UPDATE
The Case will be remanded to the Court of Claims on May 23, 2017


Plaintiff Tom Nowacki filed Nowacki v. State of Michigan Department of Corrections, Case No. 11-852-CD, in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court in Ann Arbor, Michigan on August 1, 2011. Mr. Nowacki's lawsuit challenges gender discrimination against male Corrections Officers by the Michigan Department of Corrections at its Women's Huron Valley Facility ("WHV") in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Court certified the case as a class action on June 20, 2012.

List of Class Members as of January 12, 2018

April 9, 2013: The Court issued an order denying Defendant Michigan Department of Corrections' Motion for Involuntary Dismissal and an order denying its Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's Order Granting Class Certification. The parties continue to conduct discovery, including depositions.

June 20, 2012: The Court granted Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification. Read the Court's order here.


​June 14, 2012: The Court issued a Scheduling/Pretrial Order requiring that all discovery be conducted by June 14, 2013. The Order also scheduled a Settlement Conference for October 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm and the Trial for November 18, 2013 at 8:30 am. 


August 1, 2011: Plaintiff Tom Nowacki filed the case of Nowacki v. State of Michigan Department of Corrections, Case No. 11-852-CD,  in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court. The case was assigned to Judge Timothy P. Connors (but was later reassigned to Judge Archie C. Brown). Read the original Complaint and the Amended Complaint.  

Update - July 22, 2019


The Trial in this matter has been rescheduled to September 16, 2019

 

Update - November 26, 2018


Judge Swartz’s judicial attorney, JoAnne Barron, conducted a telephone conference with the attorneys on Monday, November 19 at 10:00 a.m. 

The Court directed that the parties engage in mediation before the March trial date. 

The exact date has not yet been established by the Court.  The Trial will be limited to whether or not the MDOC violated the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act by implementing the BFOQs.  If it is determined that the BFOQs violated the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, another trial will be held in June to determine the damages to the members.  That trial will be held in June. 

The Court has suggested that the parties consider a bench trial on the issue of violation of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act rather than a jury trial to expedite resolution.  Mr. Lenhoff and I are considering that suggestion.  We will be having a follow up call with the judicial attorney on December 3, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. 

Stay tuned for further developments.  



ACKERMAN DANA B
ADAMS JAMES F
ADAMSKI TORRY E
AKHTAB MIKAL S
AKUEZUE HYGINUS 
ALDRICH WADE V
ALLEN ALBERT 
ALLEN PHIL M
AMEND TROY L
ANTHONY JOSHUA M
ARNETT RODNEY J
ATKINSON THERON F
BABBITT STEVEN S
BAMIGBOYE-YUSUF BILLY 
BANKS LYLE 
BARBEE KENNETH R
BARBER RAFE 
BARNS GARY W
BASLER ROBERT D
BASS SHANNON K
BEACH RICHARD H
BEARDEN DAVID A
BEARD JERALD D
BECK ALLAN T
BEEHLER DAVID M
BENTLEY RONALD D
BLAIR, STEPHEN
BOA DANIEL M
BOES BRIAN D
BOLAN KRISTOPHER C
BOWE DANIEL M
BOWMAN JOHN C
BRAGG STANLEY W
BRAINARD DAVID 
BRAMAN PAUL 
BRANCH ANDRE K
BRANDYWINE THADDEUS E
BRANNOCK WILLIAM R
BRASSFIELD DAVID A
BRASSFIELD JR DAVID A
BRAUN RANDY J
BREZZELL ROBERT L
BROOKINS JERRY E
BROWN ALEXANDER B
BROWN BERNARD 
BROWN EUGENE W
BROWN, JAMES A., JR.

BROWN, LEONARD D
BROWN, MARVIN
BROWN PAUL R

BROWNLEE DARRYL A
BRUNNER ORVIN 
BUGASKI BOBBY 
BUNTING JAMES A
BURNHAM FREDERICK D
BURRELL TERRANCE K
BURROUGHS CHARLES W
CADMUS UCHE E
CANNON BRYAN K
CANTWELL JODY D
CARPENTER LARRY 
CARROLL SCOTT T
CARTER BRIAN K
CARTER ROGER L
CASPER DAVID A
CECIL JOHNIE M

CHAPPELL, ANDRES C.
CHASE KENT G
CLARK ARTHUR 
CLARK JOHN E
CLARK JOSEPH 
CLEARY ROBERT A
COBB WAYNE T
COBURN MARQUIS L
COLLINS, ANTOINE D.
COOK A C 
COSME PERRY 
COY CHARLES E
CRETENS RYAN A
CROLEY DONALD E
CROSSON NATHANIAL L
CROUCH GREGORY E
CROUCH LARRY V
CUMMINGS LESLIE B
CURTIS JOHN A
CZATA DANIEL P
CZERWINSKI HARRY A

​DABABNEH SHADEN J
DAUGHERTY MICHAEL J
DAUGHERTY THOMAS S
DAVIDSON GEORGE E
DAVIS ERIC L
DAVIS, MALCOLM L.
DAVIS MATTHEW S
DEAN DAVID J 
DEAN RYAN G
DEPOTTEY DAVID L
DESBROUGH RONALD G
DETTLOFF KENNETH 
DIBLE WILLIAM G
DILLMAN WILLIAM D
DIXON TONY C
DOADES ROY G
DOBBINS KENNETH L
DONLEY JOHN P
DORAN JOHN J
DOWNEY ROBERT H
DREYER GREG S
DUNHAM DAVID L
DUNHAM TIMOTHY R
DURIGON JOSEPH P


Oral Argument in the Court of Appeals
February 10, 2017

        On Wednesday, February 8, the Court of Appeals held oral argument on MDOC’s appeal of the Court of Claims dismissal of our requests for an injunction and declaratory relief. Recall that we sought dismissal so that we could proceed to trial on our claim for money damages in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court.  Accordingly, we asked the Court of Appeals to affirm the Court of Claims dismissal.
        The oral argument went very well with the judges uncharacteristically tipping their hand that they were going to rule for us. We will not know for sure that they ruled for us until we receive their written opinion which should be issued shortly.  When I receive that opinion, I will post it for all to see. 
        Should the Court of Appeals rule for us that does not necessarily mean onto trial in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court.  MDOC has the right to appeal the Court of Appeals decision to the Michigan Supreme Court.
        The odds of the Supreme Court taking the case are very small.  However, the case will remain stayed until the Supreme Court rejects the appeal.  This would be another way that the department could continue to delay the ultimate judgement day in Washtenaw County Circuit Court.  Delay has been MDOC’s pattern and therefore I expect an appeal.
        I will post the Court of Appeals opinion upon receipt and communicate further after the period expires to appeal the opinion to the Supreme Court. 
        Remember, the wheels of justice grind slowly.

June 25, 2013. Plaintiff filed a Supplemental Brief in Support of Motion for Summary Disposition, which included the testimony of Defendant's Human Resources Director, Tony Lopez, regarding how Defendant created the "female-only" BFOQs.

List of Class Members as of January 3, 2018

Gentlemen:
          Please inspect the list below to verify that your name is on the list of class members. If you are not on the list, and feel that you should be, please contact my office or Glen Lenhoff’s office. Officers with last names beginning with A-L should contact Fett & Fields, PC. Officers with last names beginning with M-Z should contact Mr. Lenhoff’s office.
          Also, if you notice anybody on the list that should not be on the list, or know of people that should be or want to be in the class but are not on the list, please contact us.
Very Truly Yours,
FETT & FIELDS, P.C.                                   LAW OFFICE OF GLEN N. LENHOFF

James K. Fett                                                  Glen N. Lenhoff

July 3, 2014.  The Michigan Court of Appeals date for oral argument has been set for Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at Lansing Courtroom, Hall of Justice, 925 W. Ottawa, Second Floor, Lansing.
September 24, 2013.  Plaintiff filed:

NOTICE TO THE CLASS REGARDING SETTLEMENT/SCHEDULING CONFERENCE IN WASHTENAW COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT ON JULY 27, 2017

          Mr. Lenhoff and I met with MDOC counsel Jeanmarie Miller and Judicial Attorney JoAnne Barron in Washtenaw County Circuit Court on July 27, 2017 to discuss how the case should proceed now that the latest round of appeals has been exhausted.
          The Court has directed that we prepare the notice to class members required by the Court Rules by a date to be set by the Court.  That notice will explain your rights as class members.  Basically, it will state that you can proceed along with other class members or you can opt out to bring a lawsuit on your own.  We expect that most, if not all of you, will proceed as you have as members of the class.
          MDOC will not consider settlement until Judge Swartz decides its motion to dismiss the case.  We explained to Ms. Barron that we also wish to file a motion asking the Court to determine that the BFOQs are illegal and that the only thing for the jury to decide is damages.  The Court directed the parties to file their competing motions on a date to be set in the near future.  No oral argument will be heard on the motions.  The Court will simply make a decision and issue an order deciding the competing motions.
          The options for the Court in deciding the motions are:
                 1.     Hold that the BFOQs are illegal and order a trial on damages only;
                 2.     Hold that it is for the jury to determine if the BFOQs are legal and order a trial on the legality of the BFOQs and damages; or
                 3.     Hold that the BFOQs are legal and dismiss the case.

          We will post the Court’s order with the dates as soon as it is entered.

April 30, 2013. Defendant Department of Corrections filed an Application for Leave to Appeal the Circuit Court's Order Granting Class Certification. Plaintiff is required to file an Answer to the Application by May 21, 2013 but there will be no oral argument. The Court of Appeals will only decide if it will consider Defendant's Appeal or deny the Application at this stage of the appeal proceedings.

Notice to Class January 12, 2018

Gentlemen:

Mr. Lenhoff and I wish to thank all of you that have assisted us in identifying individuals improperly designated as members of the class. Most of those involve individuals never worked at WHV.

To comply with the Court’s Order, however, we will forward a list of individuals provided by MDOC (even though some of those individuals are not properly on the list) because we are required by the Court Order to provide a final list consisting of all those individuals on the MDOC list that have not opted out. Only three individuals have opted out and therefore the final list as submitted to the Court will have many individuals that are not properly members of the class.

This should not concern any of you since the individuals that are not properly on the list will not dilute your share of the damages. To recover damages, a member of the class must prove that they are entitled to damages. Those that never worked at WHV cannot do so. Therefore, they will not receive any damages and therefore there will be no dilution in your share.

The critical issue in compiling the list to send to the Court is that all individuals that are entitled to compensation and wish to be part of the class are on that list. I am confident that we have accomplished that. However, if any of you know individuals that are not on the list (below), but should be, please let me know as soon as possible. The list will be going to the Court for filing next week.

Very Truly Yours,

FETT & FIELDS, P.C.                                   LAW OFFICE OF GLEN N. LENHOFF

James K. Fett                                                  Glen N. Lenhoff

June 25, 2013. The Michigan Court of Appeals granted Defendant's Application for Leave to Appeal, meaning it will hear Defendant's appeal regarding the trial court's certification of the class. The Court of Appeals also granted Defendant's Motion for Stay. Therefore, all proceedings in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court will cease until the Court of Appeals resolves Defendant's appeal. Read the order here.

June 20, 2013. Defendant filed its Brief in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Disposition. Defendant filed an "Errata" supplement to its Brief on June 24, 2013.

June 22, 2016 Motion filed on behalf of Plaintiffs in the Court of Appeals:  06-22-16 Pltfs Mot to Affirm.pdf

June 20, 2013. Plaintiff filed a Motion for Protective Order to Quash Subpoena to and Prevent Depositions of Absent Class Members in response to Defendant Department of Corrections' Subpoena and Notice of Depositions to all class members. Plaintiff challenged the Subpoena for many reasons, one of which was that it was not properly served on each class member on time and with the required witness/mileage fee. Plaintiff also challenged the Subpoena because it was unreasonable and oppressive in that it scheduled over 80 depositions for one day and on the last day of discovery. NOTE: The hearing on this Motion, scheduled for July 18, 2013, has been cancelled due to the stay.



 

 

 

 

 

May 30, 2013. Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Partial Summary Disposition, seeking a ruling from the Court that Plaintiffs have established Defendant's liability. In other words, Plaintiffs seek a ruling that they have established that Defendant discriminated against them based on their gender and that a trial only need be held regarding the damages they suffered. View the Motion exhibits here. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm at the Washtenaw County Circuit Court in Ann Arbor. NOTE: The hearing was cancelled due to the Court of Appeals' order.

June 15, 2017
Ms. JoAnne Barron
Judicial Attorney for Hon. David Swartz
Re:      Nowacki v State of Michigan Dept. of Corrections
            Case No. 11-852-CD
Dear Ms. Barron,
           I am writing to seek a pretrial conference regarding Nowacki v MDOC.
          The Michigan Court of Claims dismissed the equitable claims which were the basis for the transfer to the Court of Claims and consequent stay in Washtenaw County Circuit Court.  The Court of Appeals affirmed that Order.  The appeal period has passed and the case should now have been remanded to the Washtenaw County Circuit Court.
           I am seeking a pretrial so the parties might explore what if anything remains to be done before the case is tried.  I know that from our perspective we will need some paper discovery to obtain information regarding employees that have become class members since the case was last in Washtenaw County Circuit Court.  Other than that, however, the case should be ready for trial.
          Please let me know whether you can schedule a pretrial conference for the above purposes.  I look forward to your response.
Very Truly Yours,
FETT & FIELDS, P.C.
James K. Fett

June 5, 2013. The Circuit Court issued an Order Regarding Motion to Stay/Motion to Extend Scheduling Order Dates on June 5, 2013. The Order denied Defendant Department of Corrections' requests for a stay of the case pending a decision on  its Application for Leave to Appeal and for an extension of the scheduling order dates. The Court also cancelled the June 13, 2013 hearing. 


June 4, 2013. Plaintiff filed his Answer to Defendant-Appellant's Application for Leave to Appeal.

UPDATE:  August 21, 2019


The September 16, 2019 trial date has been adjourned.  The new trial date is scheduled for March 30, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.   




November 22, 2017
          Because of Thomas Nowacki’s leave and subsequent retirement we need additional class representatives that will provide representation for individuals that were employed after the date of Mr. Nowacki’s change in status.
          Fortunately, most of the work required of a class representative has been done by Tom. We all owe him a great debt of gratitude. Frankly, without him this class action would have gone nowhere.
          We ask all persons interested in being a class representative to notify us as soon as possible so that we may conduct interviews and select additional class representatives.
          If you are curious about the duties of a class representatives, call Tom. He is the model representative by which all future representatives will be judged.
          We look forward to hearing from interested individuals.

Very Truly Yours,
LAW OFFICE OF GLEN N. LENHOFF                              FETT & FIELDS, P.C.


Glen N. Lenhoff                                                                       James K. Fett

WOMEN'S HURON VALLEY CLASS ACTION LITIGATION

May 28, 2013. The Court of Appeals granted Plaintiffs' Motion to Extend Time, making Plaintiffs' Answer to Defendant's Application for Leave to Appeal due on June 4, 2013.


May 24, 2013. Defendant Department of Corrections filed a Motion for Stay Pending Leave to Appeal and, in the alternative, a Motion to Extend Scheduling Order. Defendant seeks either a stay of the Circuit Court case until the Court of Appeals issues a decision on its Application for Leave to Appeal, or, alternatively, an extension of the dates set forth in the Scheduling Order, including an additional six months of discovery. The hearing on Defendant's Motion is scheduled for Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm at the Washtenaw County Circuit Court in Ann Arbor.

JUDGE SWARTZ RULES THAT MALE CORRECTIONS OFFICERS GET THEIR DAY IN COURT


January 19, 2018

Gentlemen,

We have great news to report. Judge Swartz issued his Order Regarding the Parties’ Motions for Summary Disposition. See below. He ruled that there is a question of fact as to whether the BFOQs are legal under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

Recall that in our Motion for Partial Summary Disposition we argued that based on the admissible evidence (excluding the after-the-fact justifications offered up by MDOC) it is undisputed that the BFOQs are illegal. MDOC argued based on after-the-fact rationalizations offered up by individuals not party to the BFOQ decision-making process that the BFOQs are legal.

The Court had three options in deciding our competing motions:

                    It could have held that the BFOQs are illegal and ordered a trial on damages only;
                    It could have held that it was for the jury to determine if the BFOQs are legal and ordered a trial on the legality of the BFOQs and damages; or
                    It could have held that the BFOQs are legal and dismissed the case.

Judge Swartz is a very wise and experienced judge. After lengthy consideration, he determined that a jury should determine whether the BFOQs are legal. We respect his opinion. We are also very confident that when a jury hears the evidence it will conclude that the BFOQs are in fact illegal. We expect that the Department of Justice will obtain the same result in the federal court litigation.

Before the case can proceed to trial we will need to obtain information from MDOC on the total amount of overtime paid for each year 2009 through the present. We need this information to calculate economic damages. If anyone has this type of information please contact us.

In anticipation of trial we ask that each one of you forward us your W-2 from MDOC for each year 2009 to the present. We understand that some of you have already submitted W-2s. To spare us the administrative burden of figuring out who provided previous W-s and who did not, we ask that all of you submit the requested W-2s even if you have previously provided some. Of course, we will maintain the W-2s in the strictest confidence and will only use them to calculate damages for each class member.

There seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Prevailed in the Court of Appeals

March 14, 2017

        As many, if not all of you know, we prevailed in the Court of Appeals, with the three-judge panel lambasting the MDOC for its dilatory delay tactics.  A copy of that opinion is now posted.

        Although MDOC has the option of appealing the recent court of appeals Opinion, such an appeal is unlikely given the strongly worded opinion condemning its legal tactics.

        Once the appeal period has expired, the case will be remanded to the Washtenaw County Circuit Court at which time notice will be sent to all potential class members, including those who have already signed up with our firm.  Those who have not signed up because they obtained employment after the present class member sign-up will be notified of their ability to sign up and become members of the class.  Thus, there is no need to call Fett and Fields, P.C. or the offices of Glenn Lenoff to sign up.

        We will again post when the case has been remanded to the Washtenaw County Circuit Court.

        Thank all of you for your patience and remembering that "the wheels of justice grind slowly."

October 5, 2015
IMPORTANT UPDATE


As most, if not all of you know, your litigation team has been through the wars with MDOC.  MDOC’s primary strategy has been to delay rather than defend as its actions are indefensible.  Nonetheless, we have won some important victories, including class certification in June 2012.

We were poised to obtain a ruling on our motion that, as a matter of law, class members are entitled to money damages based on the illegal use of the BFOQs.  Shortly before the hearing on that motion, the MDOC appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals on the issue of class certification.  The impact of the appeal was that all proceedings in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court were stayed, including the motion regarding money damages, until the appellate proceedings were resolved.  We prevailed in the Court of Appeals on the class certification issue in August 2014.

In furtherance of their effort to delay the inevitable showdown in the trial court, MDOC appealed the Court of Appeals decision to the Michigan Supreme Court.  This July, the Supreme Court denied that appeal.  As a result, the case was sent back down to the Washtenaw County Circuit Court.

Before the trial court could consider the still pending money damages motion, MDOC, again hoping to delay the inevitable, transferred a portion of our claim to the Michigan Court of Claims.  They were able to do this because of a recent amendment to the Court of Claims Act.  Unfortunately, that Amended Court of Claims Act provides that proceedings in a trial court are stayed until resolution of any claims transferred to the Michigan Court of Claims.

Before the Court of Claims is our claim that we are entitled to a declaration that the BFOQs are illegal under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and our request for an injunction against further use of the BFOQs.

Note:  the motion relating to money damages is not before the Court of Claims.  It remains pending in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court and will be resolved there when the Court of Claims proceedings conclude.  MDOC’s transfer of the declaratory and injunctive claims to the Court of Claims is designed to delay Judge Brown’s decision on the monetary damages issue.  The delay is possible because of the stay of proceedings provision in the Court of Claims Act.

Strategy to Counteract MDOC Delay Tactics

We understand that the vast majority of the class members are primarily interested in recovery of money damages for losses incurred because of the BFOQs.  To expedite the recovery of monetary damages, we are asking the Court of Claims to dismiss our claims for declaratory and equitable relief so that the case can be remanded to the Washtenaw County Circuit Court for a hearing on our motion for monetary damages and a jury trial on the amount of those damages. 

In addition to expediting resolution of the case we also believe that this is the best course because (1) we believe that a monetary judgment in Washtenaw County will persuade MDOC to abandon the remaining BFOQs and (2) we can bring another suit for damages and an injunction after the entry of judgment if MDOC continues the BFOQ after entry of the judgment.  The bottom line is that we expect the BFOQs to go away regardless of whether we obtain an order to that effect in the Court of Claims.  We do not see any value in pursuing declaratory and equitable relief when it will further delay the recovery of money damages for the class.

To expedite the recovery of money damages for the class we have filed a motion to dismiss based on our waiver of claims for equitable and declaratory relief.  If the judge grants our motion the case would be immediately remanded back to the Washtenaw County Circuit Court where we anticipate a trial shortly after the remand.  The only thing remaining for Judge Brown to rule on is our motion for a ruling that the class members are entitled to money damages as a matter of law.  The only issue left for the jury would then be the amount of damages.

In summary, our strategy will speed the resolution of the monetary damages claim.  The tradeoff for the speedy resolution of monetary damages claim is that we will be waiving our right to ask the Court of Claims to enjoin the state from further BFOQs in this lawsuit.  This is not much of a trade-off at all since it would be lunacy for MDOC to continue with BFOQs after we secure a significant monetary judgment on account of those BFOQs and if MDOC does continue the BFOQs we will have the ability to bring another suit to enjoin the BFOQs.

February 23, 2015:  The Department of Corrections is asserting that males have been prohibited from transferring out of WHV and the previous female prisons since 2005.  That is not our understanding.  If anyone has information that male officers have been allowed to transfer out of WHV or predecessor female prisons please send me an email.  Do not call because our staff will not be able to handle the telephone traffic.  Your email should include the name of the person allowed to transfer, from what facility and the approximate date of the transfer.  Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.

August 20, 2014. To our class representative par excellence Tom Nowacki and Members of the Class. The Court of Appeals yesterday (August 19) affirmed certification of our case as a class action (see posted Opinion). However, you should not start counting your chickens before they hatch since the Department may appeal the Court of Appeals decision to the Supreme Court. If MDOC does not appeal the case will be remanded to the trial court for further proceedings. The further proceeds will include a hearing on our Motion for Partial Summary Disposition. If the Court should grant that motion the only thing left for trial would be the amount of damages. Needless to say, your legal team is elated by this result and hope you are too.

Judges slam prison agency for prolonging lawsuit

By:  Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press     Published March 15, 2017

LANSING:     The Michigan Court of Appeals slammed the Corrections Department for dragging out a class-action discrimination lawsuit brought by male corrections officers at the state’s only women’s prison in an opinion released Wednesday.  (http://publicdocs.courts.mi.gov;81/OPINIONS/FINAL/COA/20170314_C330255_32_330255.OPN.PDF).


In a unanimous published opinion, a three-judge panel said the case, which was already moving slowly, was “even more unnecessarily prolonged” when the department, represented by the Attorney General’s Office, went to the Court of Appeals to object to an order dismissing some of the claims made against the department, after the class members volunteered to withdraw those claims.

"The notability of a defendant objecting to the dismissal of claims against it(self) is not lost on us.” Wrote Court of Appeals Judge Amy Ronayne Krause, who was joined in the opinion by Judges Peter O’Connell and Patrick Meter.
The Court of Appeals upheld the voluntary dismissal of some of the claims and sent the case back to Washtenaw County Circuit Court for triaMale corrections officers at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility, who are excluded from working in many areas of the prison, sued the department in 2011 (/story/news/local/Michigan/2016/06/19/men-face-bias-womens-prison-too-lawyer-says/86030648/) over certain aspects of the exclusion policy, which they said discriminated against them based on their gender and unfairly excluded them from overtime opportunities.
The policy barring male corrections officers from working in residential areas of the women’s prison was introduced in response to multimillion-dollar jury awards in 2008 related to sexual abuse of female inmates by male corrections officers at other women’s prisons in Michigan, which are no longer open.
The 80 to 90 male corrections officers in the certified class action are not arguing they should be allowed to work in the main residential areas of the prison, but they allege they’ve been unfairly excluded from jobs in areas such as the gym, food services, schools and gate control. After the class-action was certified in Washtenaw County Circuit Court, the department appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals, which upheld the certification, and then appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case. The department, through the Attorney General’s Office, then moved to transfer the case to the Michigan Court of Claims.  The state could move the case there because the corrections officers were seeking not just monetary damages, but non-monetary relief such as a court order barring gender discrimination in overtime opportunities.

. . . plaintiffs, wanting to take the case to a jury trial in Washtenaw County Circuit Court, then moved to dismiss their non-monetary claims so the case could remain in Washtenaw County Circuit Court.  In a conditional order, the Court of Claims agreed.
But the department objected to the dismissal of the non-monetary claims, sending the case back to the Court of Appeals.
In her opinion, Krause noted that the department has accused the corrections officers of engaging in obstruction and delay tactics in connection with the case.  She dismissed that assertion as “presumptuous.”
“If defendant has sustained any prejudice, which as noted we do not find, it has brought a great deal of that prejudice upon itself,” she wrote.... is Gautz, a spokesman for the Corrections Department, did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment, Andrea Bitely, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill Schuette, declined comment.
Glenn Lenhoff, a Flint attorney represented the corrections officers along with attorney James Fett of Pinckney, said he welcomes the opinion and hopes the department will not appeal the ruling to the Michigan Supreme Court. “The approach employed by the state in this case has not been conducive to a just and speedy resolution,” Lenhoff said.
“It shouldn’t take this long.”
In June, the U.S. Justice Department filed a federal lawsuit (//story/news/local/Michigan/2016/06/13/feds-sue-state-over-staffing-issues-womens-prison/85828616/) against the Michigan Department of Corrections, alleging the department discriminates against female corrections officers at the prison near Ypsilanti by designating too many positions as “women only.”  As a result, officials “required female employees at Huron Valley to work excessive overtime hours at a cost to their health,” the suit alleges.
That case is ongoing.

Contact Paul Egan:  517-372-8660 or pegan@freepress.com.  Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4.
Read or share this story:  http://on.freep.com/2nnD14H

WADLEY RICCO A
WADSWORTH PHILIP 
WALKER JASON 
WALKER MACK 
WALKER MARVIN A
WATKINS MELVIN H
WATSON LEROY R
WEAVER KENDALL D
WEEKS DAVID B
WEISS WAYNE O
WELCH PHILIP H
WELLER DAVID C
WELLMAN BRADLEY D
WESTBROOK BRANDON S
WHITE TERRY D
WILCHER WILLIE R
WILLIAMS ERWIN 
WILLIAMS JASON K
WILLIAMS JERRY L
WILLIAMS MARK A
WILLIAMS OLIVER T
WILLIAMS ROY 
WITCHER TELIFERRO 
WOODLIFF JERRY A
WOODWARD MICHAEL A
YOUNG PAUL 
ZAJDEL PAUL E
ZAROFF TED A
ZIMMERMAN WILLIAM 
ZISSIMOS PETER V
ZUSSMAN JOSHUA I
ZWOLENSKY ADAM J

KARTJE, KRIS
KARVEL ROY B
KASSARJIAN CHRIS K
KEAGY CRAIG C
KEEHN WILLIAM E
KEMMER SCOTT N
KEMP RONALD E
KENDALL DENNIS L
KILLINS NATHANIEL 
KINGSLEY JEFFREY L
KISSANE CHRISTOPHER J
KLINE BENJAMIN D
KNAPP NATHANIEL R
KNIFFIN BRIAN 
KOCH MARK C
KOLITO FRANK P
KOZDRON DANIEL C
KRAMER DAVID 
KRANTZ DANIEL 
KRAWCZAK, MARK
KROSKE DAVID A
KYLES JOSEPH L

​LADD ROBERT W
LAGINESS DEAN L
LAIRD BRADFORD O
LARIVEE DOUGLAS R
LARSON ALLEN 
LARZELERE JACK P
LAWRENCE TYRONE 
LEAHY JOSEPH T
LEFLORE DEREK 
LESLIE ALFRED C
LETMAN JOSEPH A
LETTS KENNETH M
LEWIS JOHN E
LINN RYAN M
LOGAN MARVIN 
LOVE EDWARD C
LOZON FRANK J
LUCAS, DON
LUMBERT ARCHIE D
MACDONALD DANIEL S
MACKENZIE GREGORY S
MADDEN RODNEY 
MAIDA KYLE R
MALIK GHULAM M
MALLOY EDWARD L
MALLOY JALEN E
MALMO PAUL C
MALOCHA JAMES A
MANN SCOTT T
MARCH TIMOTHY P
MARKIECKI BRIAN L
MARR JAMIE F
MARTELL CARLOS R
MARTINEZ DONACIANO 
MASON LEIF K
MASSEY TYRONE K
MAULDIN KEVIN T
MAY, MARK
MAYBERRY WILLIE E
MAYFIELD, KEVIN
MAYHAWK WALTER L
MCCLARTY RAY V
MCCOMB RONALD L
MCCOY FREDDIE E
MCFADDIN ADAM H
MCGHEE DAVE C
MCGRATH DAVID W
MCGUIRE NOEL T
MCKINNEY JAMES S
MCPHERSON PAUL L
MEGGISON CHARLES A
MEIER ALFRED P
MERROW WILLIAM E
MICKELSON WILLIAM E
MILKS PHILIP 
MILLER DAVID 
MILLS BRANDON S
MIMS VICTOR B
MOORE ANDREW J
MOORE SPENCER 
MORTIERE LUKE J
MORTON HAROLD 
MORTON STEPHEN L
MOSKAL TIMOTHY J
MOTLEY THEOPLIS 
MOTT KENNETH D
MUELLER MICHAEL D
MULHOLLAND SCOTT 
MURRAY JUANNELIOUS B
MYLES TRENT W

NALEPA SCOTT A
NEAL CHAD J
NEW TODD M
NEW VICTOR J
NOLAND ANDREW C
NORRIS ANTHONY W
NORTON WILLIAM J
NOTA KEVIN E
NOWACKI THOMAS S
NUNLEE HAROLD D
NUNN JODY 
NUOFFER JACOB M
NWANERI MATTHEW I
OCHOA JOSE 
O'DELL RONALD C
OKETE IHEANYI C
OLIVERO MICHAEL P
OLOJO DAVID 
OSTREWICH THADDEUS J
OSUJI-EBOH SILAS 
OZZELLO JAMES A

EALEY JERRY M
EBOH SILAS U
EGGLESTON RICHARD K
ELLIOTT DAVID M
ESCOE MATHEW A
EZEOKE JOSEPH A
EZEOKOBE HYGINUS E
FARTHING JON E
FAUNCE STEPHEN C
FIELDS AMOS 
FISHER EARL 
FISHER, LEE
FITZMAURICE RICHARD P
FLINCHUM LARRY C
FOSTER GEOFFREY 
FRAZIER JOSEPH E
FRIEND MICHAEL C
FROST JACK L
FULAYTER WILLIAM R
GALANTI ARMANDO T
GAMBLE ROBERT C
GARCIA MARTIN 
GARLAND RICHARD D
GARRETT WILLIAM J
GEORGE, STENNIS
GERRITY PATRICK M
GETAW MARIO D
GETTER DAVID K
GHASTIN JOHN P
GILBERT CHRISTOPHER E
GILMORE GRANT 
GIST RICKY 
GLENN VANCE A
GLOVER DEMETRIUS A
GOERGE STEVEN G
GOFF JAMES H
GOLIDY RALPH M
GOMOLUCH WILLIAM P
GONZALES JOSE L
GORDEN DONALD W
GORDON AARON D
GOUDEAUX DAVID A
GRAHAM PETIUS J
GRAY JOHN E
GRIEBENOW GARRETT 
GRIGGS, JAMES
GRUNDY JASON 
GURDEN STEPHEN M

HADLEY JACK T
HARRIS WOODSIE 
HART ARTHUR R
HART LAMART 
HARTUNIAN HARRY E
HARTZLER MICHAEL L
HARVEY RANDY L
HASSAN ALI A
HASSEN JOHN H
HASSEN RICHARD H
HATHORNE SCOTT C
HAWKER TIMOTHY A
HAYNES CHARLES E
HAYNES CHRISTOPHER C
HEID CHRISTOPHER L
HELM MARK L
HENDEL MICHAEL P
HENDERSON DERWIN L
HERMANSON JAMES T
HERRGARD STEVEN I
HICKS CALVIN 
HICKS JANELL 
HIGGINS BRUCE J
HILL JOHN H
HINDBAUGH BRAD T
HIVELY DEREK G
HOLT TIMOTHY H
HOOPER JAMES D
HORN CARL 
HUERTA RICARDO 
ISHMAN KENNETH 

JACKSON MARK 
JACKSON RICHARD E
JACKSON ROBERT M
JAKIELEK CRAIG 
JARRAD ARTHUR T
JAY DENNIS W
JEFFERDS JOHN D
JENSON ARTHUR L
JOHNSON FREDERICK Y
JOHNSON JAMES W
JOHNSON RALPH
JOHNSON, TERRY
JOHNSON WAYNE L
JOHNSON WILLIAM L
JOHNSTON GORDON J
JOLOKAI GREGORY J
JONES CRAIG L
JONES DONALD R
JONES ELLIOTT F
JONES ERIC D
JONOSHIES DANIEL F
JOSE SEBASTIAN 
JOUPPI JOHN G



PALACIOS ISIDRO R
PALIOTHEODOROS ATHANASIOS 
PARHAM AUTURO 
PARIS WALTER M
PARKER DENNIS 
PARKER GREGORY 
PATRICK MICHAEL 
PERKINS GARY L
PERRY MILES 
PHILLIPS CLIFTON G
PHILLIPS GEORGE L
PHILLIPS ZARIE N
PONTE BRIAN J
POROLNICZAK RYSZARD 
PORTER SEAN S
POSUNIAK MICHAEL 
POWERS DANNY M
PRIEBE CLAUDE E
PRIEST JEREMY W
PUCKETT ROBERT L
RATCHFORD THOMAS G
RATHOD PRAKASH N
RAYMOND BRADLEY R
REEVES BLAIR F
RENO MARCELL P
RENO PETE M
RHOADES JONATHAN D
RHODES PATRICIA A
RIHEL LAWRENCE R
RINGUETTE JASON 
ROBBINS ROBERT J
ROBERTS BRIAN M
ROBERTS GARY L
ROBERTS WILLIAM D
ROBINSON DAVID C
ROBINSON THOMAS W
ROGOWSKI DAVID R
RUSSELL ROBERT D
SAHL ANTHONY J
SAHL JOHN J
SAHL KENNETH 
SANCHEZ FRANCISCO G
SANDERS KEVIN V
SANNEY DARRELL 
SANUSI TUNDE S
SATA NICHOLAS C
SAULS ELBERT D
SAUVE LEONARD J
SAWYER PAUL N
SCATES RAYMUND G
SCHAFF DAVID J
SCHISLER SCOTT J
SCHMEDDING WILLIAM J
SEGER DENNIS J
SESAY SAMBA 
SHAH, CHRISTOPHER
SHARP DANIEL A
SHAW LOUIS T
SHERRY EDWIN J
SIDUN LYNN D
SIKORA CHARLES B
SILER CHARLES R
SILER DAVID R
SIMPSON CLAYTON 
SIVIK CHARLES E
SKELTON RYAN M
SLOUGH JASON W
SMITH ARTHUR D
SMITH BRADLEY D
SPAULDING CURTIS R
SPEAR CARLO J
SPISAK MARK M
STEELE JOSEPH P
STEPHENSON TONY M
STORY HERBERT 
SUCHARA DENNIS S
SULLIVAN MARVIN 
SWART STEVEN K

TALLEY REGINALD 
TAVANA PAUL 
TAYLOR, ANDRE
TAYLOR RONALD A
TESCHKE MICHAEL P
THOMAS AARRON G
THOMAS PHILIP K
THOMPSON JOSEPH L
THOMPSON KEVIN L
THURMAN HENRY E
TILLERY RODNEY B
TISEO JOHN P
TOROK MICHAEL E
TRETHEWEY JOSEPH E
TRIPLETT BRUCE A
TROUTEN MICHAEL A
TURNER DEJUAN L
TURNER, MARK ANTHONY
VANNORDEN PATRICK B
VAN SICKLE LEO P
VENEGAS WILLIAM J
VERDUZCO MICHAEL J
VIARS DAVID A
VINEYARD STEPHEN G
VOWELL CHRISTOPHER S