Williams v. HollinsheadAnnotate this Case
A group of prisoners (“Petitioners”) sought a writ of habeas corpus based on the conditions of their confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Petitioners were all incarcerated at the Elmore County Jail (“Jail”), contending the conditions of confinement constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. More specifically, the Petitioners claimed they were in imminent danger because officials at the Jail did not implement any discernable mitigation measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Elmore County Sheriff Mike Hollinshead and Lieutenant Shauna Gavin (collectively “Officials”) denied this assertion, contending that Petitioners’ request for a writ of habeas corpus should have been denied because the Petitioners did not exhaust their administrative remedies. The Officials filed a motion for summary judgment with the district court, which was granted. The district court also awarded the Officials their attorney fees. Petitioners timely appealed the district court’s decisions to the Idaho Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the appeal on an expedited basis. After that review, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s decision granting summary judgment, but reversed the district court’s award of attorney fees.