Utah Supreme Courtroom dismisses ACLU’s coronavirus lawsuit focused at county jails

The Utah Supreme Courtroom has tossed a lawsuit that challenged how Utah’s jails and prisons had been responding to the pandemic.

The excessive court docket didn’t deal with any of the allegations made within the lawsuit, however as a substitute dominated that the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah and two different teams didn’t have correct authorized standing to deliver the lawsuit to court docket. The justices famous there was not a named plaintiff or inmate that the teams had been representing, and the teams didn’t present that the problems they wished to litigate would “unlikely to be raised” in the event that they weren’t allowed to deliver their lawsuit.

The ACLU is predicted to launch a press release Friday in regards to the dismissal.

Salt Lake County officers applauded the Utah Supreme Courtroom’s ruling, saying it was not the time or correct venue for a lawsuit.

“This case was an pointless waste of assets and time throughout the pandemic,” stated Salt Lake County District Lawyer Sim Gill in a press release. “If the petitioning organizations had reached out to be taught, share, and collaborate about widespread aims, reasonably than a rush to judgment missing information or proof, we may have collectively served the neighborhood of residents based mostly on our shared objectives and the county’s finest practices.”

Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera added that it will enable those that run the jail to get again to work with out the distraction of “pointless court docket proceedings.”

Paul Cassell, a College of Utah legislation professor who represented a number of crime victims who had been a part of the litigation, equally was essential of the ACLU.

“This ill-conceived case was by no means something however a distraction to the efforts of the state and the counties to attempt to take care of a difficult state of affairs,” he stated. “The Supreme Courtroom’s abstract dismissal correctly ends that distraction.”

The ACLU jointly filed the original petition April 1 with the Utah Incapacity Regulation Middle and the Utah Affiliation of Felony Protection Attorneys, asking the state Supreme Courtroom to step in and order officers to cut back the jail inhabitants and do extra to maintain the incarcerated inhabitants protected from COVID-19.

The teams just lately requested that the lawsuit be dismissed in opposition to Salt Lake County and 21 different counties, saying they imagine native governments had been taking satisfactory measures. They wished to maintain suing Utah jail officers, however the excessive court docket’s ruling dismisses the lawsuit in its entirety.

The teams stated two weeks in the past that they didn’t know what measures had been being taken earlier than submitting their lawsuit — regardless of their efforts to request that info from jailers throughout the state previous to litigation. These efforts grew to become extra clear after counties filed their responses in court docket, which is why they requested for the counties to be dismissed from the lawsuit.

The counties initially fought again, saying they wished to remain within the lawsuit and get a written ruling from the excessive court docket siding with them.

The Utah Supreme Courtroom did say they had been proper once they argued that the ACLU didn’t have correct standing to deliver the lawsuit, however the justices didn’t deal with any substantive points past that.

The Salt Lake Tribune will replace this text.

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