United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
MICHAEL DRIVER, TERRY CLAYTON, MICHAEL BOYD, NICHOLAS SWORDS, and ROY SHOFNER, individually and as representatives of a class of all similarly situated individuals, Plaintiffs,
MARION COUNTY SHERIFF, and CONSOLIDATED CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS AND MARION COUNTY, Defendants.
ENTRY ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR CLASS
RICHARD L. YOUNG, CHIEF JUDGE
Michael Driver, Terry Clayton, Michael Boyd, Nicholas Swords,
and Roy Shofner, move to certify a class with five subclasses
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) and (b)(3). For
the reasons set forth below, the court GRANTS in part and
DENIES in part Plaintiffs' motion.
bring a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section
1983”), claiming the policies and practices of the
Marion County Sheriff caused them to be detained in the
Marion County Jail awaiting release for an unreasonably long
period of time, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. For
example, Mr. Driver was arrested on Saturday, December 13,
2014, for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a
Class C misdemeanor. (Filing No. 73-4, Affidavit of Michael
Driver (“Driver Aff.”) ¶ 7). His bond was
set at $1, 500. (Id. ¶ 9). On Monday, December
15, 2014, he appeared before the court for a reduction in
bond. (Id. ¶ 10). The court granted the motion
and he was released on his own recognizance. (Id.
¶ 13). Following the hearing, Sheriff's deputies
returned him to the Jail for processing, but he was not
released until Wednesday, December 17, 2014, at approximately
6:00 p.m. (Id. ¶¶ 13-15). According to Mr.
Driver, it was “common knowledge among the inmate
population . . . that the Sheriff took up to seventy-two (72)
hours or even longer to release prisoners.”
(Id. ¶ 16).
Clayton was a pretrial detainee at the Jail from May 28, 2014
to December 10, 2014. (Filing No. 73-16, Affidavit of Terry
Clayton (“Clayton Aff.”) ¶ 7). Following a
jury trial on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, he was found not
guilty around 11:30 p.m. that day. (Id. ¶¶
9-10). The judge entered an order for his immediate release.
(Id. ¶ 11). Sheriff's deputies returned him
to the Jail, and he was not released until Friday, December
12, at approximately 4:00 p.m. (Id. ¶ 13). Mr.
Clayton complained about the delay, but “was told by
correctional officers and a correctional sergeant that the
jail had 72 hours to release inmates.” (Id.
Boyd pled guilty to a charge of operating a vehicle while
intoxicated on November 20, 2014. (Filing No. 73-5, Affidavit
of Michael Boyd (“Boyd Aff.”) ¶ 8). He was
sentenced to ten days in the Jail, but with good time credit,
he would actually serve five days. (Id. ¶ 9).
His sentence was to begin immediately after the conclusion of
the plea hearing and was to end on November 24. (Id.
¶ 11). On November 24, he complained that he was not
released, but his complaints were ignored. (Id.
¶ 15). Marion Superior Court staff intervened, and he
was released on November 26. (Id. ¶ 20).
Swords was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor charges
of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on December
10, 2014. (Filing No. 73-6, Affidavit of Nicholas Swords
(“Swords Aff.”) ¶ 8). A judge set his bond
at $150. (Id. ¶ 9). His cousin paid the bond on
December 12, and was told not to wait around “because
it would take ‘up to 72 hours' for the Sheriff to
release [him].” (Id. ¶ 15). Mr. Swords
was not released until December 15. (Id. ¶ 21).
Mr. Shofner pled guilty to driving while intoxicated and was
sentenced to nine days in the Marion County Jail, beginning
on February 4, 2015. (Filing No. 73-7, Affidavit of Roy
Shofner (“Shofner Aff.”) ¶ 8). At the
conclusion of his jail sentence on February 12, Mr. Shofner
was to begin a sentence of electronic monitoring/home
detention by Marion County Community Corrections.
(Id. ¶ 9). He was scheduled to return to work
on Friday, February 13. (Id. ¶ 13). Instead of
being released on February 12, he remained incarcerated until
February 17. (Id. ¶ 14). When he
“complained about [his] over-incarceration to the
correctional officers holding [him], [he] was told that the
Sheriff had 72 hours to release inmates.” (Id.
Plaintiffs claim their illegal detention is the result of
various policies and practices instituted by the Sheriff,
which include: (1) “operating under a standard of
seventy-two hours to release prisoners who are ordered
released” (Filing No. 38, Third Amended Complaint
¶ 87); (2) the “employment of a computer system
inadequate for the purposes intended with respect to the
timely release of prisoners” (id. ¶ 88);
(3) “re- arresting and imprisoning individuals who are
released on their own recognizance, found not guilty or
acquitted, or who have had their criminal charges vacated or
dismissed” (id. ¶ 89); (4) “not
accepting cash or surety bonds but instead outsourcing the
payment and processing of these bonds to the Marion County
Clerk” (id. ¶ 90); and (5) “not
releasing inmates at the conclusion of their sentences, but
rather keeping them in jail until Community
Corrections is ‘ready' to process them as a
group” (id. ¶ 84). They seek to certify a
class of all individuals who, from December 19, 2012, to the
present, were held in confinement by the Sheriff after legal
authority for those detentions ceased. They also seek to
certify five subclasses based on each of the five alleged
policies and practices set forth above.
Rule 23 Requirements
action suits are governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
23. A party seeking class certification bears the burden of
establishing that certification is appropriate. Retired
Chicago Police Ass'n v. City of Chicago, 7 F.3d 584,
596 (7th Cir. 1993). The decision whether to grant or deny a
motion for class certification lies within the broad
discretion of the trial court. Id.
prescribes a two-step analysis to determine whether class
certification is appropriate. First, a plaintiff must satisfy
Rule 23(a)'s requirements of numerosity, commonality,
typicality, and adequacy of representation. Clark v.
Experian Info. Sols., Inc., 256 Fed.Appx. 818, 821 (7th
Cir. 2007); Williams v. Chartwell Fin. Serv., Ltd.,
204 F.3d 748, 760 (7th Cir. 2000). The failure to meet any
one of these requirements precludes certification of a class.
Retired Chicago Police Ass'n, 7 F.3d at 596.
Second, the action must also satisfy one of the conditions of
Rule 23(b). Clark, 256 Fed.Appx. at 821;
Williams, 204 F.3d at 760. Plaintiffs seek
certification under Rule 23(b)(3), which permits class
certification if “questions of law or fact common to
class members predominate over any questions affecting only
individual members” and class resolution is
“superior to other available methods for failure and
efficiently adjudicating the controversy.”
the predominance requirement of Rule 23(b)(3), common
questions of law or fact must predominate; in other words,
there must be a common nucleus of operative facts applicable
to the entire class. Messner v. Northshore Univ.
Healthsystem, 669 F.3d 802, 815 (7th Cir. 2012). The
Messner court explained:
If, to make a prima facie showing on a given question, the
members of a proposed class will need to present evidence
that varies from member to member, then it is an individual
question. If the same evidence will suffice for each member
to make ...