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Court Orders In-Person Inspection of Michigan Facility to Determine COVID-19 Policy Compliance

“Through filings submitted as part of the bail process and supplemental briefing, the Court has repeatedly received information suggesting that there may be a discrepancy between the facility’s policies to address COVID-19, the current outbreak, and the implementation or execution of these policies” at CCCF, the court said in its December 3, 2020 order. That order was issued to provide the court with the necessary information to consider whether any additional relief is needed.

The parties were unable to agree on whether an in-person or hybrid model (a remote inspection with an in-person assistant) would occur. As the defendants’ plan to retain their own expert regardless of the Court’s selection of a medical expert, the Court approved the plaintiff’s initial request for an in-person inspection to be conducted by Dr. Homer Venters.

The inspection was to be conducted within 14 days of the Court’s order and a report filed within 14 days of completion of the inspection. A Spanish-speaking interpreter and counsel for the parties were also allowed to attend in-person or remotely via video feed.

Dr. Venters was to be allowed access to all areas of CCCF and to confidentially interview prisoners and staff. The inspection was to be recorded as Dr. Venters determined appropriate, but he could not record “security procedures, door mechanisms, control rooms, the ventilation system, or anything else identified to be a security risk.”

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Related legal case

Malam v. Adducci