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6th Circuit rules in favor of Oakland County in lawsuit over jail conditions amid pandemic

prison bars
A federal appeals court has vacated a lower court ruling related to conditions at the Oakland County jail during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oakland County has won an appeal in a lawsuit brought by inmates in the county jail. The lawsuit was related to conditions at the Oakland County jail during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the lawsuit, inmates said they weren’t provided soap and disinfectant to clean surfaces and shared items, and that it was impossible to follow social distancing guidelines.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated an earlier ruling from May that would've required the county to provide soap, cleaning supplies and masks and to set up a process to release medically vulnerable inmates.

Oakland County officials said they were already doing most of what the district judge had ordered.

The appeals court agreed in a 2-1 decision Thursday saying, “the steps that jail officials took to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were reasonable.”

In a statement, Undersheriff Mike McCabe said there are currently no cases of COVID-19 in the jail.

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Lauren Talley is Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition producer. She produces and edits studio interviews and feature stories, and helps manage the “Mornings in Michigan” series. Lauren also serves as the lead substitute host for Morning Edition.
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