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Update on the Petition for Extraordinary Relief Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

14 May 2020 Published in Newsroom


May 14, 2020

In a filing on Wednesday with the Utah Supreme Court, the ACLU of Utah, the Disability Law Center, and the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers requested voluntary dismissal of the remaining counties from the current lawsuit.

This decision is based on new information related to COVID-19 policies and practices provided to the Court that demonstrates that most counties in Utah are now in substantial compliance with the petition's requested relief, which included releasing prisoners and taking additional safety measures.  

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 Prior to this petition being filed, complete information about these protective steps was not provided despite sustained efforts by ACLU of Utah to acquire it, including requests to key criminal justice stakeholders on March 20 and to county sheriffs across the state on March 26.

Based on reports this week that two more people held at the Salt Lake County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19, and the continuing threat of contagion inside congregate living settings, we will continue to watch the situation in county jails across Utah as we proceed with our litigation against the Utah Department of Corrections and the Board of Pardons and Parole.

Download a copy of this press release (PDF)

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Legal Documents Filed

Motion for the Voluntary Dismissal of Remaining County Respondents (PDF)

Petitioners’ Reply to State Respondents’ Response in Opposition to Petition for Extraordinary Relief (Redacted) (PDF)

Reply to Movant’s Relief (PDF)


Letter to Utah Criminal Justice Policy Officials and Stakeholders
ACLU of Utah | March 20, 2020

Letter to Utah Sheriffs with COVID-19 Recommendations to Protect Incarcerated Individuals
ACLU of Utah | March 26, 2020
Link: https://acluutah.org/newsroom/item/1608-press-release-covid19-sheriffs

A Performance Audit of Utah Department of Corrections Inmate Placement Program
Office of the Utah State Auditor | January 23, 2020

Flattening the Curve: Why Reducing Jail Populations is Key to Beating COVID-19.
National ACLU | April 22, 2020

Media Contacts

John Mejia
Legal Director, ACLU of Utah
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Aaron Kinikini
Legal Director, Disability Law Center
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Jason Stevenson
Strategic Communications Manager, ACLU of Utah
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