Watch NOLA found that Judge Bonin, out of the five New Orleans Judges who received a financial campaign contribution from an ankle monitoring company, was the only one who required a defendant to wear an ankle monitor.

On July 14, 2020, both Judge Bonin and defendant ETOH filed a motion to dismiss the case against them for failure to state a claim that could be remedied as they are not a state actor. On August 23, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the claims against Judge Bonin. On September 4, 2020, Presiding Judge Barbier denied the ETOH's remaining motion on the basis that ETOH Monitoring is a state actor under the “public function” test which makes their action remediable. 2020 WL 5311351.

As of October 9, the case remains ongoing.

Ariella Stafanson - 10/09/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
General
Conflict of interest
Courts
Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) ETOH Monitoring
Plaintiff Description Two criminal defendants who were ordered to wear ankle monitors in Judge Paul A. Bonin’s court.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Institute for Justice
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 05/14/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Resolving Tensions between Constitutional Rights: Use Immunity in Concurrent or Related Proceedings
Columbia Law Review
Date: Jan. 1, 1976
By: William R. Stein (Columbia Law School Law Student)
Citation: William R. Stein, Resolving Tensions between Constitutional Rights: Use Immunity in Concurrent or Related Proceedings, 76 COLUM. L. REV. 674 (1976)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
E.D. La.
09/04/2020
2:20-cv-01455-CJB-DMD
CJ-LA-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
E.D. La.
05/14/2020
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
CJ-LA-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. La.
05/27/2020
First Amended Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 7]
CJ-LA-0012-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. La.
09/04/2020
Order & Reasons [ECF# 39] (2020 WL 5311351)
CJ-LA-0012-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Barbier, Carl J. (E.D. La.) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0012-0003 | CJ-LA-0012-9000
Douglas, Dana Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0012-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Keay, Brandon William (Louisiana) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0012-9000
Maurer, William R. (Washington) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0012-0001 | CJ-LA-0012-0002 | CJ-LA-0012-9000
Most, William Brock (Louisiana) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0012-0001 | CJ-LA-0012-0002 | CJ-LA-0012-9000
Tsitsuashvili, Jaba (Virginia) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0012-0001 | CJ-LA-0012-0002 | CJ-LA-0012-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Barrios, Donna R (Louisiana) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0012-9000
Force, Joshua Simon (Louisiana) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0012-9000
Garner, James M (Louisiana) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0012-9000
Helmke, Christian Wayne (Louisiana) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0012-9000
Levenson, Leonard Louis (Louisiana) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0012-9000
Marcello, David A (Louisiana) show/hide docs
CJ-LA-0012-9000

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