ODonnell v. Goodhart, 081418 FED5, 18-20466

Docket Nº:18-20466
Opinion Judge:JERRY E. SMITH, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:MARANDA LYNN ODONNELL, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. PAULA GOODHART; BILL HARMON;NATALIE C. FLEMING; JOHN CLINTON; MARGARET HARRIS; LARRY STANDLEY; PAM DERBYSHIRE; JAY KARAHAN; JUDGE ANALIA WILKERSON; DAN SPJUT; JUDGE DIANE BULL; JUDGE ROBIN BROWN; DONALD SMYTH; JEAN HUGHES, Defendants-Appellants. LOETHA SHANTA MCGRUDER; ROBERT RYAN FORD, Plaintiffs-...
Judge Panel:Before SMITH, GRAVES, and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges. JAMES E. GRAVES, JR., Circuit Judge, dissenting:
Case Date:August 14, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
SUMMARY

The Fifth Circuit granted a motion for stay pending appeal brought by fourteen judges in a class action against Harris County and its officials under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that the County's system of setting bail for indigent misdemeanor arrestees violates Texas statutory and constitutional law and the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court entered a... (see full summary)

 
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MARANDA LYNN ODONNELL, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

PAULA GOODHART; BILL HARMON;NATALIE C. FLEMING; JOHN CLINTON; MARGARET HARRIS; LARRY STANDLEY; PAM DERBYSHIRE; JAY KARAHAN; JUDGE ANALIA WILKERSON; DAN SPJUT; JUDGE DIANE BULL; JUDGE ROBIN BROWN; DONALD SMYTH; JEAN HUGHES, Defendants-Appellants.

LOETHA SHANTA MCGRUDER; ROBERT RYAN FORD, Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS, ET AL., Defendant.

PAULA GOODHART; BILL HARMON; NATALIE C. FLEMING; JOHN CLINTON; MARGARET HARRIS; LARRY STANDLEY; PAM DERBYSHIRE; JAY KARAHAN; JUDGE ANALIA WILKERSON; DAN SPJUT; JUDGE DIANE BULL; JUDGE ROBIN BROWN; DONALD SMYTH; JEAN HUGHES, Defendants-Appellants.

No. 18-20466

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

August 14, 2018

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Before SMITH, GRAVES, and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges.

JERRY E. SMITH, Circuit Judge.

This is a motion for stay pending appeal. We grant the stay.

I.

Plaintiffs brought a class action against Harris County, Texas, and a number of its officials-including County Judges, 1 Hearing Officers, and the Sheriff (collectively, the "County")2-under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging the County's system of setting bail for indigent misdemeanor arrestees violates Texas statutory and constitutional law and the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.3

After a hearing, the district court granted Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction, finding that they were likely to succeed on their procedural due process and equal protection claims. We affirmed in part and reversed in part. ODonnell I, 892 F.3d at 152-55.[4] We remanded for a revised injunction "consistent with this opinion." Id. at 152. That revised injunction was to be "narrowly tailored to cure the constitutional deficiencies the district court properly identified." Id. at 166-67. We provided a model injunction but left "the details to the district court's discretion." Id. at 164.

On remand, the district court adopted the model injunction but added four provisions of its own-Sections 7, 8, 9, and 16. Section 7 applies to all misdemeanor arrestees who (a) are not subject to a formal hold, 5 (b) have executed an affidavit of financial condition showing inability to pay, and (c) have not been granted release on unsecured bond. The injunction directs the County to release them if they would have been released had they posted bond. These arrestees must be released within "the same time frame of release" as an arrestee who posted bond, and "[v]erification of references must not delay release." Revised PI § 7, App. 4-5.

In other words, the County cannot hold indigent arrestees for the 48 hours preceding their bail hearing if the same individual would have been released had he been able to post bond. The district court explained that that provision is to prevent those unable to afford bail "from being detained longer than those able to pay secured money bail before receiving a hearing and individual assessment." Id.

Except for formal holds, Section 8 requires the County to release, on unsecured personal bond, all misdemeanor arrestees who have not had a hearing and individual assessment within 48 hours. The County may require their return for a hearing but cannot hold arrestees "after the 48th hour after their arrest." Revised PI § 8, App. 6.

The district court justified Section 8 as addressing the concern of "arres-tees being detained until case disposition and pleading guilty to secure faster release from pretrial detention." Revised PI Op. at 12, App. 21 (quoting Odon-nell I, 892 F.3d at 166). Again, such arrestees could be required to return for an individualized hearing but could not be held beyond 48 hours. Id. at 13, App. 22.

Section 9 requires the County to implement procedures to comply with Section 8. Upon release, the arrestee will be subject to the bail amount previously set until his new hearing, but that amount will be imposed on an unsecured basis. In absentia hearings do not satisfy the 48-hour rule.

Section 16 applies the relief to "misdemeanor arrestees who are re-arrested on misdemeanor charges only or on warrants for failing to appear while released before trial on bond (either secured or unsecured)." Revised PI § 16, App. 8. The decisionmaker is free to consider these facts at the individual assessment hearing but must provide repeat offenders the same protections, in advance of that hearing, as any other first-time arrestee. Revised PI Op. at 16-17. App. 25-26.

On July 10, 2018, the Fourteen Judges filed this appeal of the preliminary injunction and moved, in the district court, for a stay, pending appeal, of Sections 7, 8, 9, and 16. The district court denied their motion. On July 27, 2018, Fourteen County Judges filed an emergency motion with this court, requesting a stay only of those four sections set to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 30, 2018. We issued an emergency stay to allow time for full consideration of the motion, and we heard oral argument on the motion on August 7, 2018. We now grant the motion and enter a stay of Sections 7, 8, 9, and 16 pending plenary resolution of this appeal by a merits panel.

II.

A stay pending appeal "is not a matter of right." Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 427 (2009) (quotation marks omitted). We consider (1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of a stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies.

Veasey v. Abbott, 870 F.3d 387, 391 (5th Cir. 2017) (per curiam) (quoting Nken, 556 U.S. at 426). The first two factors are the most critical. Barber v. Bryant, 833 F.3d 510, 511 (5th Cir. 2016).

A.

The Fourteen Judges offer seven reasons why they are likely to succeed on the merits: (1) The revised injunction violates the mandate rule; (2) the revised injunction is overbroad such that it exceeds the limits of a federal court's power; (3) the revised injunction violates Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971); (4) the revised injunction violates Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475 (1973); (5) the revised injunction violates the Eighth Amendment; (6) the Constitution does not require mandatory release of those who cannot afford bail; and (7) the Constitution does not require mandatory release of those detained more than 48 hours without a hearing. Because the Fourteen Judges are likely to succeed on the merits as to the first two and the last two grounds, we need not―and do not―reach the Younger, Preiser, or Eighth Amendment theories.

1.

"[T]he mandate rule compels compliance on remand with the dictates of a superior court and forecloses relitigation of issues expressly or impliedly decided by the appellate court." Gene & Gene, L.L.C. v. BioPay, L.L.C., 624 F.3d 698, 702 (5th Cir. 2010). The district court "must implement both the letter and the spirit of the appellate court's mandate."6 "[D]istrict courts are guided by the Supreme Court's instruction that 'the scope of injunctive relief is dictated by the extent of the violation established.'" ODonnell I, 892 F.3d at 163 (quoting Califano v. Yamasaki, 442 U.S. 682, 702 (1979)). "The district court must narrowly tailor an injunction to remedy the specific action which gives rise to the order." John Doe # 1 v. Veneman, 380 F.3d 807, 818 (5th Cir. 2004).

The ODonnell I panel clarified that under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the precise "constitutional defect in the process afforded was the automatic imposition of pretrial detention on indigent misdemeanor arrestees."7 Thus, individualized hearings after which magistrates had to "specifically enunciate their individualized, case-specific reasons for [imposing bail] is a sufficient remedy." Id. at 160.8 The procedures required for such hearings were "notice, an opportunity to be heard and submit evidence within 48 hours of arrest, and a reasoned decision by an impartial decision-maker." Id. at 163. The panel then provided detailed guidance on how a properly crafted injunction should look, cautioning that it should not "amount[] to the outright elimination of secured bail for indigent misdemeanor arrestees."[9]

Despite the district court's diligent and well-intentioned effort to comply with ODonnell I, Section 7 easily violates the mandate, which explicitly found that individualized hearings would remedy the identified procedural violations. The requirement that such a hearing be held within 48 hours is applied to those who cannot afford the prescheduled bond. In other words, the panel saw the 48-hour limit as sufficient to protect indigent arrestees from being detained for too long pending their hearings...

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