University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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S P E C I A L   C O L L E C T I O N
COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

This page collects cases that address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing, etc. (We're not able to catalog every single-person request for release, but are presenting the cases affecting multiple persons.) We have also made this CSV report available, which shows some details of these cases.

In addition to cases, in many states there have been court orders directing releases and other COVID-19 responses. To see a catalog of these, check out the Prison Policy Initiative's list of jail/prison-related COVID-19 responses, and the spreadsheet compiled by the UCLA Law School, here.

If you know of a case NOT listed here, please email us: clearinghouse@umich.edu (We'll try to update this page in close-to-real-time.)
The below cases represent a special subset of the full Clearinghouse collection.
Your search returned 463 results Save Search As:       
1 Brnovich v. Biden
2:21-cv-01568 (D. Ariz.)
Filed 09/14/2021 - Case Ongoing
United States
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-AZ-0032
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a case brought by Arizona's Attorney General challenging the Biden administration's planned vaccine mandate as unconstitutional under the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced a broad plan to increase vaccination rates nationwide. The plan would require ... [view]
2 Catchings v. Wilson
1:21-cv-00428-GLR (D. Md.)
Filed 02/20/2021 - Case Ongoing
Warden
Chesapeake Detention Facility
Jail Conditions
JC-MD-0018
Baltimore City
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This class action lawsuit was filed on February 20, 2021 by detainees in the Chesapeake Detention Facility in Baltimore, Maryland, who sought extra protections from COVID-19 and, in some cases, release. After the parties negotiated a settlement regarding safety measures to be taken, the Court denied the plaintiffs' motion for a ... [view]
3 Harper v. Cuomo
9:21-cv-00019 (N.D.N.Y.)
Filed 01/08/2021 - Case Ongoing
New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
Prison Conditions
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
PC-NY-0081
Albany County
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This putative class action was filed on June 16, 2020 by medically vulnerable prisoners in New York's Adirondack Correctional Facility. The plaintiffs sought extra protections from COVID-19. A magistrate judge denied the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction on March 1, 2021.
This is a case about COVID-19 precautions ... [view]
4 Public Counsel v. Presiding Judge, Superior Court of LA Cty
21STCV05124 (State Court)
Filed 2021 - Case Ongoing
no defendants on record
Criminal Justice (Other)
CJ-CA-0028
Coding In Process
Summary not yet on record [view]
5 Holden v. Zucker
801592/2021E (State Court)
Filed 2021 - Case Ongoing
no defendants on record
Prison Conditions
PC-NY-0085
Coding In Process
Summary not yet on record [view]
6 Seaport House Hopkins v. Cuomo
1:20-cv-10932 (S.D.N.Y.)
Filed 12/25/2020 - Case Ongoing
no defendants on record
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
PR-NY-0011
Coding In Process
Summary not yet on record [view]
7 Ryan v. Smith
3:20-cv-00843-SDD-SDJ (M.D. La.)
Filed 12/14/2020 - Case Ongoing
Judges
19th Judicial District Court of Louisiana
Criminal Justice (Other)
CJ-LA-0014
East Baton Rouge Parish
Coding Complete
COVID Summary: This is a class action suit regarding the legality of detention orders that are holding detainees at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for up to years and detrimental to life during the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiffs moved for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on December 14, 2020, but withdrew the request for ... [view]
8 Weikert v. Elder
1:20-cv-03646 (D. Colo.)
Filed 12/13/2020 - Case Ongoing
Sheriff of El Paso County, Colorado
El Paso County Sheriff's Office
Jail Conditions
JC-CO-0012
El Paso County
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This putative class action was filed on December 20, 2020 by a group of medically vulnerable detainees at the El Paso County Jail in Colorado, seeking reasonable COVID-19 safety measures. The Court granted a stipulated preliminary injunction on January 4, 2021.
This case is about the detainment conditions of individuals ... [view]
9 Malcolm v. Starr
0:20-cv-02503 (D. Minn.)
Filed 12/09/2020 - Case Ongoing
Bureau of Prisons
Prison Conditions
PC-MN-0005
Coding In Process
This class action lawsuit, filed in 2020 by persons incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Waseca, Minnesota, alleged a failure to implement measures to protect against COVID-19 at the facility and sought transfer to home confinement and implementation of health and safety measures. * [view]
10 Smith v. Barr
2:20-cv-00630-JRS (S.D. Ind.)
Filed 11/25/2020 - Closed 2021
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
Prison Conditions
Criminal Justice (Other)
PC-IN-0027
Washington
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: Two individuals incarcerated at Terre Haute Correctional Complex filed this lawsuit on behalf of all individuals who were or would be incarcerated at Terre Haute during the COVID-19 pandemic. They sought injunctive relief to stop the defendants from conducting federal executions, which drew hundreds of individuals from all over ... [view]
11 Alabama Association of Realtors v. U.S. Dep't of Health and Human Services
1:20-cv-03377 (D.D.C.)
Filed 11/20/2020 - Closed 2021
United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
PR-DC-0019
District of Columbia County
Coding In Process
Summary not yet on record [view]
12 Hallinan v. Scarantino
5:20-CT-3333-M (E.D.N.C.)
Filed 10/26/2020 - Case Ongoing
no defendants on record
Prison Conditions
PC-NC-0022
Coding In Process
This class action lawsuit, filed in 2020, challenged the COVID-19 response at the Federal Correctional Complex Butner, alleging inadequate health and safety measures. Note that this is a successor case to Hallinan v. Scarantino, 5:20-hc-02088 (E.D.N.C.) (PC-NC-0020, available at https://www.clearinghouse.net/detail.php?id=17572). * [view]
13 Terkel v. CDC
6:20-cv-00564-JC (E.D. Tex.)
Filed 10/22/2020 - Case Ongoing
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
PR-TX-0001
Atlanta
Coding In Process
Summary not yet on record [view]
14 Mi Familia Vota v. Abbott
5:20-cv-00830 (W.D. Tex.)
Filed 10/16/2020 - Case Ongoing
no defendants on record
Election/Voting Rights
VR-TX-0456
Coding In Process
Summary not yet on record [view]
15 Agudath Israel of America v. Cuomo
1:20-cv-04834 (E.D.N.Y.)
Filed 10/08/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of New York
Speech and Religious Freedom
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
PR-NY-0010
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: A group of Orthodox Jewish synagogues brought this lawsuit against the Governor of New York on October 8, 2020, alleging that the governor's restrictions on gatherings in light of surges in COVID-19 cases violated the Free Exercise Clause. After the district court denied plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction, they ... [view]
16 A. Philip Randolph Institute of Ohio v. Larose
1:20-cv-01908 (N.D. Ohio)
Filed 10/08/2020 - Case Ongoing
no defendants on record
Election/Voting Rights
VR-OH-0086
Coding In Process
Summary not yet on record [view]
17 Texas LULAC v. Abbott
1:20-cv-1006 (W.D. Tex.)
Filed 10/01/2020 - Case Ongoing
no defendants on record
Election/Voting Rights
VR-TX-0451
Coding In Process
Summary not yet on record [view]
18 Arctic Village Council v. Meyer
3AN-20-07858Cl (State Court)
Filed 09/08/2020 - Closed
State of Alaska
Election/Voting Rights
VR-AK-0013
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This case, initially being tracked by the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project, was filed by Arctic Village Council, the League of Women Voters, and individual Alaska voters with underlying health conditions. The plaintiffs sought an order enjoining the State of ... [view]
19 Vote Forward v. DeJoy
1:20-cv-02405 (D.D.C.)
Filed 08/28/2020 - Case Ongoing
no defendants on record
Election/Voting Rights
VR-DC-1177
Coding In Process
Summary not yet on record [view]
20 Lichtenstein v. Hargett
3:20-cv-00736 (M.D. Tenn.)
Filed 08/28/2020 - Case Ongoing
no defendants on record
Election/Voting Rights
VR-TN-0071
Coding In Process
Summary not yet on record [view]
21 Parham v. Watson
3:20-cv-00572 (S.D. Miss.)
Filed 08/27/2020 - Case Ongoing
no defendants on record
Election/Voting Rights
VR-MS-0153
Coding In Process
Summary not yet on record [view]
22 Debraska v. Oneida Business Committee
1:20-cv-01321 (E.D. Wis.)
Filed 08/27/2020 - Case Ongoing
no defendants on record
Election/Voting Rights
VR-WI-0021
Coding In Process
Summary not yet on record [view]
23 Yazzie v. Hobbs
3:20-cv-08222-GMS (D. Ariz.)
Filed 08/26/2020 - Case Ongoing
no defendants on record
Election/Voting Rights
VR-AZ-0061
Coding In Process
Summary not yet on record [view]
24 P.J.E.S v. Wolf
1:20-cv-02245 (D.D.C.)
Filed 08/24/2020 - Case Ongoing
Secretary of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-DC-0087
District of Columbia County
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This putative class action case challenges the government’s use of an emergency public health order issued under 42 U.S.C. § 265 to restrict immigration of unaccompanied minors. Pursuant to the emergency public order, the government has expelled unaccompanied children without following usual immigration laws, saying the ... [view]
25 Alliance Party v. D.C. Board of Elections
1:20-cv-02319 (D.D.C.)
Filed 08/21/2020 - Closed 2020
District of Columbia Board of Elections
Election/Voting Rights
VR-DC-1174
Washington
Coding Complete
This case involved the District of Columbia’s signature requirements for ballot qualification during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill B-23-0864 lowered the signatures required for third-party presidential candidates to qualify for the D.C. ballot from 5,007 to 250. The political party Alliance Party and two third-party presidential filed this lawsuit ... [view]
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