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Robinson v. Neil

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

May 11, 2018

SAMUEL ROBINSON, et al., on behalf of themselves and a class of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
HAMILTON COUNTY SHERIFF JIM NEIL, Defendant.

          HAVE SEEN AND AGREE: James W. Harper Assistant Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Brand Newman Newman & McCks Co LPA

          Pamela J Sears Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Christian J. Schaefer Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Jerome A Kunkel Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office Jay R. Wampler Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT

          Michael Jay O'Hara O'Hara, Taylor, Sloan & Cassidy Marc David Mezibov Mezibov Butler COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF

          Karen Litkovitz, Magistrate Judge

          AGREED ORDER SETTLING COUNT II AND ISSUING INJUNCTION

          Susan J. Dlott, United States District Court Judge

         The parties to this litigation agree and the court finds the following facts:

         A. The issues in this case began when Sheriff Neil issued a declaration of an emergency due to overcrowding at the Hamilton County Justice Center as provided by Ohio Law. Following the Declaration of the Emergency, Sheriff Neil put in place certain changes in the facilities and operation of the Hamilton County Justice Center to alleviate the issues created by overcrowding.

         B. On September 28, 2017, Plaintiff Samuel Robinson filed a suit alleging that the changes made by Sheriff Neil were inadequate to relieve overcrowding and that the Hamilton County Justice Center continues to be overcrowded as prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Sheriff Neil denies the claims of Plaintiff Robinson and the additional Plaintiffs who have been added to the litigation by two Amended Complaints.

         C. The Hamilton County Justice Center was subject to a prior consent decree that expired a decade before this litigation began. Among other things, the prior Consent Decree resulted in the use by Sheriff Neil of the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) classification system and various early release policies to prevent constitutionally prohibited overcrowding at the Hamilton County Justice Center.

         D. As a result of the 2008 recession, an additional jail facility in Hamilton County was closed and additional early release policies were established to prevent constitutionally deficient overcrowding at the Hamilton County Justice Center.

         E. All of these early release policies are attached hereto as Exhibits 1 through 7.

         F. While most of these early release policies have been authorized by Ohio courts, others were not. Recently the Ohio First District Court of Appeals held that one of these early release policies violated Ohio law. The most effective of these early release policies employed by Sheriff Neil, "Pre-trial Release, " appears to violate Ohio Law. Essentially, this program releases inmates for whom bonds are set by Judges of the Hamilton County Courts who have not, or are unable, to post those bonds.

         G. There are two populations housed in the Hamilton County Justice Center. "Detention Inmates" are inmates who have been arrested, delivered to the Intake area of the Hamilton County Justice Center, and held pending the Initial Appearance before a Judge of the Hamilton County Municipal Court. The Initial Appearance occurs within two days of the inmate's arrest. "Population Inmates" are inmates serving a sentence or held in lieu of a bond being posted for their release. Population Inmates are held for longer periods of time, generally until their sentences expire or the trial court proceedings are completed.

         H. Sheriff Neil has used temporary beds, called "Boats, " which sit on the floor in common areas of the Hamilton County Justice Center when the number of inmates exceeds the number of available beds in cells as determined by application of the NIC classification system to the current population. The Parties' expectation is that the use of Boats, other than use associated with unusual circumstances such as an arrest occasioned by a mass civil unrest scenario, would be reduced or eliminated from the day to day operations of the Justice Center given plans to expand the physical capacity of the Justice Center over the next two-year period. The Parties agree that the use of Boats in the day to day ...


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