970 F.3d 174 (2nd Cir. 2020), 17-1558, Liberian Community Association of Connecticut v. Lamont

Docket Nº:17-1558
Citation:970 F.3d 174
Opinion Judge:Debra Ann Livingston, Circuit Judge
Party Name:LIBERIAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION OF CONNECTICUT, on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, Louise Mensah-Sieh, on behalf of herself and her minor children B.D. and S.N., on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, Victor Sieh, on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, Emmanuel Kamara, on behalf of themselves and...
Attorney:For Plaintiffs-Appellants: D'Laney Gielow ( Michael J. Wishnie, Amy Kapczynski, Dana Bolger, Kyle Edwards, Megha Ram, on the briefs), Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT. Jeremy Ershow ( Susan J. Kohlmann, Jeremy M. Creelan, Irene M. Ten Cate, on the briefs...
Judge Panel:Judge Chin concurs in part and dissents in part in a separate opinion. Chin, Circuit Judge, concurring in part and dissenting in part:
Case Date:August 14, 2020
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Page 174

970 F.3d 174 (2nd Cir. 2020)

LIBERIAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION OF CONNECTICUT, on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, Louise Mensah-Sieh, on behalf of herself and her minor children B.D. and S.N., on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, Victor Sieh, on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, Emmanuel Kamara, on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, Assunta Nimley-Phillips, on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, Laura Skrip, on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, Ryan Boyko, on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, Esther Yalartai, on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, Bishop Harmon Yalartai, on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

Ned LAMONT, Governor, Deidre S. Gifford, Acting Commissioner of Public Health, Jewel Mullen, Former Commissioner of Public Health, Defendants-Appellees.1

No. 17-1558

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

August 14, 2020

Argued: February 8, 2018.

Page 175

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 176

Appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Covello, J.)

Page 177

For Plaintiffs-Appellants: D'Laney Gielow ( Michael J. Wishnie, Amy Kapczynski, Dana Bolger, Kyle Edwards, Megha Ram, on the briefs), Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT. Jeremy Ershow ( Susan J. Kohlmann, Jeremy M. Creelan, Irene M. Ten Cate, on the briefs), Jenner & Block LLP, New York, NY. ( Robert M. Palumbos, Duane Morris LLP, Philadelphia, PA, for George J. Annas, Jennifer Bard, Leo Beletsky, Micah Berman, Scott Burris, Erwin Chemerinsky, Linda C. Fentiman, Lance Gable, Brandon Garrett, Lawrence O. Gostin, Jonathan Hafetz, Helen Hershkoff, Peter D. Jacobson, Jonathan Kahn, Renee M. Landers, Sylvia A. Law, Jenny S. Martinez, Seema Mohapatra, Burt Neuborne, Wendy Parmet, Aziz Rana, Judith Resnik, Kermit Roosevelt, Charity Scott, and Stephen I. Vladeck, as amici curiae), ( Kim E. Rinehart, Wiggin and Dana, LLP, New Haven, CT, for Yale New Haven Health Services Corporation, Hartford Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Backus Hospitals, MidState Medical Center, Windham Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Johnson Memorial Hospital, Saint Mary's Hospital, Bristol Hospital, and Western Connecticut Health Network, Inc., as amici curiae), ( Dan Barrett, ACLU Foundation of Connecticut, Hartford, CT, and Esha Bhandari, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, New York, NY, for American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, Doctors Without Borders/Medé cins Sans Frontiè res USA as amici curiae), ( Ann O'Leary and

Page 178

Kathleen Hartnett, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Palo Alto, CA, and David A. Barrett and Yotam Barkai, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, New York, NY, for Mark Barnes, Leana Wen, and Jeffrey Duchin as amici curiae).

For Defendants-Appellees: Robert J. Deichert, Assistant Attorney General, for George Jepsen, Attorney General, Hartford, CT.

Judge Chin concurs in part and dissents in part in a separate opinion.

Debra Ann Livingston, Circuit Judge

This case arises out of the Ebola epidemic that ravaged West Africa between 2014 and 2016. In response to the epidemic, then-Governor Dannel Malloy declared a public health emergency in the State of Connecticut. The declaration authorized Dr. Jewel Mullen, then-Commissioner of Public Health, to isolate or quarantine individuals whom she believed had been exposed to or could transmit the Ebola virus. She ordered twenty-one-day quarantines for two Ph.D. candidates— Ryan Boyko and Laura Skrip— and six members of the Mensah-Sieh family who had recently emigrated from Liberia. None of the quarantined individuals were infected with Ebola.

Boyko, Skrip, the Mensah-Siehs, Assunta Nimley-Phillips, Bishop Harmon Yalartai, Esther Yalartai, and the Liberian Community Association of Connecticut (collectively, "Appellants") filed a putative class-action suit in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Covello, J. ) challenging the state officials' actions.2 They primarily alleged violations of their substantive and procedural due process rights and the Fourth Amendment. The defendants— the Governor and Commissioners of Public Health— moved to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b). As to these constitutional claims, the district court dismissed the claims for injunctive relief under Rule 12(b)(1), for lack of standing, and dismissed the claims for damages under Rule 12(b)(6), on the basis of Dr. Mullen's assertion of qualified immunity.3 The court also denied the motion for class certification. We agree with the conclusions reached by the district court as to standing and qualified immunity and need not reach the issue of class certification. Accordingly, we AFFIRM the judgment but REMAND with instructions to the district court that the judgment be amended to reflect that the state law claims were dismissed without prejudice.

BACKGROUND

I. Factual Background 4

A. The 2014 Ebola Outbreak

Ebola "is spread through direct physical contact with the bodily fluids of a symptomatic person, the body of a person who has died from Ebola, or objects contaminated with the virus, such as used needles."

Page 179

J.A. 26.5 Once an individual has contracted the virus, "[t]he incubation period (the time from infection to onset of symptoms) is usually four to nine days but can range from two to twenty-one days." Id. "Symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, diarrhea, and vomiting." Id.

The first victim of the 2014 Ebola outbreak may well have been a young boy from a village "deep within the Guinean forest region" who died in December 2013.6 The disease thereafter spread, "kill[ing] the boy's mother, then his 3-year-old sister, then his grandmother."7 In the months that followed, dozens more died as the disease moved between relatives, friends, and health care workers. Soon, the virus had "spread rapidly throughout Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone." J.A. 26. On March 23, 2014, "the World Health Organization ('WHO') announced an outbreak of Ebola in West Africa." Id. Over the next twenty-two months, more than 28,000 individuals were diagnosed with Ebola. Over 11,000 died. This was the largest Ebola outbreak in history, yet those afflicted resided almost exclusively in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Outside those three countries, fewer than forty cases of Ebola emerged.

During the outbreak, to prevent the spread of the disease in the United States, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") and the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") released policy guidance on how to manage the flow of people from West Africa. The CDC initially "recommended only self-monitoring or active monitoring for twenty-one days, and recommended no movement restrictions or quarantine" "[f]or asymptomatic individuals returning from West Africa with 'no risk' or 'low risk' of exposure."8 J.A. 27. On October 8, 2014, the CDC and the DHS jointly "announced a safety plan" pursuant to which individuals "entering the United States from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone" were directed "to one of five ports of entry." J.A. 28. On arrival, trained staff screened travelers for signs of illness and inquired about their health and possible prior exposures. If a passenger "required further evaluation or monitoring, federal officers referred those travelers to the appropriate state or local public health authority. Travelers with no symptoms, fever, or a known history of exposure received health information for self-monitoring and were approved to exit the airport." J.A. 28. After the safety plan was announced, the CDC also revised its prior guidance. The new guidance, issued on October 27, "recommended 'no restrictions on travel, work, public conveyances, or congregate gatherings' for asymptomatic individuals ... who had been in an affected country but had no known exposure." J.A. 30.

Page 180

Over a year and a half after the virus was first identified, the WHO declared Sierra Leone Ebola-free on November 7, 2015. Guinea and Liberia followed on December 29, 2015, and January 14, 2016, respectively. Despite these declarations, experts cautioned that these three nations "remain[ed] at high risk of future Ebola outbreaks." Id. Nevertheless, on March 29, 2016, the WHO deemed the "Public Health Emergency of International Concern" over. J.A. 111. Since the end of the Ebola crisis in West Africa, there have been at least ten flareups or small outbreaks of Ebola in West Africa, and multiple outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

B. Connecticut's Response

Under Connecticut state law, the state government acquires the authority to quarantine if the Governor declares a public health emergency. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 19a-131a. Once the Governor makes such a declaration, he may authorize the State Public Health Commissioner (the "Commissioner") to quarantine or isolate people "whom the commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe" are or could be infected with a communicable disease. Id. § 19a-131b(a). The Commissioner is to issue quarantine and isolation orders only when they are "necessary and the least restrictive alternative to protect or preserve the public health." Id. Numerous statutory factors guide the issuance of a quarantine or isolation order. Id. § 19a-131b(b). The Commissioner must also comply with various procedural requirements, including informing the quarantined or isolated individuals in writing, id. § 19a-131b(c), limiting the order to a renewable twenty-day period, id., and informing individuals that they have a right...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP