ODonnell v. Harris County, Texas

Plaintiff and others filed a class action against the County under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that the County's system of setting bail for indigent misdemeanor arrestees violated Texas statutory and constitutional law, as well as the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court denied the County's summary judgment motion and granted plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. The Fifth Circuit affirmed most of the district court's rulings, including its conclusion that plaintiff established a likelihood of success on the merits of its claims that the County's policies violated procedural due process and equal protection. However, the court held that the district court's definition of plaintiff's liberty interest under due process was too broad, and the procedures it required to protect that interest were too onerous; the district court erred by concluding that the County Sheriff could be considered a County policymaker under section 1983; and the district court's injunction was overbroad. Therefore, the court vacated the injunction and ordered the district court to modify its terms. View "ODonnell v. Harris County, Texas" on Justia Law