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.)

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 228 results Save Search As:       
1 Calvary Chapel of Ukiah et al v. Newsom et al
2:20-cv-01431 (E.D. Cal.)
Filed 07/15/2020 - Case Ongoing
State of California
Speech and Religious Freedom
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
PR-CA-0005
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a case brought by several churches in California, challenging state restrictions on worship brought on by COVID-19. The churches requested injunctive relief, claiming violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. No outcome yet.
Three California churches brought this lawsuit against Governor Gavin Newsom and ... [view]
2 Commonwealth of Massachusetts et al v. United States Department of Homeland Security
1:20-cv-11311 (D. Mass.)
Filed 07/13/2020 - Case Ongoing
United States Department of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-MA-0021
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by seventeen different states and Washington D.C. regarding the July 2020 release of ICE regulations which, in effect, meant that students on F-1 visas would risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. No outcome yet.
Background Generally speaking, F-1 visas (colloquially " ... [view]
3 University of Oregon v. United States Department of Homeland Security
6:20-cv-01127 (D. Or.)
Filed 07/13/2020 - Case Ongoing
United States Department of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Immigration and/or the Border
Education
IM-OR-0011
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by the University of California regents regarding the July 2020 release of ICE regulations which, in effect, meant that students on F-1 visas would risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. No outcome yet.
Background Generally speaking, F-1 visas (colloquially "student ... [view]
4 The Regents of the University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security
4:20-cv-04621 (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 07/10/2020 - Case Ongoing
United States Department of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
Education
IM-CA-0165
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by the University of California regents regarding the July 2020 release of ICE regulations which, in effect, meant that students on F-1 visas would risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. No outcome yet.
Background Generally speaking, F-1 visas (colloquially "student ... [view]
5 State of Washington v. United States Department of Homeland Security
2:20-cv-01070 (W.D. Wash.)
Filed 07/10/2020 - Case Ongoing
United States Department of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
Education
IM-WA-0045
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by the state of Washington regarding the July 2020 release of ICE regulations which, in effect, meant that students on F-1 visas would risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. No outcome yet.
Background Generally speaking, F-1 visas (colloquially "student visas") can be ... [view]
6 Johns Hopkins University v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security
1:20-cv-01873 (D.D.C.)
Filed 07/10/2020 - Case Ongoing
United States Department of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Immigration and/or the Border
Education
IM-DC-0081
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by Johns Hopkins University regarding the July 2020 release of ICE regulations which, in effect, meant that students on F-1 visas would risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. No outcome yet.
Background Generally speaking, F-1 visas (colloquially "student visas") can be ... [view]
7 State of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security
4:20-cv-04592 (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 07/09/2020 - Case Ongoing
United States Department of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Immigration and/or the Border
Education
IM-CA-0167
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by the state of California regarding the July 2020 release of ICE regulations which, in effect, meant that students on F-1 visas would risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. No outcome yet.
Background Generally speaking, F-1 visas (colloquially "student visas") can be ... [view]
8 President and Fellows of Harvard College v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security
1:20-cv-11283 (D. Mass.)
Filed 07/08/2020 - Case Ongoing
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and/or the Border
Education
IM-MA-0020
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by Harvard and MIT regarding the July 2020 release of ICE regulations which, in effect, meant that students on F-1 visas would risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. No outcome yet.
Background Generally speaking, F-1 visas (colloquially "student visas") can be granted ... [view]
9 Jones v. Hill
1:20-cv-02791-ELR (N.D. Ga.)
Filed 07/01/2020 - Case Ongoing
Clayton County Sheriff
Prison Conditions
Jail Conditions
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
PC-GA-0025
Clayton County
Coding Complete
Four inmates of the Clayton County Jail filed this complaint against the Clayton County Sheriff, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, on July 1, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping through jails and prisons across the country, and the plaintiffs alleged that the jail was ignoring the health and safety of its ... [view]
10 Defy Ventures v. Small Business Administration
1:20-cv-01838-CCB (D. Md.)
Filed 06/16/2020 - Case Ongoing
United States Small Business Administration
Criminal Justice (Other)
Public Benefits / Government Services
CJ-MD-0006
Coding Complete
Summary not yet on record [view]
11 J.B.B.C. v. Wolf
1:20-cv-01509 (D.D.C.)
Filed 06/09/2020 - Case Ongoing
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security,
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-DC-0077
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This lawsuit was filed on behalf on an unaccompanied minor subject to deportation, alleging that the Trump administrations' system of authorizing the summary removal of persons to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 bypassed procedural protections otherwise granted to minor children. On June 24, the court granted a TRO.
On ... [view]
12 Don't Shoot Portland v. City of Portland
3:20-cv-00917 (D. Or.)
Filed 06/05/2020 - Case Ongoing
City of Portland
Policing
PN-OR-0002
Multnomah County
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: On June 5, 2020, a non-profit corporation advocating for social and racial justice and individual citizens filed this class action suit for violations of their First and Fourth Amendment rights. Plaintiffs sought injunctive relief enjoining Portland police from using tear gas. On June 9, the court granted the TRO and enjoined the ... [view]
13 D.A.M. v. Barr
20-cv-1321 (D.D.C.)
Filed 05/28/2020 - Case Ongoing
Attorney General William Barr
Department of Justice
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-DC-0082
Coding Complete
Summary not yet on record [view]
14 Hallinan v. Scarantino
5:20-hc-02088 (E.D.N.C.)
Filed 05/26/2020 - Case Ongoing
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Prison Conditions
PC-NC-0020
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a class action filed on behalf of all individuals incarcerated at FCI Butner, seeking release as well as mitigation measures due to COVID-19. The court denied the plaintiff's motion for temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and writ of habeas corpus on June 11, 2020.
On May 26, 2020, eleven people ... [view]
15 High Plains Harvest Church v. Polis
1:20-cv-01480 (D. Colo.)
Filed 05/25/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of Colorado
Speech and Religious Freedom
FA-CO-0009
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a suit brought by a church against the State of Colorado's enforcement of stay-at-home orders, including the policy prohibiting in-person religious activities. Following a Supreme Court decision denying a similar application for injunctive relief, plaintiffs withdrew their request for injunctive relief. They later filed ... [view]
16 Republican National Committee v. Newsom
2:20-cv-01055 (E.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/24/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of California
Election/Voting Rights
VR-CA-0168
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is an action seeking to enjoin California from enforcing EO N-64-20, which allowed Californians to vote by mail in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. No outcome yet.
On May 24, 2020, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the California Republican Party filed this action in ... [view]
17 League of Women Voters v. Benson
353654 (State Court)
Filed 05/22/2020 - Case Ongoing
Michigan Secretary of State
Election/Voting Rights
VR-MI-0076
Coding Complete
COVID-19 summary: On May 22, the League of Women Voters of Michigan sued the Michigan Secretary of State, challenging the statutory requirement that absentee ballots must be received by 8 PM on election day. An oral argument was scheduled for June 18.
On May 22, the League of Women Voters of Michigan filed a lawsuit against the Michigan ... [view]
18 League of Independent Fitness Facilities and Trainers, Inc. v. Whitmer
1:20-cv-00458 (W.D. Mich.)
Filed 05/22/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of the State of Michigan
Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
PR-MI-0005
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This lawsuit was filed against the state of Michigan by 22 individual companies operating fitness businesses in Michigan and an organization representing over 150 fitness facilities in the state to enjoin executive orders that caused their facilities to remain closed. The court granted a preliminary injunction on June 19. On ... [view]
19 Issa v. Newsom
2:20-cv-01044 (E.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/21/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of California
Election/Voting Rights
VR-CA-0169
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is an action seeking to enjoin California from enforcing EO N-64-20, which allowed Californians to vote by mail in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. No outcome yet.
On May 21, 2020, five registered California voters filed this action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. Represented by ... [view]
20 Busby v. Bonner
2:20-cv-02359 (W.D. Tenn.)
Filed 05/20/2020 - Case Ongoing
Shelby County Sheriff
Shelby County Sheriff's Office
Jail Conditions
JC-TN-0012
Shelby County
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a habeas action filed by individuals in the Shelby County Jail, alleging that their underlying medical conditions made them especially vulnerable to COVID-19. They brought constitutional claims under the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as claims of violations of the ADA and Rehabilitation act, requesting release. On June 10, ... [view]
21 J.P. v. Educational Testing Services
2:20-cv-04502 (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/19/2020 - Case Ongoing
the College Entrance Examination Board
the College Entrance Examination Board
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Education
ED-CA-0037
Coding Complete
COVID-19 summary: This is a class-action complaint brought by four parents and a public charity against the College Entrance Examination Board and Education Testing Services for breach of contract on behalf of all students registered to take at-home Advanced Placement (AP) exams, for the defendant’s failure to administer its AP exams without ... [view]
22 League of Women Voters of Minnesota Education Fund v. Simon
0:20-cv-01205 (D. Minn.)
Filed 05/19/2020 - Case Ongoing
Secretary of State of Minnesota
Election/Voting Rights
VR-MN-0017
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This lawsuit was brought on May 19 by the League of Women Voters of Minnesota Education Fund and an individual voter to challenge Minnesota’s absentee voting laws requiring the physical presence of a witness. The plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief requiring the defendant to waive the witness requirement for the ... [view]
23 League of Women Voters New Jersey v. Way
3:20-cv-05990 (D.N.J.)
Filed 05/18/2020 - Case Ongoing
Secretary of the State of New Jersey
Election/Voting Rights
VR-NJ-0042
Coding Complete
Summary not yet on record [view]
24 Martinez v. Cuomo
1:20-cv-03338 (S.D.N.Y.)
Filed 05/17/2020 - Case Ongoing
Governor of New York
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
DR-NY-0016
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: On April 29, 2020, four individuals with disabilities and Disability Rights New York sued the Governor of New York State for the absence of live televised American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation on the Governor’s daily televised briefings. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the plaintiffs alleged that lack of live ASL ... [view]
25 Torres v. Milusnic
2:20-cv-04450 (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/16/2020 - Case Ongoing
Warden of Lompoc
Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex
Prison Conditions
PC-CA-0079
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a putative class action by five individuals held at Lompoc, a low-security prison facing one of the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 among U.S federal prisons. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants failed to undertake reasonable preventative measures, which allowed the virus to spread to 60% of those in custody. The ... [view]
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