The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, in part, the complaint of an individual civilly committed in the Florida civil commitment center. The plaintiff, who remains confined despite completing his sentence, sued Geo group (contracted by the state to provide transport services) for, among other things, not giving him a bathroom break during a 1200 mile round trip transport to the Santa Rosa County jail for a hearing to see whether he would continue to be confined.

The Court held, “The civilly committed may not be punished merely because they are civilly committed. And under the Fourteenth Amendment, they enjoy a substantive-due-process right to liberty interests in, among other things, safety and freedom from bodily restraint. So though the State may appropriately take measures to protect the public from civilly committed individuals found to be dangerous, it must do so in a way that is consistent with professional judgment about what is necessary.” and finding that allowing no bathroom breaks during the trip and forcing plaintiff to sit in his own excrement for 300 miles, deprived him of those rights.

Bilal v. Geo Care

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